Kale, or leaf cabbage, belongs to a group of cabbage cultivars grown for their edible leaves, although some are used as ornamentals. Kale plants have green or purple leaves, and the central leaves do not form a head. Kale is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K. It is a green, leafy, cruciferous vegetable that is rich in nutrients. To me KALE is related to K-Kind, A- Adorable- L- Luscious, E- Exclusive!
Some common questions associated here also include what is healthier spinach or kale? The Bottom Line. Kale and Spinach are highly nutritious and associated with several benefits. While kale offers more than twice the amount of vitamin C as spinach, spinach provides more folate and vitamins A and K. Both are linked to improved heart health, increased weight loss, and protection against disease.
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While not many of us have yet explored the goodness of Kale in our daily diets, it is surely advised to include it once in a while to start with and it will truly stay with us for a long time. Kale offers a range of health benefits for the whole body. In fact, just one cup of it provides more vitamins A and K than you need in a whole day. Antioxidants are found in kale, which promote general health and well-being. cabbage, and has a ruffled texture. “Dark green vegetables are the powerhouse of nutrients,” and yes, that’s also why they call it a superfood for a reason, Smoothies and frequent blenders of Kale with various options of fruits, nuts, and seeds in combinations.
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Antioxidants help the body remove unwanted toxins that result from natural processes and environmental pressures. These toxins, known as free radicals, are unstable molecules. If too many build up in the body, they can lead to cell damage. This may result in health problems such as inflammation and diseases. Experts believe that free radicals may play a role in the development of cancer.
“Kale is a delicate yet interesting power-packed ingredient which incorporated wisely into our day-to-day cooking can offer a bundle of beneficial properties which can be highly favourable for our health and well-being. It is easy to adapt- versatile & treat for the taste buds”- Dr. Kaviraj Khialani- Celebrity Master Chef.
SOME TRIVIA ON KALE:
1. Kale is a relatively well-known green: Kale is popular now, but people have been growing this superfood for more than 2,000 years. Popular in Europe during Roman times and the Middle Ages, it arrived in the U.S. in the 17th century.
2. Kale Chips- one unique way of cooking with Kale: these are a simple, good-for-you snack. Remove kale leaves from stems, tear them into bite-sized pieces, drizzle with olive oil and a dash of salt, and bake 10 to 15 minutes in a 400 deg Far hen / 200 deg celsius oven.
3. Power Bank of Goodness: Kale is packed with antioxidants and other nutrients. Some research suggests that regularly eating vegetables in the cabbage family, like kale, helps lower the risk of certain cancers. Of course, many other things also affect your cancer risk.
4. Vitamins on the Offer: One cup of chopped raw kale provides more than 100% of the recommended daily amount of vitamins A and K and as listed above it is now more obvious that with so many benefits to offer, kale must be included in our day to day diets.
5. Kale’s Relatives to meet up: Kale belongs to the same family as Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, however these categories of veggies fall more popularly into the western part of the world as a part of daily cooking. We need to change and adapt towards these as well to inculcate a better way of living and wellness.
6. The Best it claims to be: For the best flavour, kale must be harvested after the first frost. This ensures that some of the starches have turned into sugars.
7. The Color Wheels of Kale: Types of kale are marked by colour (green, white, purple, or bluish-green) and leaf shape. Kale contains lutein, a nutrient that helps create the plant’s colour. Lutein helps keep eyes and vision healthy.
Few Types of Kale: As discussed, Kale is a crisp and hearty vegetable, with a hint of earthiness. The flavours and nutritional content can vary between types. Younger leaves and summer leaves tend to be less bitter and fibrous.
1. Curly Kale: This is the most commonly available type. It is usually bright green, dark green, or purple, with tight, ruffled leaves that are easy to tear. To remove the leaves from the fibrous stalk, run your hand down the stalk in the direction of growth.
2. Lacinato or Dinosaur Kale: This dark blue-green variety is firmer and more robust than curly kale. It is known as dinosaur kale because of its scaly texture. The leaves tend to be longer and flatter and maintain their texture after cooking. Less bitter than curly kale, dinosaur kale is ideal for making kale chips.
3. Red Russian Kale: This is a flat-leaf variety that looks a little like oak leaves. The stalks are slightly purple, and the leaves have a reddish tinge. People may find the stalks too fibrous to eat, but the leaves are sweet and delicate, with a hint of pepper and lemon, almost like sorrel. People can add them raw to salads, sandwiches, and juices, or as a garnish. Kale grows well in the colder winter months, making a good addition when other fruits and vegetables are less readily available. It is best to cook winter kale, as colder weather can turn the sugars in kale into starch, increasing the bitterness and fibre content.
Suggested ways on working with Kale: People can eat kale raw, or steam, braise, boil, or saute it, or add it to soups and casseroles. Raw: Scrunching the leaves briefly in the hands can make them easier to digest. Add to salads, sandwiches, wraps, or smoothies.
Kale as an effective side dish: Sauté fresh garlic and onions in olive oil until soft. Add kale and continue to sauté until desired tenderness. Alternatively, steam for 5 minutes, then drain and stir in a dash of soy sauce and tahini. Kale is also great to add quick batches of steamed veggies using a bamboo steamer lined with banana leaves, and a bunch of lemon grass to go alongside with some garden veggies
Kale in Snacky Chips: Remove the ribs from the kale and toss in olive oil or lightly spray and sprinkle with a combination of cumin, curry powder, chilli powder, roasted red pepper flakes or garlic powder. Bake at 275°F for 15–30 minutes to desired crispness. These chips are great to go as a filler snack, quick munch on the go, to have it like an evening snack etc.
Kale in Shakes & Smoothies: a lot of people have been including kale in their health punch shakes these days, they find it great to add a handful of kale to any favourite smoothie. It will add nutrients without changing the flavour very much, while the smoothie could be using any kind of fruit of your choice the add-ons like nuts, seeds, soy milk, curd etc just perfectly blends the entire concoction into a new sip to savour concept.
Here are a few of my easy-to-fix and relish recipes with Kale:
Recipe- 1] KALE AND TOFU COMBO
Recipe- 2] KALE AND POTATO MELANGE
Recipe- 3] KALE AND CHICKPEA BOWL
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About the author
Dr. Kaviraj Khialani – celebrity master chef - is a Mumbai-based author, writer, academician, food –health-lifestyle coach, mentor & consultant.
He is specialized in over 33 International Cuisines & has worked with brands like the Taj Group of Hotels, Kuwait Airways to name a few. Chef Kaviraj has been awarded several Global and National Awards for his outstanding performance and achievements in his chosen field. He has been featured on Star Plus and Colors Television on several food shows as well.