Featured Vegetable: Kale
Does Kale reign supreme? Read on to see why it ranks high among veggie royalty. Chock full of nutrients, linked to lots of health benefits and low in calories kale should be considered a treasured jewel.
You probably have never been told to wash up and “come to kale”. The phrase, meaning come to dinner, is common in Scotland where the green leafy vegetable is very popular. It is not an everyday veggie of choice in the US but maybe it should be. Kale originated in Asia Minor as part of the cabbage family, but is usually associated with the south and other greens such as collards, Swiss chard, and broccoli raab. There are different varieties of kale like curly kale, dinosaur kale and ornamental kale. Shades range from light purple to chartreuse and taste can range from bitter to buttery. Don’t like the usual bitter taste? Blanch kale in boiling water for one minute to create a more milder taste.
Kale is rich in nutrients, and antioxidants and provides phytochemicals such as beta-carotene and lutein, which play a role in the immune system and in vision, bone, and heart health. Lutein also provides kale it’s dark green hue. Low in calories, fat, and sodium kale is a healthy food choice. Just one cup of raw or cooked kale provides an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
Have you seen fresh bunches of kale resting in the cool mist of the produce aisle? Are you intrigued by all of the good news kale has to offer and ready to add it your grocery list but don’t know what to do with kale once you get it home? We are here to help! First thoroughly wash kale. Next check out this quick and simple video on how to strip kale from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Steam your kale to prevent nutrients from leeching into water (like what happens when boiling vegetables).
Kale can be enjoyed in a variety of ways and is available all year round. Toss it into a salad, add it to soups or spice up the traditionally sautéed side dish by adding garlic and toasted almonds. Have a sweet tooth? Add raisins in with the almonds! Cooked kale also makes a wonderful pesto that is delicious served atop toasted Pepperidge Farm® 100% Whole Wheat bread.
If you like the crunch of potato chips, try making kale chips. Campbell’s Chef David Landers says it’s easy! All you have to do is toss your clean, dried kale with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and bake on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until they are crispy.
Hungry for more? Try kale instead of spinach in these Campbell recipes.