Kale is a brassica and like its ‘Italian’ cousin, cavolo nero, this leafy dark green vegetable is part of the cabbage family. Kale has dark green, attractive, curly leaves which is where nearly all the nutrients are found. In the last decade it has become one of the nation’s favourite vegetables, loved for both its nutritional profile and its versatility.
Whether your kale is smooth or crinkly it is an excellent source of vitamins K, A and C, as well as containing manganese, copper and phytochemicals, which are believed to help against certain types of cancer. It is also rich in lutein, an antioxidant that can help keep eyes healthy. It’s also virtually fat free at just 19 kcals per portion.
So, how to prepare and cook it. With the kale stems upside down, use a sharp knife down either side of the stalk to remove the leaves. Wash, then shred. You can use the woody stems in stocks and stews.
Kale is great in a smoothie whizzed up with ginger and fruit juice, as an addition to soups/curries/pasta or as yummy kale crisps sprinkled with sea salt. Steam, boil, braise, bake, microwave, roast to make fantastic ‘crisps‘ or stir fry – it will taste great however you eat it!
Here are six kale recipes from our tried & tasted Recipes section – simply click on any photograph to be taken straight to the relevant recipe.