Kale is nothing new, but recently it’s become very popular in the United States and is now a worldwide phenomenon. Kale is simply a variety of green, meaty leaf cabbage, also known as curly cabbage or Chinese cabbage. It belongs to the same family as broccoli, watercress and rocket and is high in nutrients, which has won it superfood status.
It has more calcium per calorie than milk does (and is more easily absorbed) and has more iron per calorie than beef. It is an excellent source of Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, and is also a great natural anti-inflammatory and immune system booster.
Given all this, it’s no surprise that it’s suddenly become popular and can now be found in more and more people’s kitchens. But how do you cook with it? Here are some ideas for getting the most out of your kale.
Green leaf smoothies.
One cup of kale, one cup of spinach, 2 sticks of celery, 3 kiwis and 2 oranges. Blend them all together and you’ll have a great detox elixir packed with nutrients.
Oven-baked kale chips.
Cut out the middle stems and cut the leaves into 5 cm strips. Place on an oven tray (preheated to 220 ºC) and sprinkle on 1 spoonful of coconut oil and 2 spoonsful of extra-virgin olive oil (for every 500 g of kale). Add salt and pepper and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes on each side. You’ll soon have a healthy, crispy snack.
The smallest, palest leaves are perfect for making a salad, and you can use the larger, darker leaves in stews.
Cakes and pastries.
Why not? Add about 200 g of boiled, blended kale leaves to a sponge cake mixture, together with the flesh of two apples. Delicious!
Pies, tarts, pizza…
Don’t be afraid of kale. Use it as you would spinach, for example, as a filling for quiches, savoury pies or tarts, fresh as a pizza topping or stir-fried to accompany pasta, quinoa or rice.