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TEXARKANA, Ark. –
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,"
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
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)
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 AgentFamily & Consumer SciencesThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Haley Hadley M.S.County Extension AgentFamily & Consumer SciencesU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Servicechadley@uada.edu