Learning to Love Kale

Kale is a member of the brassica family along with: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, arugula, rutabaga, radish and mustard. Along with other brassicas, kale is a powerhouse vegetable. It provides more nutritional value per calorie than almost any other food around. It contains over 45 different flavanoids, vitamins A, K, C, magnesium, copper, calcium, vitamin B6, potassium, and many more. It also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, macronutrients, and cancer-preventive nutrients called glucosinolates. Cooked kale is healthier than raw kale, so it's important to cook it lightly and with some fat to make the vitamins more available and more easily absorbed. Here's a great article on the health benefits of kale if you'd like to learn more. Kale is also easy to grow in the garden, especially here in NE Ohio where our summers can be fickle and can easily cause broccoli and cauliflower to bolt before them produce heads. Kale seems not to mind the warm weather, although it's flavor is mellowed by frost and cool weather. Kale overwinters beautifully without any protection at all. I have had Red Russian kale growing in my front flowerbed for the past three years. It survives the winter, flowers in spring, seeds itself down and I have a nice crop for harvesting throughout fall, winter and spring.



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  • Cruioso 4y

    Love the photo and the info but have to disagree with the idea that cooked kale is healthier. There's a number of reasons why raw is better. But, for the most nutritional bang out of kale, put it in a blender (the vitamix is the best) with a bit of fruit along with a quarter avocado (for the fat to take up the fat soluble nutrients easier and to make it smooth especially if using apple) to make a green smoothie, or put in green soups/blended salads. The biggest trick to eating raw is to masticate (chew) the kale. Nothing masticates kale like a vitamix though so that's where the maximum nutrition is. Another trick is to chop raw kale, add a bit of salt and either avocado, or raw tahini (both are whole fats), then massage till the kale has wilted. Yummy and nutritious without cooking. And, very filling. Also, there's nothing quite like the fresh that comes with growing it, being able to pick it and eat it within the same hour (which I'm doing now in a salad -- that I took a picture of too :D). So delicious. Kale also has more protein calorie for calorie than all the animal products. Pretty amazing.
  • Gdaiva 4y

    Thank you for your informative descriptions!
    I should do that too
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Taken on July 24, 2011
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