Kale is a cruciferous vegetable (Brassica oleracea), and is related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and cauliflower. It contains many of the health benefits typically found in this group of super foods. More about cruciferous vegetables in general can be found here.
Kale has been cultivated by humans for more than 2000 years. It was first recorded by the Romans, and was staple green throughout the Middle Ages. During World War II it was planted in Europe in abundance as it was easy to grow and provided many nutrients that were needed during rationed wartime diets. Today this leafy green is eaten around the world, being a signature part of American, European, Asian, and African cuisines.
This crucifer is a truly a Spartan vegetable. It’s burly, calling home what others call Hell. Many varieties can grow well into winter when most plants don’t stand a chance of surviving. One specific cultivar is called “Hungry Gap” because it will keep your garden producing calories when everything else is long dead for the winter.
Always wash your kale as it is consistently ranked as a food that is known to be pesticide heavy. For this reason always buy organic when you can.
More vitamin C than an orange.
More calcium per gram than milk.
A boat load of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that is linked to brain function.
The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.
Sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties
Need some kale recipes?
Try some of these: