Food of the Month-Kale

When your 13 year old son asks you to make that recipe with kale in it you know you have done something right!  Kale has become the "it" food but I know that I was intimidated by it at first. As I cook with it more and more I find that kale is in fact quite easy to use and delicious.  Delicious enough that even a 13 year old requests it!

What is it? Kale is a headless cruciferous vegetable.  It can be curly or flat and range in color from green to purple.  It flourishes in the colder months and can often be found at winter markets.

Health Benefits: Kale is low in calories and high in fiber, iron, antioxidants, Calcium and vitamins K, A and C. It contains Omega 3 fatty acids and contains more calcium than milk.  All of these properties allow kale to boost DNA repair, block cancer cell growth, slow cognitive decline and prevent heart disease.

Storage: Kale can be stored unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.  Kale can be stored in the freezer for 10-12 months.  The kale must first be washed, blanched (plunged into boiling water for 2-3 minutes then chilled in ice water) drained and packed into freezer bags.

Uses: Kale can be sautéed, eaten raw, baked for kale chips, substituted for any leafy green in recipes or used for juicing or in a smoothie.  The recipe that is so loved by my son is Garbanzo Beans and Greens found at http://www.cookinglight.com/food/in-season/kale-recipes/garbanzo-beans-greens.  Enjoy your Kale knowing that you are doing your body a favor with each bite!



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