Where do I begin. Kale is one of the best vegetables to eat. The benefits are all there. Kale has a potent cocktail of B Complex, K, C and A vitamins. It is also an excellent source of manganese, copper, and iron. One cup of Kale contains 1328% of your Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin K, necessary for the synthesis of protein.
With over 192% of the RDA for Vitamin A in one cup, kale is excellent for boosting immunity, the reproductive system, and great for building healthy bones. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant and immunity booster. Kale is indeed a superfood. Studies have reported high antioxidant activity in this vegetable. It has also been shown to help ease lung congestion and is beneficial to your stomach, liver, and immune system.
Kale can be compared to beef because it is known as a “go-to” food for iron, protein, and calcium. Kale’s anti-inflammatory capabilities are among the highest in the leafy green family, primarily relating to the prevention and even reversal of arthritis, heart disease, and several autoimmune diseases.
There are now so many different kinds of kale that it is almost impossible to keep track of them all. Here are a few of the most popular varieties: Curly Kale, Lacinato Kale, Premier Kale, Redbor Kale, Siberian Kale, Red Russian Kale and Kamome Red Kale.
Fun Facts: Everyone has long believed that the only way to get enough calcium is by drinking milk. That is just not true! One cup of kale has more absorbable calcium than a small carton of milk.
How to buy and store:
When choosing kale, go organic if you can! Kale is one of the items on the “dirty dozen list” (a list of conventionally grown foods that absorb the most pesticides) as published by the Environmental Working Group. Since kale is hardy, inexpensive, and fairly easy to grow, organic kale is close in price to conventional kale. Store freshly washed whole bunches wrapped in paper towel and placed in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge. It should last in the fridge for up to one week.
How to prep & cook:
Cooking kale does not damage the nutrients as long as cooking is brief (10-15 minutes on medium-high heat, or 35 minutes at a lower temperature when baking.) I find squeezing fresh lemon juice over the kale, and massaging it helps to break it down and reduce the bitterness. Kale is also nutritious raw, ideal for salads, juicing, smoothies, and cold blended soups.
Here is a cold salad recipe you may want to bring to your next summer barbecue: