This week, kale was a part of our bounty. You either said, “Yeah!” or “Ugh!” There is no sitting on the fence with this veggie. You are either a fan or not.
Jim Gaffigan once said, "Kale is a superfood and its special power is tasting bad."
Okay, Jim is not a fan, but others, myself included, say “kale is king.”
Why is that?
Well, this dark green and sometimes purple vegetable is loaded with all kinds of healthy compounds. Let’s investigate, courtesy of Healthline:
As a member of the cabbage family, it is cruciferous like its cousins: broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and Brussel sprouts. (Unimportant fact: I love kale, but can’t stand Brussel sprouts.)
There are different kinds of kale, and they can be green or purple, smooth or curly.
Kale is nutrient dense and contains a lot of vitamins, including A, K, C and B6. Regarding vitamin C, it contains 4.5 times the amount that is in spinach. A single cup of raw kale has more vitamin C than an orange! It also has many minerals, such as calcium, copper, potassium and magnesium, which a lot of people lack in their modern, processed diets.
Like other leafy greens, it is very high in antioxidants, which are substances that help mitigate damage caused by free radicals in the body. This damage can lead to premature aging and diseases such as cancer.
Kale can help lower cholesterol, especially if you steam it:
“According to one study, steaming kale dramatically increases the bile acid binding effect. Steamed kale is actually 43% as potent as cholestyramine, a cholesterol-lowering drug that functions in a similar way.”
This vegetable is one of the best sources for vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting. A single cup contains seven times the recommended daily amount for this particular vitamin.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are in kale in large amounts, and they are helpful nutrients that protect your eyes:
“Many studies have shown that people who eat enough lutein and zeaxanthin have a much lower risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, two very common eye disorders.”
It is important to choose organic kale because conventional kale has been on the dirty dozen list of produce with high amounts of pesticide residues.
According to a Time article, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) published its 2019 Dirty Dozen list, which ranked 12 produce items in terms of contamination:
"This year, one of the dirtiest fruits and vegetables turns out to be kale, occupying the third spot on the EWG’s list of most contaminated. Strawberries top the list, followed by spinach. (The full 2019 Dirty Dozen list, ranked from most contaminated to least, include strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery and potatoes.)"
So now that you know just how healthy organic kale is, what are the ways you can use it? You can bake it, juice it or eat it in a salad.
Make kale chips by shredding the kale and putting it on a baking sheet, drizzling some extra-virgin olive oil on them, adding a pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon of your favorite vinegar and baking at 300° for about 30 minutes until they are dry and crispy.
I made this delicious kale salad. It has a lovely nutty, sweetness to it.
Make the salad’s topping first:
· Toast 1 cup of your favorite nut in a dry pan or bake in oven at 300° for 10 minutes (pecans, walnuts or almonds) and then combine with the next ingredients
· 1 large clove of minced garlic
· 3-4 teaspoons of nutritional yeast (available in most spice sections)
· 4 ½ teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil
· ¼ teaspoon of salt
· ¼ cup of dried cranberries or cherries
Prepare the salad and dressing next:
· 1 or 2 bunches of kale
· 2 large cloves of garlic
· ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice (fresh is critical to the flavor)
· 3-4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
· ¼ teaspoon salt
· ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
· 1 teaspoon of pure maple syrup (use the real deal)
(Photo by Gloria Weg)
Chop the kale finely and place in a large bowl so that you have about 8 cups. Use a mini food processer to blend the dressing’s garlic, lemon, oil, salt and pepper until combined. Pour on top of kale and mix well. Add the syrup and then the nutty topping and enjoy!
Remember that copies of "Bounty from the Box" book are available for purchase. It normally sells for $35, but is $25 for our CSA members.
If you are interested, please call or text Marianne at 917-755-6997 to reserve a copy.
Venmo or cash are acceptable.
"I love kale. I bake it. I sauté it. I juice it. I massage it. I want other people to join the cult-of-kale" (Misha Collins).
Eat healthy and have a great week. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.