Kale is our featured veggie for the month of May. It is a great pairing for hearty foods like pork, fish, and cornbread!
The newly popular vegetable is a member of the cabbage family. It is also a winter veggie (I know, it's spring time, but we just had to tell you for planting purposes ;)).
"A single cup of raw kale contains:
Vitamin A: 206% of the DV (from beta-carotene)
Vitamin K: 684% of the DV
Vitamin C: 134% of the DV
Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
Manganese: 26% of the DV
Calcium: 9% of the DV
Copper: 10% of the DV
Potassium: 9% of the DV
Magnesium: 6% of the DV
It also contains 3% or more of the DV for vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), iron and phosphorus.
This is coming with a total of 33 calories, 6 grams of carbs (2 of which are fiber) and 3 grams of protein.
Kale contains very little fat, but a large portion of the fat in it is an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha linolenic-acid."- healthline
Here are some seed starting tips for you from Harvest to Table, if you choose to start growing your own:
You can grow from a seed or transplant. Seeds are viable for up to 4 years.
Indoors: up to 6 weeks before the last frost. Make sure to have good air circulation.
Plant seed ¼ to ½ inch deep and 4 inches apart.
"Space plants 16 inches apart in a staggered pattern or in rows 18 inches apart."
Full sun with soil pH levels 6.0-7.0.
Keep soil moist until germination occurs.
"Kale is ready for harvest 55 to 75 days from seed sowing. It is best grown to mature in spring or fall before temperatures climb into the 70°sF (21°+C). In mild-winter regions, kale will produce new leaves nearly all winter." -Harvest to Table
Begin harvesting kale as soon as the leaves are large enough to eat. Pick the outer kale leaves first and leave the center ones to continue growing.
Harvesting and watering regularly will ensure that kale plants continue producing new leaves for several months—as long as the weather stays cool through the winter. They can last in temperatures as low as 14°F.
Cut kale leaves one-by-one as needed with scissors.
Keeping and Storing:
Kale will store for up to 3 weeks when kept at a cool temperature (32-34°F) and 90-95% humidity with some air circulation. You will want to wrap the leaves in a cool, moist paper towel and not in a sealed container, to keep them from drying out. - Harvest to Table
How to Cut:
First, remove the tough center stalk by folding the curly ends of the leaves in together and cutting away the stalk.
Wash the leaves in a large bowl of cool running water to dislodge sand and dirt. Do not dry the leaves.
Fresh or Cooked?
Well yes! To both. Think of Kale like spinach. However Kale is less likely to be eaten raw simply because it if very flavorful and has a very distinct strong punch. You may use oil and vinegar to pair with it and toss in a salad with other greens.
You can steam for 3-6 minutes.
It can also be added to stews and soups.
Can you Microwave it?
Actually you can! "Place kale in a microwave-safe bowl with about 1 teaspoon of water... Cover the bowl with a paper towel or microwave-safe plastic wrap. If using plastic wrap, make a little hole in the top to allow some of the steam to escape. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes for every 2 cups of kale. Cook until kale is just wilted then drain off the water."- Cosmopolitan
Commonly used in (which dishes):
Side Dishes with hearty foods