Veggie of the month-Kale

Kale is is truly wonderful and versatile vegetable.  It comes in a few different shapes and colors to keep your diet interesting.  We love kale in our house and use it fairly often, but I’ll let you in on a little secret…we didn’t always love kale.  In fact I didn’t eat much of it before we started working on vegetable farms.  Once we grew it I felt like I “needed” to eat it and soon that “need” turned into a love of kale.  My favorite way to eat kale is probably in the chip form, but we do love a good raw kale salad in the summer (try mixing some in your cabbage slaw with poppyseed dressing, with nuts and cranberries).  Kale grows very well for us since our temperatures remain pretty cool all summer.  We do have some pest issues and different times in the season, but the best thing about kale is it keeps on growing through most problems.

Curly kale in the field

Curly kale in the field

We grow 2-3 typs of kale; Lacianto or Toscano (flat or dinosaur leaf kale), Curly kale, and Red Russian (which is the baby leaf type).  The first two types we think generally taste about the same, but our customers definitely have their preferences.  The good news is all kale is so incredibly good for you!  Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin k, vitamin C, and calcium.  It is also a source of two carotenoids, lutein and zaexanthin.  When chopped it also has higher amounts of sulforaphane a chemical with high anti-cancer properties.

Kale will keep around 2 weeks in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.  You can also store in in a glass of water on your counter or fridge like flowers.  This is also a good way to rehydrate wilted kale.  Kale also freezes great.  If you are freezing it longer than 6 months you’ll want to chop, blanch, and freeze it, but I find it freezes great if I just de-stem it chop it and stuff it into freezer bags.  We use it sautéed, in quiches, and in smoothies this way.

make these kale chips

kale caesar salad anyone?

our favorite kale artichoke dip

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