Vegetable Spotlight: Kale
Each week this summer, we are spotlighting a vegetable and sharing some recipes from Pinterest that we hope will inspire you to either try the food for the first time or prepare it in a fun new way.
Today’s spotlight vegetable is KALE.
Kale or borecole (Brassica oleracea Acephala Group) is a vegetable with green or purple leaves, in which the central leaves do not form a head. The species Brassica oleracea contains a wide variety of vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, and brussels sprouts. The cultivar group Acephala also includes spring greens and collard greens, which are extremely similar genetically.
Kale freezes well and tastes sweeter and more flavourful after being exposed to a frost. When combined with oils or lemon juice, kale’s flavor is noticeably softened. When baked or dehydrated, kale takes on a consistency similar to that of a potato chip. Curly kale varieties are usually preferred for chips.
Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and rich in calcium. Kale is a source of two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties.
Boiling decreases the level of sulforaphane; however, steaming, microwaving, or stir frying does not result in significant loss. Kale has been found to contain a group of resins known as bile acid sequestrants, which have been shown to lower cholesterol and decrease absorption of dietary fat. Steaming significantly increases these bile acid binding properties.
You can also go straight to the recipes:
Chicken and Kale Hand Pies with Cheddar Crust from Martha Stewart
Sea Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips from Gimme Some Oven
Hot Kale and Bacon Dip from What’s Gaby Cooking
Blueberry Peach Kale Smoothie from Snack Rules
Apple Baby Kale Turkey Quesadilla from Spoonful
Please let us know in comments if you have a delicious kale recipe to share and/or if you try any of these!