Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Vegetable of the Week: Kale

Dinosaur Kale at Desert Roots Farm
Deep green kale contains the highest levels of antioxidants of all vegetables and is a very good source of vitamin C. Kale is one of the most nutritious members of the brassica family. It rates as the vegetable highest in antioxidant capacity on the ORAC scale, and contains more calcium and iron than any other vegetable. A single portion contains twice the recommended daily amount of vitamin C, which helps the vegetable's high irons content to be absorbed in our bodies. One portion also gives about a fifth of the daily calcium requirement for an adult. Kale is rich in selenium, which helps fight dance, and it contains magnesium and vitamin E for a healthy heart. The range of nutrients kale provides will keep skin young looking and healthy. 

* Rich in flavonoids and antioxidants to fight cancers.
* Contains indoles, which can help lover "bad" cholesterol and prevent cancer.
* Calcium rich for healthy bones.
* Extremely rich in carotenes to protect eyes.

Did you know?
Kale contains naturally occurring substances that can interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland-those with thyroid problems may not want to eat kale. 

Practical Tips: 
Wash kale before use as the curly leaves may contain sand or soil. Don't discard the outer, deep green leaves-these contain rich amounts of carotenes & indoles. Kale is good steamed or stir-fried and its strong taste goes well with bacon, eggs and cheese. Kale, like spinach, shrinks a lot during cooking, so make sure you add plenty to the pan. 

What to look for: 
Choose kale with firm, deep-green leaves, avoiding any that are wilted or have yellow spots. 

How to store: 
Keep kale in the coldest part of your fridge, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag. Though it seems like a sturdy vegetable, kale will quickly wilt & turn bitter. 

Keep an eye out for the Recipe of the Week: Dinosaur Skin also known as Kale Chips

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