Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Kale Profile

In honor of a bumper harvest of red Russian kale today from my garden, which we enjoyed in our Caldo Verde (affectionately known as lawnmower soup in my childhood), I'd like to give you a few key points in kale nutrition.


1 cup chopped, cooked kale:

Vitamin A -- 354% recommended daily amount (from a plant source, that's not toxic to overdose at all)
Vitamin K content is even more whopping -- 1328%

Add in an amazingly high anti-inflammatory effect, and your body gets a really good boost.

Now, I'm not one to become a slave to micronutrient worship, so let's just conclude that in the larger context kale sets the bar pretty high for leafy greens. Copper, manganese, 3 essential amino acids in decent amounts -- all sorts of good stuff come in that crinkly bunch. Eat it with fat, please, so you'll actually absorb the A and K, and your blood, bones, and immune systems will thank you.

Practical advice for cooking it:

Get rid of the stems, roll it up, and slice it in thin shreds (a technique known as chiffonade). And though it looks wilty-soft pretty quickly, it actually takes quite a while to cook in terms of chewing texture, so plan for a good half-hour just in case. We mostly add it into soups, though sauteing it seems to be the popular choice for most recipes.

Good luck, and bon appetit!

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