(Picture of different types of kale on “display” at my local health food store.)
For this posting P.I.C. stands for Produce Information Corner, since I am focusing on a vegetable that I purchase fresh and don’t really consider it a “product,” which falls under a packaged item. In the future, I may feature other superfoods in P.I.C.
Johnny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., notes that kale is a superstar vegetable in his new book, The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. (www.fairwindspress.com). He calls kale a “nutritional powerhouse.” It is number one among the vegetables with the highest ranking as an antioxidant. Antioxidants fight harmful free radicals. (Words in bold italics can be found in the Glossary. Bowden also notes that kale is high in calcium, iron, Vitamins A, C, and K, a bone-building vitamin.
Unfortunately, many people shy away from kale because it is rather weird looking, especially the very dark dragon kale. Anne Marie Colbin, who formed The Natural Gourmet Institute, noted in one of her books that kale can be cooked in water to remove some of its overly strong taste, because the nutrients are so high that even cooking it in water does not destroy too many nutrients. (I give the cooled cooking water to our houseplants.)
As a member of the cabbage family, kale can be cooked and added to soups and stir fries. Some people use it raw in salads, for a strong salad green. Check Kitchen Nutrition for my Tempeh and Kale recipe this month.)
To start, just take some bits of cooked kale and add it to other dishes at first. Then try it on its own. It is somewhat of an acquired taste, and well worth acquiring it!