Don’t wish away the chill of spring just yet. Winter & early spring is the peak time for one of the hottest foods today – KALE.
Although kale was around during ancient Roman times and a popular vegetable of the peasant class in the Middle Ages, it is just gaining the respect of Americans today. In fact, it has quickly been hailed by the American, health food industry as a ‘superfood’. This is a label used to describe a food with high nutrient (vitamins & minerals) or phytochemical content that may provide health benefits. Kale, which comes in straight or curly leaves, purple, red or green colors, contains large amounts quercetin a known antioxidant (phytochemical). By adding kale to your regular weekly menu, you are helping your body sequester free radicals that are over produced during exercise and cause chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.
You can buy kale though out the year, but it is most widely available and has a sweeter taste now. Try it prepared one of these ways today:
- Kale a la Mediterranean - Combine chopped kale, pine nuts, and feta cheese with whole grain pasta drizzled with olive oil.
- Kale and Caramelized Garlic - Steam chopped kale for 5minutes, remove from heat. In a pan, saute chopped garlic in extra virgin olive oil. Reduce heat. Add kale and toss.
- Kale Chips - Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil & salt. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. Serve as finger food.