Kale is a great value right now. For such a small price you get such great nutritional benefits. If I was going to spend money on just one type of organic produce it would be the dark greens. Kale can look a little intimidating if you are not familiar. I first experienced the ancient leafy green called kale about twelve years ago. I was excited to try something new but intimidated at the same time, but the thick leaves and varied colors. Since then it has become known as “super vegetable” because of it’s unmatched health benefits. I have come to find out it is a super vegetable in the kitchen as well. It is simple to prepare and adapt into the menu. Some easy ways to incorporate kale in your meal include chopping it into salad, soups, pasta or casseroles, smoothies, baked into chips. With a mild flavor similar to cabbage it will not take over the flavor of any dish. Scroll down for a fantastic and simple recipe for Sausage and Kale over Linguine and Kale Lemonade.
The flavor is not the only similarity to cabbage. Kale is part of the cabbage (brassicas/cruciferous) family which is known for its cancer fighting properties. Exactly how the phytonutrients in this type of vegetable protect and heal our bodies of cancer is not completely understood. The results have been proven time and again in medical studies. Eating cruciferous vegetables regularly reduces your risk of cancer 60% or more. The more you consume the greater the health benefits. That is why you will see at least one vegetable from this group in our box nearly every week. Other vegetables with these properties include broccoli, cabbage, chard, collards and bok choy.
Kale was the most common vegetable available in Europe until the middle ages. It is prized not only for it’s nutritional value but also for it’s heartiness. Kale can grow and thrive even in winter.
When you receive kale you can extend it’s shelf life by cutting the ends and soaking it in cold water for about ten minutes. This works well with other leafy greens as well. Then store in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator.
Kale a natural for juicing. It’s high nutritional content and mild flavor pair well with many other juicing vegetables. Our children love Green Lemonade and I love that it is healthy and fun to prepare with the children helping.
To make Kale Lemonade put 3 Kale Leaves, 2 apples or 4 Carrots and 1 small lemon into a juicer.
Linguine with Sausage and Kale
8 oz. linguine 12 oz. kale 1 onion 2 cloves garlic 8 oz. sausage 1 T. olive oil 1/4 t. hot chili flakes 1 cup chicken broth 1/4 c. parmesan cheese
Directions: Boil linguine according to package directions. Meanwhile, rinse kale; trim off and discard tough stems. Cut leaves crosswise into 1/4 inch wide slivers about 2 inches long. Peel and thinly slice onion Peel garlic and mince. Slice sausages to 1/4 inch thick. In a 12 inch pan stir sausage in olive oil over high heat until lightly browned. Add Onion, garlic and chili flakes and continue to stir for 2-3 minutes. Add kale and stir until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Drain pasta and return to pan. Add sausage mixture, cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Notes: Kale is better known in the south where cooking dark greens is common as a side dish. Kale can be used as a substitute in most collard green recipes.