1. Winter Red 2. Red Chidori 3. Lacinato (Nero di Toscana) 4. Redbor
5. Improved Dwarf Siberian 6. Fizz
Everyone is talking about Kale like its something new but actually, until the end of the Middle Ages, Kale, which belongs to the Brassica family, with cousins cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and collards, was one of the most common green vegetables in Europe. In fact,the ancient Greeks and Romans grew Kale in their gardens. Europeans brought Kale to the Americas in the 1600s and during WWII, it was a recommended plant for Victory Gardens because it provided so many nutrients.
Chew on this!
To raise a cow for beef takes about 18-24 months. One pound of beef requires 16 pounds of grain, 11 times as much fossil fuel and more than 2,400 gallons of water. Kale grows to maturity, in a home garden or farm in about 60 days.
We know Inflammation is the number one cause of arthritis, heart disease and many autoimmune diseases, and we know inflammation is triggered by the consumption of animal products. Kale is a powerful source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The Isothiocyanates made from glucosinolates in Kale play a primary role in Kale's ability to lower the risk of many cancers, as well as indole-3-carbinol, which boosts DNA repair in cells and may block the growth of cancer cells. Kale is also a good source of beta carotene, vitamin K, lutein and zeaxanthin. Kale is also an incredibly rich source of immune-boosting carotenoid and flavanoid antioxidants including vitamins A and C.
Dairy products and beef both contain calcium, right now today, the U.S. ranks amongst the highest rates of bone loss and osteoporosis in the world. Calorie for calorie Kale contains more calcium than milk (90 grams per serving) and is better tolerated and absorbed by the body than dairy.
Fiber is a macronutrient, necessary for digestive function. Most people don’t get enough in their daily diet and the deficiency is linked to heart disease, digestive disorders and cancer. Meat contains little or no fiber. One serving of kale contains 5 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.
Contrary to popular belief that vegetarians are anemic, the number of carnivores with iron-deficiencies is rising. Kale has more iron than beef and one serving of Kale contains 121 mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 92.4 mg of omega-6 fatty acids.
While Kale is beautiful, bountiful, delicious and sustainable, it’s important to buy organic Kale from organic, biodynamic or responsible local growers. As conventionally grown Kale is high on the Dirty Dozen list from the Environmental Working Group. (if you don’t know about The EWG and their Dirty Dozen Clean 15 list, now is the time to check it out!)
Are you ready for Kale?
Try this delicious salad Inspired by an antipasto that's popular at Mario Batali’s restaurant Lupa in New York City.
Makes 6 servings
• 3/4 to 1 pound fresh young lacinato kale (also called Tuscan kale) or tender regular kale, stems and center ribs discarded, you can also use baby Kale greens and leave whole
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
• 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 ounces coarsely grated ricotta salata (1 cup)
Working in batches, cut kale crosswise into very thin slices. You can also do this in a food processer with the shredder disc.
Whisk together shallot, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined well. Or use an immersion blender.
Toss kale and ricotta salata in a large bowl with enough dressing to coat well, then season with salt and pepper.
Be creative, add some currants or dried cranberries, toss in a handful of pine nuts and maybe some finely sliced green apple. Enjoy!