Close up on Kale

Kale or leaf cabbage is a group of vegetable cultivars within the plant species Brassica oleracea. They have green or purple leaves. Kales are considered to be the closest plants to wild cabbage. Until the end of the Middle Ages, kale was one of the most common green vegetables in Europe. Kale provides important nutrients to supplement those missing from a normal diet


Nutritional value
In a 100 gram serving, raw kale offers 49 calories and is a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value) of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, and manganese (table, raw kale). Kale is a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, vitamin E and several dietary minerals, including iron, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus (table, raw kale).


Boiling raw kale diminishes these nutrient contents, with the exception of vitamin K (table, boiled kale).


Culinary uses
Kale freezes well and tastes sweeter and more flavorful after being exposed to a frost. Tender kale greens can provide an intense addition to salads, particularly when combined with other such strongly flavored ingredients as dry-roasted peanuts, soy sauce-roasted almonds, red capiscum flakes, or a sesame-based dressing. When baked or dehydrated, kale takes on a consistency similar to that of a potato chip. Curly kale varieties are usually preferred for chips. The chips can be seasoned with salt or other spices.


Kale bears semblance to the Danish, Swedish and Norwegian kål and to the German Kohl (a general term for various kinds of cabbage) and Scottish Gaelic càl (or kail, as inKilmany Kail; a rabbit, salt pork and kail broth from Kilmany in Fife, Scotland). Curly kale is also known as borecole which originates from the Dutch boerenkool (farmer’s cabbage).