Which leafy green has wrinkly leaves and is growing in popularity? Kale, of course! Kale seems to the Superfood of the moment and is definitely considered an “it” item in recipes, restaurants and dinner parties. This leafy green appears in salads, soups, juices, chips, and everything in between. Curly kale is a member of the brassica family, which includes cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts. Kale is a nutrient powerhouse. One cup of raw kale has only 138kJ and is loaded with vitamins A, C and K. Kale is a source of two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. As with broccoli and other brassicas, Kale contains sulforaphane – particularly when chopped or minced – which is a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties. Along with other brassica vegetables, 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. Eating an abundance of dark leafy greens is one of the single best habits you can cultivate for optimal health and energy.
How to prepare Kale?
- To get started, wash 1 bunch of fresh kale and pat dry. Separate the leaves from the center fibrous stem. Discard the stem.
- Tear up the leaves into bite size pieces, place in bowl and add 1 pinch of salt to the bowl.
- Massage the leaves with the salt until the leaves start to turn to a darker green and become fragrant.
- All done! Your kale leaves are all prepped and ready to be used!
Please note that the massage prepping is for a salad or lighter dish in order to make the leaves tender. If you are planning on sautéing or steaming the kale you will not need to do this massage step
Try this easy Detox Salad!
Massaged Kale with Lime and Radishes
1 large bunch Kale
2-3 Small Baby Bok Choy
2 Medium Carrots
Zest of one lime
Juice of 1 lime (plus additional juice to taste
Toasted nuts or seed (optional)
- Strip leaves of kale from stem. Discard stem and chiffonade leaves
- Strip leaves form Bok Choy and chiffonade. Finely slice remaining stems
- Finely slice or grate radish
- Grate carrot, or use peeler to make carrot “curls”
- Toss all above ingredients in a bowl and combine with lime zest and juice. Allow to macerate in bowl for 20-30 minutes.
- Taste and season with salt, pepper if needed
- Toss in toasted nuts and seeds just prior to serving
- Optional: Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil just prior to serving
One advantage of using kale for your leafy greens is that you can add your dressing ahead of time; the kale becomes more tender and delicious, not wilted.