Friday, June 15, 2012

The Wondrous and Magnificent Kale

On the back of Brett’s (our CSA delivery driver) truck is a bumper sticker. It says “Eat More Kale”. When I first saw it, I thought to myself, “Oh that’s cute”. The second time I thought, “That is an inventive way to promote eating local”. And now I think “Wow they are serious; I need to eat kale everyday to eat all that they are giving me.”
We have gotten kale every week from out CSA. And it is not a little bag. For three weeks it was the majority of our share. And this last week, it was obviously smaller in comparison to previous weeks but not a small amount.
What is kale anyway?
Kale is a leafy green. It is considered to be a common and an old form of cabbage. It will grow in the form of leaf rather than a head like traditional cabbage. It’s growing season is from the early winter to the end of spring. It is a hardy vegetable grown in a sandy soil.
Is it good for me?
Kale is not a prominent member of the produce section at Giant Foods. It is not a superstar people think about when dreaming of spring produce. But Kale is one of the most nutritious and healthiest veggies around. It is high 20 vitamins and minerals. Just one cup of Kale provides 1327% of your daily value of Vitamin K (which is key nutrient for helping regulate our body's inflammatory process) 354% DV of Vitamin A (which aids in immune function, vision, reproduction, and cellular communication), 88% DV of Vitamin C (we all know how important Vitamin C is) and 27% DV of Manganese (which aids with bone structure, functioning of thyroid, sex hormones, regulating blood sugar level, and metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.).
Kale is a cruciferous veggie. Cruciferous veggies have anti-cancer nutrients in the form of glucosinolates. And Kale’s anti-cancerous properties have been linked to its high content and its broad spectrum of carotenoids and flavonoids.
Kale also has high levels of omega-3s which is important for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Kale aids our Cardiovascular System by lowering cholesterol. Kale will bind with acids in our digestive system and flush them out. To replace the acids our body will use our cholesterol to make new digestive acids.
All that from a leaf? How do I eat it?
If you are like me, you have had kale before but only when a recipe called for it. You didn’t go to the grocery store and say “Oh wow, the kale looks especially good today. I think I’ll take some home.”. So with all this kale I had to find ways to make it and make sure they were diversity and yummy.
Here is what we had made so far:
1. Kale Chips—yummo
2. Lemony and Garlicky Kale Pasta
3. Kale, Red Pepper and Feta Paninis
4. Spinach and Kale Turnovers
5. Regular salad with kale leaves

6. Stuffed Peppers
Since it is summer, I have been trying to avoid making soup. Kale is a big player in soup but “they” say kale loses some of it powerful nutrition when boiled.
I personally LOVE the kale chips. They are very delicate so I haven’t been able to take them to work.
Kale does appear to be a great when paired with pasta.

I guess it is a good thing Dave and I have been eating kale several times a week. What will we do when kale stops coming in our CSA share?

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