Peak season: December through February
A hearty green for cooler days, fresh kale is packed with nutrients and flavor. Dark leafy greens like kale grow best in the cooler months of the year. Depending on what type of climate you live in, you may be enjoying a new harvest—or getting ready to plant this incredibly hardy vegetable in your own garden. Don’t worry about early frosts—they actually make this bitter green sweeter! Kale is loaded with antioxidants and vitamins K, A and C, as well as other vitamins and minerals; it has the same health-promoting, sulfur-containing phytonutrients as the other members of the Brassica family that may amp up the body’s natural detoxification systems. Look for one of the many varieties of this plant—curly, flat-leaf, Red Russian, baby and more! One way to enjoy kale is simply blanched then sautéed with a little garlic and olive oil. Download a FREE Kale Recipe Cookbook!
Healthy Kale Recipes
More Healthy Kale Recipes
What you get
Kale is low in calories, at just 36 per cup (cooked), but rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese. It is also a good source of vitamins B1, B2, B6 and E—as well as calcium, copper, iron, lutein and zeaxanthin.
- Shopping Tip
- How to Buy Kale:
Look for richly colored, firm greens with moist stems and no signs of browning or small holes. If you’re turned off by the inherent bitterness of dark, leafy greens, choose bunches of smaller-sized leaves for a more sweet and tender product.
There are many varieties of kale available on the market; the standard curly variety will probably be the most bitter; their colors range from green to deep purple. Try red Russian or the blue-green Dinosaur variety (also called lacinato) if you are looking for something a little sweeter.
- Storage Tip
- How to Store Kale:
Store unwashed and wrapped in damp paper towels in the refrigerator with plenty of air flow for 2 to 3 weeks, and keep away from ethylene-producing fruits and vegetables (bananas, apples, melons, etc.) that can damage the leaves.
When you’re ready to use kale, soak in cold water for 10 minutes if it looks dry, then remove the hard center rib by folding the leaves in half and slicing down along the edge of the stalk.Social clubs in northwestern Germany take "kale tours" in January, visiting country inns to consume large quantities of kale, sausage and schnapps. Kale’s sharp, peppery flavor is best balanced by a touch of acidity or sweetness.
Social clubs in northwestern Germany take "kale tours" in January, visiting country inns to consume large quantities of kale, sausage and schnapps. Kale’s sharp, peppery flavor is best balanced by a touch of acidity or sweetness.