Food News

Star Superfood: Kale

Yes, this is ornamental kale, but it’s still as delicious and edible as the varieties grown for food! If you’re like me and you’ve spent most of your life sans kale, read on to find out why you’re going to want to make this superfood your best food buddy and a staple for quick skillet meals.

ornamental kale

Photo: Terren/Wikipedia. Ornamental kale.

Why So Super?

Kale contains something called sulforaphane–a potent anti-cancer chemical, especially present when kale is chopped. And kale is a natural source of indole-3-carbinol which helps with DNA repair in cells and may also block the growth of cancer cells. Aside from natural cancer prevention kale also contains resins that help lower cholesterol and, get this–decrease the amount of dietary fat that’s absorbed from your meals. Oh, and it’s also packed with beta-carotene, vitamins C and K, and calcium. Holy cow! If that’s not a superfood, I don’t know what is!

What Season Is It?

Kale is a colder season vegetable, maturing in the fall and beyond. Amazingly, you can still harvest it in the winter, as long as the leaves haven’t been beaten to the ground by sleet and heavy snows. Because it can even taste sweeter and more flavorful after a frost, it’s a good choice for freezing so you can have it in soups any time of the year.

How To Prepare It

It goes without saying that getting locally-grown kale is going to provide you with greater benefits, but to get the most out of kale when you cook it, steam the chopped leaves. The second-best way to cook kale is to stir-fry it. Try adding it at the end of a stir-fry and cook just until wilted and tender. You don’t want to cook it to death and rob it of all the great stuff you’re trying to get out of it. Plus it’ll end up being mushy and tasteless with too much cooking so try to eat it as close to fresh as possible.

Let’s Eat!

kale and potato soup

Photo: Nicole Franzen/Food52. Roasted tomato & rosemary, kale and potato soup.

Try making this beautiful kale dish from Nicole Franzen as posted on Food52. It’s a nice hearty kale soup with roasted tomato and rosemary, potatoes and kale–added just at the end so it still has all its great superfood benefits. And you can always add fresh kale to salads. In fact, we suggest that you do. It’s great paired with stronger tasting foods like tamari-roasted almonds.

Isn’t this better than taking statins, fat blockers and a myriad of other pills? We think so. Tell us how you like to eat kale and when did you discover it?

About Laura

Laura is passionate about great food, farmers, artisans, real food, raw food, paleo food and juicing! She lives with her husband in Grand Rapids on the river. Sometimes it flows over, but mostly she is greeted by the ducks, geese and her neighbor's chickens. They like to hop up on her windowsill and eat the spiders. Yay! She is the co-founder of Two Sister Organics, a natural and organic skin care company, and Eating Local & Organic.

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