Kale– (Brassica Family)
Green, blue, red, or purple leaves both flat and curly, which do not form a head. Kale is considered a great source of vitamins and minerals. Kale is a hearty green.
Make sure your kale is washed before use in lukewarm water. After any grit has settled to the bottom, lift the leaves out carefully. If still appears gritty, you can wash again. You can boil, steam, sauté, bake, etc. Kale usually does well with a longer cooking time to bring out any natural sweetness. The center stalk of some kale is tough and can be removed for cooking. Both Green Smoothies prepared with Kale and Kale chips are trendy ways of preparing kale.
Redbor Kale– appropriately named for its red-purple color. This type of kale is edible but is often used for ornamental purposes.
Red Russian Kale– Vibrant purple-green color with flat almost feathered leaves. The center purple stalk is fiberous and can be removed for cooking. The stems can be difficult to chew and swallow and may cause stomach upset.
Lacinato Kale– I love this type for its alternative name, Dinosaur kale. Dark blue-green, wrinkly, narrow and flat leaves. This variety has a more delicate, earthy flavor and not as much bitterness.
Winterbor or Curly Kale– the most recognizable and most likely variety you are to run into. Tight ruffled leaves and a fiberous center stalk. This type of kale has a peppery and bitter qualities. Younger kale of this variety is more tender.
Store dry kale in a losely sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator 5-7 days. Kale also freezes well and actually becomes sweeter after being exposed to frost.
When you go to use it in a few days or even a week, it will still be FRESH!
Vitamins A, C, K, E, B6, calcium, fiber, antioxidants, selenium, magnesium
Overwhelmed with greens in your share? During the influx of seasonal greens, Jess usually starts a pot of boiling water after she gets home. After going over the meal plan for the week, fill a big bowl with ice and water and clean the veggies you’ll be freezing while waiting for the large pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, visit this website from the National Center for Home Preservation or a similar website to be reminded of blanching times for each veggie. Next, send each prepared veggie through the boiling water for it’s allotted time, then into the ice water to stop the cooking process. Next it’s into the colander to drain, then into the freezer bags (or a FoodSaver if you’ve got one). Once the water is boiling, everything moves very quickly, quite like an assembly line. Unless you’re doing a major amount of veggies, you don’t have to change the boiling or blanching water in between veggies. Though you may be growing weary of the abundance of certain veggies at present, they can definitely be a sight for sore eyes during the winter months!
Recipes Using Kale
Looking for a delicious way to use up kale in your fridge? Give this one a try! Don’t be put off by the use of anchovies, (it is a caesar salad after all), it really does bring this salad home. Take the time to massage the kale, it makes a big difference and you really won’t miss lettuce in this one.