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Kale A Dark Green Vegetable That Has Good Savory Flavor


Kale A Dark Green Vegetable That Has Good Savory Flavor

Kale has become increasing popular

The dark, leafy green has been on dinner plates since Roman times and has long been common across much of Europe. The vegetable hails from the cabbage family, which also includes broccoli, cauliflower, and collards.

 Kale is more popular than ever, and it’s packed with vitamins and minerals.

Availability: You can purchase kale all year round.

Eating: Kale is a dark green vegetable that has good savory flavor. It is similar to a mild cabbage.

It is an excellent compliment for rice, potatoes, and other foods.

Selecting: Choose kale in the refrigerated section of the produce department. Purchase kale that has a deep green color. Avoid kale that has wilted, yellow or insect damaged leaves. Smaller bunches will be more tender.

Cleaning and Preparing: Wash kale in a vegetable wash or vinegar and water. Dry kale with a paper towel and fold in half for cutting. The spine of the kale is often tough so it is best removed before preparing.

Storing: Use kale within 5 days. The longer you store kale, the stronger and bitterer its flavor becomes. Wrap unwashed kale in damp paper towels in a plastic bag and store in the vegetable crisper.

Cooking: You can steam, sauté, roast or boil this leafy green vegetable. It becomes a savory side dish, or a great addition to a soup. Steam kale, then season with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Kale is easy to add to your sir fry recipes, pastas, sautéed vegetables and soup.

Nutrition Highlights: Kale is rich in nutrients.

Kale contains Vitamins A, C and K, calcium, iron and is a good source of fiber.

This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese

 Any vegetable that has a very deep color the way kale does, that means there is a high concentration of nutrients, and that translates into a range of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the body,"

 Types of Kale

Kale can be curly, flat, or even have a bluish tint mixed in with the green. The flavors differ, so try them all.

 Many farmers’ markets sell several types of kale, and most major grocery stores should have at least one. If you have a garden, or even just a few containers on a patio, you can grow kale.

 Whether you buy kale from the store or pluck it from your own backyard, look for dark, crisp leaves. When you get ready to cook or eat it, remove the leaves from the tougher stalks.

 The Benefits of Kale

At just 33 calories, one cup of raw kale has:

 Nearly 3 grams of protein

2.5 grams of fiber (which helps manage blood sugar and makes you feel full)

Vitamins A, C, and K

Folate, a B vitamin that’s key for brain development

Alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. (While kale has far less omega-3 than fish, it is another way to get some of this healthy fat into your diet.

Lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that give kale its deep, dark green coloring and protect against macular degeneration and cataracts Minerals including phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and zinc

By Carla Haley Hadley M.S.
County Extension Agent
Family & Consumer Sciences
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Carla Haley Hadley M.S.
County Extension Agent
Family & Consumer Sciences
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service