Kale has become a buzz word for some, while others have no idea what it looks like. Some people know about the fantastic health benefits of kale and that it is considered a superfood, while others worry about the possible thyroid reducing properties it may have. What is the truth about kale and should we be eating it or not?
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable and a member of the brassica or cabbage family, which I wrote about in the last blog. It really is a superfood, being a very nutrient dense food. Researchers have identified about 45 different flavonoids in kale, including quercetin, making it good for reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. It has been found to have risk-lowering benefits for at least 5 different types of cancer, including: bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate.
Some people are put off by the bitter taste of kale, but that can be minimized by the correct preparation of this vegetable. Try boiling the kale for a little while and then drain it and saute it with some onions and even make it into a “creamed spinach”, my children amazed me by saying that they preferred it to spinach! In this boiled or steamed state, the fiber in the kale has some cholestrol-lowering benefits, as well as helping with detoxification.
You don’t have to cook kale though. It really is delicious as a salad, finely chopped and massaged with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. It really can be delicious. I have had a few dinner parties where people go back for second helpings of the kale salad!
There are so many different varieties of kale that you might not even know what to look for. In Europe the most common type of kale found is very frilly and green. Here in South Africa, the most common type seems to be a flat, large leaved more grey kale, which is sometimes called Chou Moellier. We also find the dark very wrinkled Lacinato or “dinosaur” kale or the dwarf siberian or Russian red kales. Each have their own subtle differences, so be a devil and try them 😉
Here are 2 of my favourite recipes for you to try for yourself:
and if you would like to grow your own kale, here are some tips: