Kale is considered to be closer to wild cabbage than most domesticated forms. It is a member of the same species as broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts (don’t let this turn you off though!)
Kale is very high in beta-carotene, vitamin K, Vitamin C and calcium. It is a rich source of iron (per calorie, kale has more iron than red meat.) Like broccoli, Kale contains a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties called sulforaphane.
Kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Kale has been found to contain a group of resins known as bile acid sequestrants, which have been shown to lower cholesterol and decrease absorption of dietary fat.
FUN FACT: Did you know that until the end of the Middle Ages kale was one of the most common green vegetables in all of Europe?
What does it look like?
The dark blue/green coloured variety of kale with long embossed leaves is called Cavolo Nero (or Tuscan kale).
Curly leaf kale is another common variety of kale. It comes in green and red/purple.
Where to find it
Kale can be found almost anywhere these days. It has even found its way into major supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths. I buy mine at the South Melbourne Market or the local framers market.
Choosing a good bunch
- Rich coloured leaves and moist hardy stems. Ideally it should be displayed in a cool environment, otherwise it starts to wilt.
- Free from browning or yellowing.
- Organic where possible.
- Free from holes (although a few are okay, as it shows that it was good enough for the bugs to have a bit of a nibble i.e. free from pesticides)
Cooking with Kale….. Let me count the ways…..
I eat kale in some shape or form on most days.
- A handful in a green smoothie
- Finely shredded in a salad
- Sautéed in a pan with butter or coconut oil
- In my scrambled eggs (recipe below)
- Roasted (kale chips- yum!)
Here is one of my favourite breakfast recipes with kale.
Scrambled Eggs with kale, chilli and avocado.
- 2-3 Organic eggs
- 1 tsp dried chilli (omit or to taste)
- 1-2 handfuls finely shredded kale
- 1/2 avocado
- Optional: goats feta.
- Break eggs into a bowl & whisk with a little milk of your choice (I like coconut)
- Place frypan over heat and add kale and chilli flakes (if using) Add a dash of water and wait for kale to wilt.
- Add whisked eggs and stir until coked to your liking.
- Slice avocado and place onto plate.
- When eggs are cooked, add them to your plate & crumble a little feta over the top.