A member of the cabbage family, kale comes in two forms: kale, which has smooth leaves, and curly kale, which has crinkly leaves. Curly kale is the most common of the two.
Instead of forming a head, the leaves grow in a loose rosette at the top of a stem. The leaves are green, sometimes tinged with blue or purple, and their flavour is strong and distinct.
Kale has been touted by the media as a Superfood because it is nutrient-dense. It contains B vitamins such as folate, which we need for energy, to form healthy blood cells and to reduce the risk of central neural tube defects in pregnancy. Kale also contains vitamin C and vitamin E which are important antioxidants needed to help support the immune system, but it’s probably most well-known as being a very good source of vitamin K, which we need to help wounds heal properly.
As for minerals, kale contains most of the everyday minerals we need, including potassium, which supports effective heart function; calcium, for strong bones and teeth; magnesium, for good hormone health, and selenium, which supports the immune system.
Kale is really versatile when it comes to cooking, it can be lightly boiled, steamed, used in a stir fry or cooked in the oven with olive oil and salt and made into guilt free crisps!
Why not try the following recipe for a spicy accompaniment to meat or fish.
Indian Spiced Kale
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seed
½ tsp mustard seed
4 green chillies, finely chopped (Use less if you like it less spicy)
large piece fresh root ginger, grated
½ tsp turmeric
500g shredded kale
juice 1 lemon
½ tsp ground coriander
small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut
Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan or wok, sizzle the cumin and mustard seeds for 1 min, then add the chilli, ginger and turmeric. Fry until aromatic, then add the Kale, a pinch of salt, a splash of water and the peas.
Cover the pan and cook for 4-5 mins until the greens have wilted. Add the lemon juice, ground coriander, half the fresh coriander and half the desiccated coconut, then toss everything together. Pile into a serving dish and scatter with the rest of the coconut and coriander.Go Back