Fit Pantry - a Fit Foodie's thoughts, tips and recipe

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kale Me Now!

Curly Kale
Dino Kale (Tuscan)

Kale who? It's just the buzz right now among us gym rats. Sounds healthy. In fact, it straight up looks intimidatingly green and healthy! The leaves are deep dark green color, and gee-louise... those leaves are giant! Except of course if you decide to get the labor-inclusive-priced kale in packages.

The first time I tried kale was ... hm.... gosh it was so long ago. All I can recall was it is one tough veggie to eat. I didn't know what to do with it. Back then, I wasn't that into all this healthy stuff. That was a "before" me :)

With my recent acquisition of Vitamix,  a girlfriend came up with this idea that I should start blending some veggie for drinks and offered to make her version for me. Sure why not, I said. And that's when kale hitched its ride into my kitchen and took up residence.

The first juice made for me was quite "strong" or "thick." As for taste, it's refreshing and green. Fresh apple juice definitely lends to the taste acceptance. Since then I have made my own version and tailored it to suit my taste.

Back to kale. There is a variety of kale, but the most common one you find in the grocery stores will be the "Curly Kale" you can tell by the frilly edges of the leaves. Just one leaf almost looks as bushy as a broccoli! Curly kale you see in stores won't necessary be large leaves, I got a medium sized leaves bunch at Fresh & Easy before.

Another one that you might see is the "Dino Kale" ... don't ask me why the name but it does look somewhat jurassic :)  This kale is loooong and narrow, the leaves doesn't have curly edge but the surface is bumpy. Seriously, the official name for this one is "Tuscan Kale". Less interesting, but more romantic, I guess. It has milder/sweeter flavor.

The ones pre-cut in salad packages most of the time are "Flat Kale." I don't have any personal relationship with this green since I gravitate to the more economical versions that hang out in bunches.

Other version of kale are "Purple Kale" & "Red Russion Kale." But no need to go fancy all out and start hunting exotic kale. The Jurrasic Kale is already an adventure enough for me :)

What I like about Dino Kale vs. Curly Kale:
  • The stalk of DK is not as thick and tough as the CK
  • Easy to chop DK because it's just one long leaf
  • Easier to wash
  • Takes less space in the fridge drawer
  • DK leaves are softer, not as tough as the CK
  • I have to cut out the tough stalk of CK before blending - personal preference, with Vitamix you actually don't have to, but I feel it makes smoother juice.

  • Either DK and CK are good for juicing
  • Both are packed with benefits (see below)
  • Either is equally good for veggie soup as the leaves don't get overcooked easy

Source: Discover Kale
The word “superfood” is being used more liberally these days but kale is truly deserving of the title. It is packed with beta-carotene, folate and Vitamin C.

It’s also one of the richest vegetable sources of calcium plus contains vital minerals such as iron, magnesium and potassium.

It’s also rich in sulphur phytochemicals which are believed to help protect against certain types of cancer and the phytochemicals, lutein and zeaxanthin, which help to reduce the risk of cataracts and a condition called age related macular degeneration which is the major cause of loss of vision in the UK.

Did you know?

  • Kale contains four times more Mg (magnesium) and five times more Ca (calcium) than Brussels sprouts
  • 17 times more Vitamin C than carrots and four times more than spinach
  • Nearly double the magnesium of spring greens
  • More folate than broccoli
  • Seven times more carotene than cabbage
Can't have enough of kale? Read on [...]

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