Kale is a popular vegetable and a member of the cabbage family.
It is a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and Brussels sprouts.
There are many different types of kale. The leaves can be green or purple, and have either a smooth or curly shape.
The most common type of kale is called curly kale or Scots kale, which has green and curly leaves and a hard, fibrous stem.
Kale, like other leafy greens, is very high in antioxidants.These include beta-carotene and vitamin C.
Kale is also one of the world’s best sources of vitamin K, with a single raw cup containing almost 7 times the recommended daily amount.
You can simply add it to your salads or use it in recipes.
A popular snack is kale chips, where you drizzle some extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil on your kale, add some salt and then bake in it an oven until dry.
It tastes absolutely delicious and makes a great crunchy, super healthy snack.
A lot of people also add kale to their smoothies in order to boost the nutritional value.
Whether you use it cooked or raw its delicious. Why not have a go at the super filling recipe below.
Sausage and Lentils with braised Kale
meaty pork sausages 8
streaky bacon 3 rashers, chopped
red onion 1 large, finely chopped
100g Cavolo Nero, leaves stripped and torn into pieces, stems finely chopped
garlic 4 cloves, chopped
tomato purée 2 tbsp
red wine a glass (optional)
Puy lentils 175g
chicken stock 750ml
cherry tomatoes 400g tin
100g kale, leaves stripped
flat-leaf parsley a small bunch, chopped
extra-virgin olive oil 3 tbsp
lemon 1, zested and ½ juiced
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a casserole over a medium heat and brown the sausages until golden all over, then scoop out onto a plate. Tip in the bacon and fry until crisp and the fat has rendered, adding a little more oil if drying out.
Add the onion, cavolo nero stems and a pinch of salt, and cook gently for 5-10 minutes or until soft, then add the garlic and cook for a minute. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for a further minute before adding the red wine, if using, and bubble for a few minutes until reduced by 1/2. Stir in the lentils, stock and tomatoes, and add back the sausages and any juices from the plate. Simmer gently for 45 minutes until the lentils are just tender.
Mix together the parsley, extra-virgin olive oil and lemon zest and juice in a bowl with a little seasoning.
Stir the kale and the cavolo nero leaves into the casserole with another 100ml of water and simmer gently, while stirring, for 10 minutes, until the cavolo nero is cooked.