A member of the brassica family of veggies which includes cabbage and broccoli, kale has enjoyed its fair share of fame in the anticancer spotlight. Like all members of the cruciferous brassica family of veggies, kale is rich in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, including sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. Combined with kale’s high levels of antioxidants — a broad range of carotenoids and flavonoids — and you have an effective one-two punch for the cells: enhanced oxygen delivery to the bloodstream, and protection of healthy cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.
There are three types of kale: curly (most common), purple-tinged Russian kale, and the dark green slender-leaved Lacinato kale (also known as dinosaur or Tuscan). Look for strong stems and dark-colored tops when shopping for kale. Check the leaves for wilting or discoloration. Do not wash the leaves until you are ready to cook them. Store in a sealed plastic bag in one of the crisper drawers of your fridge and it should keep for about five days.
When cooking your kale, there is no need to massage it first. Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan, saute some sliced garlic, add the kale, and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon at the end to enhance the flavor and the absorption of vitamin C from the kale.
Try cooking kale in our Sauteed Kale with Sweet Potatoes.
To enjoy your kale uncooked, like in a salad or slaw, it is best to prepare the kale by massaging it. This will help breakdown the toughness of the leaves and remove any bitterness you might encounter. Start by rinsing the leaves well in cold water. Cut or strip the leaves away from the hard stems. Discard the stems. To massage your kale, place it in a large bowl and pour over a few glugs of olive oil plus a pinch or two of salt, then gently rub into the leaves so that they are all thoroughly coated. Let rest for about 5-10 minutes. The massaged kale is now ready for the next steps in your recipe.
We suggest trying our Kale Caesar Salad With Chickpea Croutons— it’s delicious!