Kraft Dinner… ahhh no!
I’m cutting to the chase because K was so blatantly obvious for me since I started What’s the Word? Wednesday.
K is for Kale.
I love kale and I’m really excited about writing this post. I could sing kale’s praises all the live-long-day. It’s most likely that you must have heard of kale (if you haven’t heard of kale then I’m in shock and awe, no seriously), but do you know why everyone is so crazy for this cabbage?(yes it’s a cabbage). If you are unsure about this leafy green powerhouse then let me try to help with that.
What is it?
Kale is a dark leafy green. I have yet to find any nutritional guide, site, or program out there that doesn’t tell you to gorge yourself with greens. We are supposed to eat more of these types of foods, every day. Kale is indeed a cabbage, but also is closely related to broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts (yum, yum and YUM!). All of these vegetables have been shown to prevent cancer because ingesting them is like doing shots of vitamins with every crunch and chew.
What does it taste like?
Kale is so versatile. If you haven’t eaten it before you may think of it like spinach but it holds up so much better when cooked or tossed with salad dressings. There are many varietals of kale but while the shape or colour of the leaves may change they all pretty much taste the same. I find kale a LOT less bitter than other greens and kale has structural integrity among its many accolades. There is no clear way to pin down a flavour, it tastes like greens taste, but because you can marinate it, and make it crispy through dehydration the leave hang on to sauces and spices well so ti ends up tasting like what every you put on it. Which is great for green-leaf-a-phobics.
Where do I use it?
You can eat kale raw, you can bake, fry, steam and boil it and kale generally keeps its shape and a slight chew. Kale chips are a popular snack, and kale is a popular green thrown into smoothies. Kale is often paired with potatoes either mashed right in or baked in a shepherds pie. I particularly love raw/marinated kale salads, and they are a great ‘lettuce’ choice to bring for work lunches because the leaves don’t wilt from your dressing. In fact you can even make the salad the night before to bring the next day. I love kale in soups, stews and pot pies. I’ve put it in cabbage rolls, or just made a simple stir fry with tofu and kale. It’s all gravy, any way you cook it; actually, it’s all kale.
Are there health benefits?
Holy-moly, YES! Kale is king. I’m pretty sure you could survive on a diet of kale only, well maybe not – but probably close. I definitely eat a bunch of this green goodness a week just because – delicious and nutritious? I’m in! Kale oddly enough is super high in vitamin K, with A and C being a close second and third. It provides fibre, and is and acts anti-inflammatory as well as an antioxidant. There is so many good things to say about it’s nutritional value that I’m going to stop here and show you this chart I got off whfoods.com.
I’m also going to add that if you want more information on how kale fights cancer, improves digestion and reduce inflammation – check out their page on here.
V-Spot recipes and suggestion for using kale:
- Caldo Verde ( Portuguese Green Soup)
- Cheezy Kale Chips, Creamy Onion and Garlic Kale Chips & Sesame Soy Kale Chips)
- Creamed Kale Soup
- Tahini Dressed Potato Salad with Chickpeas and Kale
- Marinated Kale, Romano Bean and Carrot Salad
Kale Recipe Inspriation on the Interwebs:
- Crostini di Cavolo Nero (Tuscan Cabbage or Kale Crostini) by Apron and Sneakers
- Kale Cesar Salad by Feed Me Phoebe
- Mayo-less Stuffed Egg Salad by edible perspective
- Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin by Oh My Veggies
- Winter Guacomole Sald with Massaged Kale by Leaf & Grain