You’ve Got Kale
Let’s hop in a time machine and go back to 2014, folks, because for the next two weeks we’re going kale crazy. But first, as always, today we’re running through the “abouts” of this KALE-r veggie.
This kale frenzy is coming just in time to save my body from the Holland-induced damages I’ve accumulated in the last few weeks (namely in the form of Gouda, stroopwafels, and this weekend). The boyfriend-tulip-man and I had big plans to pull ourselves away from Prison Break for a date night at a nice sushi place in town on Saturday, but between a missed train (by 1 minute…!!) and the still-sometimes-present language barrier (“half ten” = 9:30, not 10:30 apparently), we missed sushi. But things have a quaint way of working out. We ended up sharing a big plate of Suriname food, complete with beer from paper cups inscribed with the word, “enjoy”. Thanks for the uplift, paper cup. We navigated our way to a concert venue which OH BY THE WAY was located on the lower deck of a small canal boat, and spent the rest of the night enjoying the music of an 8 person old school rock/jazz band.
But I digress…kale. I need kale today. We all need kale today.
Variations of kale
- Curly Kale: Bright green and frilly, this variation has a hearty texture that makes it better for cooked dishes than eating raw. Sauces and flavors cling to the tiny ridges in the leaves, making this variation great for kale chips or in cooked pasta dishes.
- Red Kale: Identical to curly kale in most ways, but with the addition of a red-ish hue.
- Dinosaur Kale (pictured): Also known as Tuscan or Lacinato kale, this variety is more tender and less curly, so it’s tasty eaten raw.
*P.S. I always like to have the raw-est, purest form of the featured ingredient pictured in these rundowns, but for the life of me I couldn’t find a head of kale ANYWHERE here. Farmer’s markets, grocery stores, specialty produce stores…everyone sells kale already chopped into itty bitty pieces. And this is probably because stamppot, a traditional Dutch dish, usually calls for, well, itty bitty pieces of kale.
And Obviously I forgot to look up the Dutch word for “kale” before heading out in search of it, so I wandered around town asking “stamppot groente” (stamppot vegetable) while gesturing no to chopping, but alas, I had no success.
How to select, prepare, and store kale
- Select dark colored kale free from brown or yellow spots. Kale is in season through the cold fall and winter months.
- Prepare kale by washing just before eating. With a knife, remove the central stalk. If eating raw, cut into small chunks or ribbons and massage kale gently to loosen up the fibers.
- Store kale in a plastic bag in the coldest part of the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze soon-to-go-bad kale for use in smoothies or cooked dishes.
Nutrition information for kale
per 1 cup (67 g)
- Calories: 33
- Carbohydrates: 7 g
- Fiber: 1 g, 5% of DV (Daily Value)
- Protein: 2 g
- Fat: 0 g
- 684% DV of Vitamin K: A fat-soluble vitamin that allows for activation of enzymes in the clotting cascade, which is responsible for blood clotting. Also builds bone by modifying osteocalcin so that it may bind calcium, thus building the bone matrix.
- 206% DV of Vitamin A: Provides the provitamin version of this fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it comes from a plant source and your body converts the plant pigment into active Vitamin A. It is essential in many components of healthy vision, as well as immunity and cell growth/differentiation.
- 134% DV of Vitamin C: A water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant to fight against potentially damaging free radicals (molecules with unshared electrons that float around wreaking havoc) and an important cofactor in collagen synthesis.
- 10% DV of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): A water-soluble vitamin that works behind the scenes as a coenzyme in many important reactions within your body, including protein metabolism and red blood cell formation, among countless other functions.
- 10% DV of Calcium: 1% of the calcium in your body plays a vital role in vascular contraction/dilation and nerve transmission and signalling. The other 99% supports teeth and bone structure and function.