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How to Cook Kale

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How to Cook Kale

By Cary Neff, Experience Life

Kale, with its frilly leaves and rich colors, is a gorgeous plant. Although officially a “dark leafy green,” it also comes in vibrant purples and dramatic winter whites. And kale’s beauty runs deep: It is packed with powerful phytonutrients, minerals and fiber.

Kale’s complex flavor wins it fans at breakfast, lunch and dinner. It boasts deep, earthy flavors that can range from rich and meaty to herbaceous and slightly bitter. It tastes supremely healthy — in a good way.

Kale belongs to the Brassica family, which also includes cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and collards. It is an offshoot of wild cabbage, which originated in Asia Minor.

The ancient Greeks and Romans grew kale in their gardens. Europeans brought kale to the Americas in the 1600s. During WWII, it was a recommended plant for Victory Gardens because it provided so many nutrients. And today, this leafy green is enjoying a revival, particularly among the health-inclined.

Kale is easy to find, and it’s a cinch to work into virtually any style of cooking. Read on for more about kale, as well as a few ways to start experimenting with it.

Nutrition Know-How

  • Three servings of leafy greens each day has been found to slow cognitive loss by 40 percent.
  • Kale is packed with phytochemicals like sulfur-containing glucosinolates and isothiocyanates that help ward off cancer.
  • The fiber in kale helps absorb and sweep out DNA-damaging chemicals and other toxins that enter our bodies.
  • Open-leafed plants in the cabbage family, like kale, have higher amounts of vitamins C and A and carotenoids than plants whose leaves don’t see the sun. Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants that also support proper functioning of the immune and reproductive systems and lower the risk of cataracts.
  • Kale is an excellent source of minerals, including calcium, and manganese, a mineral the body requires for many physiological functions.
  • One cup of kale provides 1,300 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin K, which is important for healthy blood coagulation and maintaining bone mass.
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Read more: Food, Health

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Megan, selected from Experience Life

Experience Life magazine is an award-winning health and fitness publication that aims to empower people to live their best, most authentic lives, and challenges the conventions of hype, gimmicks and superficiality in favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit experiencelife.com to learn more and to sign up for the Experience Life newsletter, or to subscribe to the print or digital version.

75 comments

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12:51PM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

thank you

2:18PM PST on Nov 22, 2013

I absolutely love kale. I love in a rural area and so I am lucky enough to often be able to buy vegetables that have only been harvested a few hours ago, I'm convinced that they often have a better flavour than those from the supermarkets that have been hanging around for several days.

1:31AM PST on Nov 20, 2013

Thank you :)

12:39PM PDT on Sep 1, 2013

Thanks

4:37PM PST on Dec 31, 2012

Hadn't heard of kale before, but will be trying it. Thanks for the recipes :)

3:41AM PDT on Oct 8, 2012

on the "Kale, Mushroom and Cream Cheese Scramble" in the list of ingredients you seem to have left out the cream cheese! Can you correcti?

3:40AM PDT on Oct 8, 2012

On the Kale, mushroom and cream cheese Scramble - on the list of ingredients you seem to have forgotten the cream cheese! Can you correct?

5:20PM PDT on Jul 5, 2012

I'm growing kale for the first time this year. The plants need to be thinned, and I'm wondering in anyone knows....are there any outer type of leaf on the plant that you don't eat??
Thanks to anyone who can help :)

5:05PM PDT on Mar 26, 2012

Love the recipes! I used to hate the time it took to cut the ribs out of the kale until I tried grabbing the bottom of the stem with one hand and taking the leaf off by sliding the other hand up the stem. The stem breaks off where it starts to get tender. Easy and super fast!

12:20PM PST on Feb 21, 2012

how to cook very simple without add ok thanks let me know stingray

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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