*Written by: Heather Malone*
All Hail Kale: Queen of the Cabbage?!
That’s right gentle readers; we’re talking about cabbage again. You see, it’s impossible to learn about kale without talking about cabbage because kale is leafy cabbage. Kale doesn’t form a nice head like what we traditionally think of as cabbage because it’s closer to its undomesticated roots. Think of Kale as cabbage’s cool older sister who partied like a wild child in college while maintaining a 4.0. We may have forgotten this, but our ancestors knew and loved it. We’ve been eating kale for food and medicine for over 4,000 years!
Kale to Keep You Hale:
It’s no wonder that people have thought of kale as medicinal for almost as long as we could conceive of medicine. Reading the nutritional label for kale is like reading the label on a multivitamin. A single cup of raw kale is packed with fiber, protein, 10 vitamins, 9 minerals as well as beneficial phytonutrients like carotenoids, glucosinolate and polyphenols. All of this goodness in just one plant? Yes please!
Kale from Farm to Table
Though Kale is a very hearty veggie and can be grown in a variety of climates most Kale in the United States is still grown in California, Georgia or New Jersey. That seems like an unnecessarily long distance for food to travel when we can and do grow Kale right here in Colorado. As with most produce consuming Kale as soon as you can after harvesting it allows you to take full advantage of this nutritional titan. When selecting your kale look for smaller leaves as those have the best flavor. Kale should be fresh, crisp and green (or sometimes purple) with a healthy sturdiness to the leaves. Kale should be ideally consumed within 3 days of purchase and stored in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. To use kale wash it thoroughly and remove the woody stems. Raw kale is great in a smoothie or salad but you can also steam, sauté, or briefly roast it without diminishing its nutritional benefits significantly.
Summer Superfood Salad!
1 Bag of mixed greens from GoFarm
1 bunch of kale from GoFarm
3 large grated tri-color carrots from GoFarm
1 large grated beetroot from GoFarm
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups blueberries
¼ cup ground flaxseed
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup dried cranberries
Dressing of your choice to taste. I prefer orange vinaigrette, but a balsamic, sesame, or raspberry dressing would be great too.
Directions: Toss all the ingredients together in a large salad bowl and enjoy!