Ok, I admit it…I am crazy for kale. I’ve been eating kale for years, but my fondness for this “queen of greens” seems stronger every year. I’m not exactly sure how or when it began, but let’s face it: kale is en vogue. Whether you’re a foodie or not, this not so little member of the brassica family is cropping up everywhere—cooking shows, fine restaurants, food blogs. I’m generally not one to follow food trends (which is why I no doubt felt the need to point out “I’ve been eating kale for years”) but I’m thankful for kale’s growing popularity because it means it’s much easier to come by in the markets! A recent trip to Queen Victoria Market yielded a beautiful bounty of colourful kale that was almost too good looking to eat…almost.
Move over spinach, kale is an absolute powerhouse of nutrition! Kale is loaded with vitamin A, C and K and is high in fibre as well as the minerals copper, potassium, iron, phosphorus and manganese. It’s rich in carotenoids and flavonoids and sulphur-containing phytonutrients—all great antioxidants.
Kale is a bitter green, which is great for digestion and detoxification. It’s tough enough to withstand sautéing, baking and even frying, but my favourite way to prepare kale requires very little preparation at all—raw! Trim the stems (if using curly kale or the Tuscan cabbage variety you may want to remove the leaves from the stalks), chop the leaves, then massage them with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt. This helps break down the tough cellulose structure, giving it a silky texture perfect for salads!