Queen of Greens - Kale
TEXARKANA, Ark. –
Often called the queen of greens, kale is rapidly gaining popularity because of its exceptional nutrient richness, health benefits, delicious flavor and ease of purchasing. Visit the farmers market and you will find tables of kale, ready for you to take home.
Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. One serving is both low in calories and packed with vitamins and minerals, including 200% of your daily Vitamin C requirement. It has only 33 calories per one cup of raw kale. It’s low in saturated fat and cholesterol, plus is a good source of dietary fiber, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, iron, magnesium phosphorus, and a very good source of Calcium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese and Vitamins A, C, K, and B6.
This dark green vegetable has a savory mild flavor. Use it soon after purchasing or picking. The longer you store kale, the stronger its flavor becomes, and it’s mild, cabbage-like flavor becomes more piquant and bitter. Store kale in your high-humidity drawer, the one that’s closed up all the way or that doesn't have any controls at all, for no more than 2 or 3 days.
Choose dark colored, small to medium sized leaves. Leaves should be fresh, young and tender. Avoid greens with coarse stems or yellowed, dried, limp leaves.
To prepare, wash kale leaves in lukewarm water, removing any grit and sand clinging to leaves and stems. Trim off any roots and then separate the leaves. Swish them around in a sink or basin full of cool water. Do not soak. Carefully lift leaves from sink, making sure that the sand and grit is left behind. Repeat process as necessary. If storing them, they need to be very dry.
There are numerous types of kale. It can be curly, flat, or even have a bluish tint
mixed in with the green. Each has a distinctive flavor.
Never tried kale? Add it to your morning omelet, or add it to hearty soups. Toss tender young leaves into a salad of mixed greens and use cooked kale as an ingredient in pasta salads. For dinner, add it to stews and casseroles for added color and nutrients, or toss it into stir-fries.
Take a trip to the Gateway Farmers Market downtown and get your farm fresh kale for this Creamy Kale and Nut Salad, which has less than 100 calories per serving, over 5,000 I.U. of Vitamin A and only 65 mg sodium. Make it up a few hours ahead of time and let the flavors blend for the best salad. It mimics a creamy broccoli salad.
Creamy Kale and Nut Salad
4 cups chopped kale (ribs removed)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
3 tablespoons raisins or dried cranberries
1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds, almonds, or pecans
Mix kale, red onion, and raisins in a large bowl. Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, sugar, and lemon juice together in a bowl; pour over the kale mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate 2 hours to overnight. Sprinkle sunflower seeds over the salad and toss to serve. Garnish with fresh lemon slices if desired.
Click here for your free copy of Arkansas Fresh Greens, contact the Miller County Extension Office, 870-779-3609 or visit us in room 215 at the Miller County Courthouse. We're online at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook at UAEXMillerCountyFCS/CarlaHaleyHadley, on Twitter @MillerCountyFCS or on the web at uaex.uada.edu/Miller.
By Carla Haley-Hadley
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Haley-Hadley
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854
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