History of Kale
Kale is a very delicious green leafy vegetable. Like collard greens, kale is also a member of the cabbage family. Wow, the cabbage family was much larger than I thought!
The most important growing areas lie in central and northern Europe and North America. Kale grows more rarely in tropical areas as it prefers cooler climates. Kale is the most robust cabbage type – indeed the hardiness of kale is unmatched by any other vegetable. Kale will also tolerate nearly all soils provided that drainage is satisfactory. Another advantage is that kale rarely suffers from pests and diseases of other members of the cabbage family – pigeons, club root and cabbage root fly (Delia radicum). Places where kale grows are called kalefields.
Nutrients in Kale
Kale absolutely rich and abundant in calcium, lutein, iron, and Vitamins A, C, and K. Kale has seven times the beta-carotene of broccoli and ten times more lutein. Kale is rich in Vitamin C not to mention the much needed fiber so lacking in the daily diet of processed food eating Americans. The “Icing on the Kale” are the natural occurring all important phytochemicals sulforaphane and indoles which research suggests may protect against cancer. Let’s not forget the all important antioxidant Vitamin E. Rest assured kale spares nothing in providing one with much needed nutrients and associated health benefits.
Kale with Tofu (2 servings)
- 1 block of cubed extra firm tofu
- 6 large kale leaves chopped to bite size
Fry tofu until golden brown and crispy using olive oil, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. After frying tofu, remove from pan, add more olive oil, and cook kale until soft and welted. Add additional spices: salt, pepper, and garlic. Mix tofu and kale and serve hot.
Roasted Kale with Sea Salt (2 servings)
- 4 cups firmly-packed kale
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. good-quality sea salt, such as Maldon or Cyprus Flake
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wash and trim the kale: Peel off the tough stems by folding the kale leaves in half like a book and stripping the stems off. Toss with extra virgin olive oil. Roast for five minutes. Turn kale over. Roast another 7 to 10 minutes until kale turns brown and becomes paper thin and brittle. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediately.