Here is the second installment in our short series on the nutritional benefits of different winter vegetables: Kale! (Click here to see the first post on turnip.) Many thanks to the nutrition students who put this together for us.
Beautiful kale is a popular garnish, while it is also a highly nutritious vegetable. It is very high in calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K. Vitamin A is good for eyes and skin health as well as to protect against infection. Vitamin K is required for blood coagulation and involved in the maintenance of healthy bones. Kale also contains sulforaphane which is known to have potent anti-cancer properties.
Uncooked kale is used for garnish, and cooked kale is a very healthy additive to most any meal. Boiling will decrease vitamin C and anti-cancer properties; however, you can still get these benefits if you use or drink the water/soup that the kale was boiled in. Stir-frying, microwaving, and steaming will cause less nutrient loss than boiling.
Here is a way to prepare kale soup: In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; sauté onion, garlic, sage, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add stock, 3 cups (750 mL) water, potato, ham, red pepper and chickpeas; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, 15 minutes. Add kale; simmer until tender, about 5 minutes.
Here is another kale recipe that is really popular:
1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 yellow onion, sliced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1/2 cup of vegetable broth or water
Sea salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
Directions: Warm olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onions and cook for 3-5 minutes or until slightly translucent. Be sure to stir the onions around once in a while so that they don’t burn. Add garlic and kale and mix them together with onions. Allow garlic, kale and onions to cook for one minute, then add vegetable broth and cover pot or pan for 4-6 minutes. Check kale from time to time starting at the 4 minute mark for tenderness. Once kale is tender, add sea salt and just a few drops of lemon juice. Give it one last stir and serve.