I was at the Fun and Fancy Food Fair this year and a woman walked up to me and asked, ‘Where is your kale pail?” I looked at her quizzically and she said, “I woke up just after 5 this morning and I swear I heard Kevin say to ask you about your kale pail. I have no idea what that means but I’m asking.” LOL! Ever since I brought a kale smoothie to work a few years ago and became the object of Mike Cation’s ceaseless ribbing, I can’t seem to escape the connection. Mike and his wife soon became HUGE fans of the superfood…and really, everyone SHOULD be – not only is it incredibly delicious, but it’s a truly amazing vegetable. I just read on Wikipedia (from reliable sources) that:
“Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and rich in calcium. Kale is a source of two carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Kale, as with broccoil and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties. Boiling decreases the level of sulforaphane; however, steaming, microwaving, or stir frying do not result in significant loss. Along with other brassica vegetables, kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Kale has been found to contain a group of resins known as bile acid sequestrants, which have been shown to lower cholesterol and decrease absorption of dietary fat. Steaming significantly increases these bile acid binding properties.“
Wow – fill up my pail with THAT! I love it stir fried in a skillet with olive oil, garlic, and balsamic vinegar (really cuts the slightly bitter flavor). If you’ve never made it, be prepared for a HUGE bunch to quickly cook down to a pretty small amount, by the way. But huge bunches are in season and reasonably priced at the Urbana Market at the Square right now – I used the search function on their WEBSITE and found that it’s available from the following vendors:
Moore Family Famr
Prairie Greens Permaculture
There are many ways to enjoy kale – a super easy one that satisfies the need for crunchy and salty is BAKED KALE CHIPS. The seasoning is really up to you, and after that the process is pretty much always the same. Here’s an example using olive oil (1 Tbsp) and salt (I prefer kosher) to taste:
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove the leaves from the thick stems (easiest with shears) and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
- Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.
SO easy! I saw a recipe online (www.ordinaryvegan.com) yesterday for CHIPOTLE Kale chips – it called for 2 tsp. of olive oil and 2½ tsp smoky chipotle paprika (1 tsp sweet paprika, 1 tsp ancho chili ground, ½ tsp chili powder, sprinkle of cayenne red pepper and salt – mix). I’m pretty wimpy with seasonings but if you like a little kick this sounds GREAT.
With the 4th just a few days away, this could be a fun new appetizer to take to the party!