What’s the big deal about kale?
I fell in love with this leafy green about six years ago. Oh I did love greens long before that, but really the love affair didn’t start until then. I pretty much love any green, but kale has a special place in my heart, especially cavolo nero (also known as laminate or dinosaur kale)!
Several years ago I read about the secret life of kale, cavolo nero. The story went something like this. People of England loved this green so much that they would smuggle the seeds out of Italy and bring them over to England to grow. Apparently they didn’t want to let the coveted seed out of the country. Surely I do not have the facts straight, but I do love the story. I think it’s quite romantic. Whether or not this is true, this story spoke right to my rebellious heart! It was very similar to my own story of smuggling an extraordinary large amount of cheese from Italy and Holland on a trip in 2002, and the beer I brought back from a trip to Germany when I was 19. I probably didn’t need to smuggle it, but it just seemed like the right thing to do!
So when I fell in love with kale I started to put it in my smoothies, and proceeded try and convince all of those around me that they should do the same. Then I started to make salads with it, raw salads, and tried to convince friends that it was indeed the best salad EVER!!!
Well, I have lured some of them over to the dark leafy green side, but some still need convincing. Or rather they are asking me to convince them.
Well the truth is, I don’t know that I can, and the other truth is — you don’t have to like kale!!!
No one is judging you! Well, maybe I am! (I’m joking of course)
But seriously, it’s really OK to not like it. No one is going to throw you out of the healthy club!
However, I’ve been asked to convince. So, I’ll give it my best shot!
Let’s start with why you should eat kale!
- Kale is high in Vitamin A, C, and K
- Folic Acid
- It tastes good!
So, who wouldn’t want to eat kale, knowing this? It’s an easy way to boost nutrition in your meals.
The following are a few of my favorite ways to eat kale.
I hope this convinces you!
I love smoothies, and have been drinking them for years. It used to be that I drank primarily fruit smoothies made with juice, banana, and frozen fruit. Then I started adding kale to them, adding an entirely new level of nutrition. When I started adding kale I omitted the juice and added in water. You can choose to do either, I just think they are sweet enough without the juice. This is where I most like using cavolo nero (also known as dinosaur, Tuscan Kale and lacinato).
We love tacos. They are usually on the weekly rotation menu plan or at least bi-weekly. It doesn’t matter what kind of tacos we are having, we always throw in several handfuls of chopped kale.
Chop it up and add it to soups.
Kale – Walnut Salad with Balsamic, Mustard Dressing
- 2 heads chopped curly kale
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 apple, chopped very small
- 1 shallot, chopped very small
- Handful of walnuts
- Feta cheese
- Dressing ::
- 1/4 cup balsamic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tbs. honey
- 1 tbs. Dijon mustard
- Pepper to taste
I use mostly curly kale in my salads. I will often add other types along with it but I think it lends to a nicer looking salad.
The key to making a good, palatable, raw kale salad is gently massaging the kale at the beginning. Chop and slice the kale in whatever size pieces you like, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on some salt. Put your hands in there and massage it.
Massaging it breaks down the leaves and gives it a more “cooked” feel.