THE FOOD SERIES: Kale
Ahhh kale, what an amazing amazing vegetable.It’s not everyone’s favourite vegetable, but after learning more about its benefits, you may want to incorporate more into your life 😉
Kale belongs to the Brassica family group of vegetables which includes other vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. There are many types of kale that vary size, texture, and even taste. The most common type is the green curly kale which tends to be more pungent and bitter in taste. Whereas the lacinato or dinosaur kale which have bluish/purple leaves are sweeter than the curly kale. Then there are the ornamental kale which are so incredibly beautiful and unique in that they may either be green, white, purple, or even yellowish or pink hues.
This delicious vegetable is thought to have been around even during the Middle Ages! One fantastic thing about kale is that they are so easily grown and can grow well into the winter season. If you have some space, I highly encourage growing your own kale!
Two cups of chopped kale (raw):
2.8 g carbs
1.2 g fiber
0.3 g fat
1.4 g protein
3196.2 IU vitamin A
38.4 mg vitamin C
225.5 ug vitamin K
0.2 mg manganese
48.0 mg calcium
Again this may be of no relevance to you. In general kale is an excellent source of vitamin K, A, C and manganese. It is very low in calories, very low in the glycemic index, high in fiber and one of the most nutrient-dense foods! It is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which can help you tackle stress and improve your immune system. (Perhaps that’s why it can grow into the winter to help us tackle the changing and cooler seasons, so amazing!)
As mentioned, kale is a great source of vitamin K so why is it important? Vitamin K is necessary for normal blood clotting so it prevents any excessive bleeding, aka help stops you from literally bleeding to death. Vitamin K is also important in the health of our bones, as well as other potential health benefits.
WAYS TO ENJOY
I suggest trying different types of kale and mix it up! When fresh, kale should be firm and tough in texture, and make sure they are kept in a cool environment. Many people may not like kale due to its bitterness, but over time, you may love the more pungent taste that it provides.
Here are my favourite ways to enjoy kale and why!
Well duh… many people choose to eat their kale raw. At the same time, it is when eaten raw that many people dislike the taste of kale. It is important to massage the kale with the dressing thoroughly before consumption. This is because it can help break down the tough texture while providing it with a great flavour! I perseonally enjoy the sour taste, so I tend to massage and mix my greens/salads with lemon or lime juice.
For an autumnal salad, pair it with other desired veg, apples, chopped walnuts and a balsamic vinegar dressing.
For those who are more unsure about kale, adding it to smoothies is a great way to introduce this vegetable into your diet. Start with adding a small handful into your favourite smoothie. I encourage adding in some fruit to make it sweeter. Once you are more familiar and comfortable with a greener taste, add more kale and more vegetables!
Another great way to incorporate more kale into your diet. Kale chips are not only delicious but a great snack option. I made a video on all-dressed flavoured kale chips. Watch it HERE!
- It has more Vitamin C than an orange.
- It has more calcium than a container of milk.
- For those who are curious here are some names of different kales: redbor, Gulag Stars, True Siberian, Red Russian, White Russian, Dwarf Blue Vates, Nagoya, Chinese Kale, Sea Kale, and Walking Stick Kale.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES / REFERENCES