Kale, also called leaf cabbage, is one of the richest sources of vitamin C. It also contains a wide range of other vitamins and minerals and is packed with fiber and phytonutrients.
It is best to buy kale that has a rich green color and crisp leaves. Leaves with withered or dry tips usually have a yellow color. Fresh kale can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days without any loss of vitamins. If you need to store it longer, you can blanch the kale and then freeze it.
From Wikipedia: “Kale (/keɪl/) or leaf cabbage refers to certain vegetable cultivars of the plant species Brassica oleracea. A kale plant has green or purple leaves and the central leaves do not form a head (as with headed cabbages). Kales are considered to be closer to wild cabbage than most domesticated forms of Brassica oleracea.”
“Raw kale is composed of 84% water, 9% carbohydrates, 4% protein, and 1% fat. In a 100 gram serving, raw kale provides 49 calories. Like collards, it contains a large amount of vitamin K: several times the Daily Value (DV). It is a rich source ... of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, and manganese. Kale is a good source ... of thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, vitamin E and several dietary minerals, including iron, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.”
Phytochemicals and health:
“Kale is a source of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.
As with broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, kale contains glucosinolate compounds such as glucoraphanin, which contributes to the formation of sulforaphane, a compound under preliminary research for its potential to affect human health. Boiling kale decreases the level of glucosinate compounds, whereas steaming, microwaving or stir frying does not result in significant loss.”
“Tender kale greens can provide an intense addition to salads, particularly when combined with other strongly flavoured ingredients like dry-roasted peanuts, soy sauce–roasted almonds, red capsicum flakes, or sesame-based salad dressings.
Flavored "kale chips" have been produced as a potato chip substitute.”
- North America: “In the Southern United States, kale is often served braised, either alone or mixed with greens like collard, mustard, or turnip. It is also used in salads.”
- South America: “In Brazil, kale is a side dish for a common stew called feijoada.”
- Africa: “Various kale types are eaten throughout south-eastern Africa, where they are typically boiled with coconut milk and ground peanuts, and served with rice, or boiled cornmeal.”
- Europe: “In the Netherlands, a traditional winter dish called "boerenkoolstamppot" is a mix of curly kale and mashed potatoes, sometimes with fried bacon, and served with rookworst ("smoked sausage").
In Italy, cavolo nero is an ingredient of the Tuscan soup ribollita. Kale (cavolo nero) is part of many dishes, such as cassoeula (pork stew) and polenta (corn porridge).
A whole culture around kale has developed in northern Germany ... There, most social clubs of any kind will have a Grünkohlessen or Kohlfahrt ("kale tour") sometime between October and February, visiting a country inn to consume kale stew, pinkel sausage, kassler, mettwurst and schnapps. Most communities in the area have a yearly kale festival which includes naming a "kale king" (or queen).
Curly kale is used in Denmark and southwestern Sweden ... an obligatory dish on the julbord in the region, and is commonly served together with the Christmas ham (Sweden). ... In Sweden, it is also commonly eaten as a soup, with a base of ham broth and the addition of onion and pork sausages.
A traditional Portuguese soup, caldo verde, combines pureed potatoes, diced kale, olive oil and salt. Additional ingredients can include broth and sliced, cooked spicy sausage.
In Montenegro and Croatia, collards and kale, locally known as rashtan, is a favourite vegetable. It is particularly popular in the winter, cooked with smoked mutton (kastradina) and potatoes.
In Scotland, kale provided such a base for a traditional diet that the word in Scots dialectics is synonymous with food. To be "off one's kail" is to feel too ill to eat.
In Ireland, kale is mixed with mashed potatoes to make the traditional dish colcannon. It is popular on Halloween, when it may be served with sausages.
In Turkey, especially in the eastern Black Sea region, kale soup (karalahana çorbası), kale sarma, kale kavurma (sauté), and kale turşu are common dishes.”
- Asia: “A variety of kale, called kai-lan or Gai lan, is a common vegetable in China, Taiwan, and Vietnam, where it may be consumed with beef dishes. In Japan and South Korea, kale juice, known in Japan as aojiru (AKA "green juice"), is used as a dietary supplement.“
“Until the end of the Middle Ages, kale was one of the most common green vegetables in Europe. Curly-leaved varieties of cabbage already existed along with flat-leaved varieties in Greece in the fourth century BC. It was also used as medicinal food source. Disocorides wrote that it could be used to treat bowel ailments. These forms, which were referred to by the Romans as Sabellian kale, are considered to be the ancestors of modern kales.“