There is quite a lot of buzz around the leafy green vegetable that Kale is and how to consume it. The vegetable packed with a crazy amount of nutrient value attached to it is but still a mystery to many. Another question that is often asked by many people is how to add this healthy leafy green vegetable to the diet to enjoy the tremendous amount of nutrition it seeks to deliver to the body. This section, therefore, deals with Kale, the benefits of it and how to cook kale.
What is Kale?
Before people get to know the various methods on how to cook Kale, it is important to know what Kale is. Kale also referred to as Leaf Cabbage, is a popular green vegetable that is grown widely in Europe as well as on some other parts of the world like Africa, South Asia and Europe. It is a leafy green vegetable specifically grown for its edible leaves. It is an easy to grow vegetable that also thrives during the winters.
As per the scientists, it is an excellent source of antioxidants, nutrients and is a great detoxifier. In fact, it is one of the world’s most healthy green vegetables. Kale has an extreme amount of health benefits attached to it. It helps in having healthy bones, good skin and hair. Apart from this, it is also known to decrease the risk of cancer, diabetes, asthma and blood pressure.
What are the types of Kale?
With tremendous nutritional value attached to it, it is almost impossible to not include a Kale on the diet. One can choose to consume it whichever way they want to- bake it, sauté it, eat it as a salad, blend it into a smoothie, the nutritional benefits it provides remain unmatched with any of its competitors.
Therefore to ensure that a person does not get bored with the taste, there are a variety of types of Kale present in the market. Hence, to clear everyone’s confusion and before getting the details on how to cook Kale, it is better to identify the different types of it.
Therefore, the various types of Kale are:
Red Russian Kale
The name of this kind of Kale comes from the vibrant purple-red color of its stem. This is a versatile type of Kale that can be consumed in its baby leafy stage as well as in its mature state. The Red Kale tastes better than the many other kinds of Kale. It is semi-sweet, has a nutty flavor and more peppery than the rest of its kind.
Common Curly Kale
This is the most common form of Kale found almost at all grocery stores. It is slightly bitter in taste with notes of pepper. This kind of Kale can be distinguished by its long stem and frilly edgy leaves.
The Lacinato Kale, also known as Tuscan Kale and Dinosaur Kale can be distinguished with its two to three inches large, wide and narrow blue-green leaves, wrinkled texture. It is the second most found type of Kale in the market after Curly Kale.
Chinese Kale could be called a mixture of spinach and broccoli. It could be distinguished with its glossy, flat and large leaves. This kind of Kale is also popularly known as Chinese Broccoli, Gai Laan, and Kailaan.
The name of this kind of Kale is thus in relation to its dark red to purple ruffed leaves. This type of Kale could be used both as a food crop and a decorative plant for the garden owing to its pretty color.
This kind of Kale has the ability to withstand a lot of cold weather and pests. Hence, it could be grown as a winter crop. This type could be characterized by its enormous grey and green colored leaves.
What are the benefits of Kale?
The benefits of Kale are too many to count. This makes it one of the most healthy green vegetables. The goodness of it is in the fact that it is extremely high in nutrients. Along with this, Kale also contains a lot of fiber, calcium, vitamins, and antioxidants.
To take a closer look, the benefits of Kale are:
It is weight loss friendly
One of the main reasons to know how to cook kale is the fact that it promotes weight loss. Kale contains a lot of fiber which is one of the most effective things that promote weight loss. Apart from this, Kale does not contain a high amount of calories. This, therefore, helps a person feel full even without eating a lot.
It helps fight Cancer
Kale contains a lot of useful compounds that protect the human body from forming harmful cancer cells. These compounds or anti-carcinogenic agents are sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. These substances are known to prevent cancer cells from forming.
Kale reduces Heart Diseases
Kale is known to reduce the chances of heart diseases by keeping cholesterol under control. There are two types of cholesterol in our body – Good Cholesterol or HDL and Bad Cholesterol or LDL. Kale helps increase the good cholesterol simultaneously decreasing the bad cholesterol.
It has a lot of antioxidants
Kale contains rich anti-oxidants such as quercetin and kaempferol. These antioxidants are known to protect the human body from various diseases like cancer, glaucoma, cataracts, blood vessel diseases, and COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases.
Kale helps protect the eyes
One of the most common things that happen with aging is that the eyes begin to become weak. Kale contains a high amount of zeaxanthin and lutein that is known to prevent the eyes from the risks of cataract and macular degeneration.
It contains good amounts of Minerals
Kale contains some important minerals that are generally lacked by the human body. This is mainly because the modern diet fails to provide these minerals to the body. Some of these minerals are potassium, calcium, magnesium, etc. It, therefore, helps protect the body against heart diseases, diabetes, blood pressure, etc.
It contains a large amount of Vitamin K
Kale contains a large amount of Vitamin K. Vitamin K ensures that the blood is clot properly. While the type K2 vitamin is found in food like certain soy and animal products, Kale contains K1 vitamin which is hard to generally find.
Kale contains a large amount of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the most important substances required by the human body. While other foods like oranges and other green vegetables too provide Vitamin C to the human body, Kale is arguably one of the best sources of it.
Kale increases Digestion
The properties of high water and fiber of Kale improves the digestive tract of the body thus preventing indigestion.
It ensures good hair and skin
The fact that Kale contains a good amount of beta-carotene ensures that the hair and skin of the individual improves. This gets converted to vitamin A by the body as and when required. Vitamin A helps the tissues of the body to grow. In addition to that, it produces sebum that helps in keeping the skin and hair moisturized.
How to cook Kale?
Now that people are aware of the amazingly unmatched nutritional value Kale contains, the next section deals with the various ways on how to cook kale. There are various ways in which an individual can choose to include Kale in their diet. As mentioned previously, one can bake it, sauté it, drink it as a smoothie or can even serve it as a salad. The most important thing is the method of how to cook Kale can completely change the way it tastes.
Hence, the section below contains the amazing ways on how to cook Kale:
1. Turn the Kale into a salad
Turning the Kale into a salad is one of the easiest ways to have it if the person is good at chewing. All a person needs to do is to treat it like lettuce. However, if a person finds it to be too tough, they can choose to massage the Kale leaves well before eating. A proper massage helps the fiber that contributes to its toughness to break down. To make a proper tasty salad, mix the Kale with some berries, lemon juice, olive oil, and pine nuts.
2. Make a Kale Soup
Adding Kale behaves as any other leafy green vegetable but with tons of additional nutritional value added to it. Adding the Kale to the soups helps the leaves of it become tender and soft. The high amount of nutrients that the Kale contains gets transferred to the bowl. A person can add it to any kind of soup to add additional taste to it.
3. Make a Kale smoothie
Another good way to add Kale to the diet is to turn it to a smoothie and increase the overall nutritional value of the smoothie. However, a person would like to go for a high-speed blender for the leaves of the Kale to break down properly. To enjoy Kale in a smoothie a person can add them along with berries, mangoes, avocado, and various other fruit choices as per their own taste.
4. Sautee the Kale
Another simple way easy way to add the nutritional value of the Kale to the regular diet is to just sauté it. The steps to prepare and sauté the Kale to enjoy I just like any other main disk is an easy process with very fewer steps. Hence, the easy steps to sauté the Kale is:
First: Put the Kale in the oven in a range of medium-high flame to high flame after adding olive oil or butter to it.
Second: To add additional flavor to the Kale add salt, ginger, chili peppers, garlic and clove and other things as one likes.
Third: if a person prefers to have the Kale leaves in a softer way, they can also add some water on the pan and cover it for some minutes before going for the next step.
Fourth: Add soya sauce or lemon juice to add additional flavor to the Kale and make it tastier.
5. Add the Kale to a burger
Hands down, people love to eat burgers. Hence, what could be a better way to make the regular burgers people consume than adding some nutrition value of it. Adding Kale to a regular veggie burger increases the nutritional value of it to a tremendous level. A person can choose to replace Kale with lettuce and enjoy their burger with any other patty of their own choice.
6. Prepare Kale chips
Although the Kale chips would not taste as good as any other chips, it is sure to provide a lot of nutritional value to the body and cause a lot of benefit to it. Another good thing about Kale chips is they are extremely easy to prepare and serve. All a person needs to prepare the Kale chips is a pan and some oil to cook it. Along with that, according to the taste of a person, they can also add salt and other seasonings like cheese to make it tasty.
Concluding Take Away
To wrap up the section, termed as the world’s most healthy vegetable, Kale is a leafy green vegetable that has tremendous nutrition value attached to it. The benefits that it, therefore, provides to the body are too many to count. Along with that, there are various kinds of Kale that has different taste and nutritional benefits to the body. It, therefore, ensures that a person does not lose their interest in Kale. To do so, there are various ways to add Kale to the diet to enjoy its nutritious value. Some of the ways in which a person can enjoy Kale are mentioned in the section above.