Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Kale, Kale, Beautiful Kale

I don't remember exactly when I first was introduced to kale, but I certainly didn't grow up eating it.  And what a shame, because it's an easy-to-grow, powerhouse of a green vegetable that we love.  I grow it every year in our garden.


 Fresh in from the garden, washed
and ready to use.

Kale contains high levels of vitamins, minerals and brain-boosting (can't go wrong there) phytonutrients. 

It's touted as being good for your heart health, detoxification (a great source of antioxidants), bone and skin health, and cancer and diabetes prevention.

The bigger, older leaves will take on a strong, kinda bitter flavor so I use only "baby" or the smaller leaves for our table.  The occasional leaves that get away from me get tossed into the poultry yard where one or more of our feathered friend varieties enjoy them.

It's been my experience that kale is rarely bothered by any insects.

You can use it in so many ways.  Chop a bit and saute in some bacon fat with onions.  Adding cooked bacon pieces and/or mushrooms adds a bit of the fancy-schmancy.  Steam a big batch of it, add salt, pepper and a little butter, spread out in a shallow baking pan, cover with grated cheese and put in your oven until the cheese is melted.

It's easy to dehydrate.  Then during the winter months, you can toss some into many different soups to add to the nutritional value.


Chop and put in scrambled eggs.  The baby leaves add a nice touch and texture to a tossed salad.  You can find any number of recipes for using kale on the Internet.

 So, are you a kale lover, too?  How do you enjoy preparing it?

20 comments:

Michelle said...

I love kale, but find I prefer the curly and both years I've planted it ended up with Lacinate. And here, it gets little caterpillars AND aphids....

Dawn McHugh said...

Yes we like Kale much prefering the purple or black kale, easy to grow and so many uses, stuffed kale leaves are lovely

Vera said...

We grew a lot of kale last year, and I found it a very good plant all round. No kale this year because my husband forgot to plant any!

Sue said...

I'm not a HUGE fan of it, but I do eat it--usually as kale chips...but this summer has been so hot, I am not firing up the oven!

Kim said...

We love all greens. But Kale, mustard and turnips all get planted as fall crops around here. Kale takes on a better taste after being nipped a bit by frost but will grow very late in the year even with snow on the ground we will still be harvesting. I just wash and then wilt them down till tender, salt and pepper. If we want to add a splash of vinegar on our plates we do. But I like them just the way they are. Also add them chopped to salads or a handful in my smoothie.

gld said...

Maybe it got too hot too fast here. This was my first (and probably last) experiment with kale! It was rather tough and finally some varmint discovered it and just left stalks.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

My kale got eaten by the beloved bunnies last year. Every time it started to grow again, they came along and ate it down to ground level. Guess they needed the nutrients. -Jenn

Susan said...

It seems to be the only thing that thrives in my garden - thank goodness, since I LURVE it! I cut mine in thin ribbons and toss with feta, sunflower seeds and dried crans or raisins and add a dressing (rhubarb vinaigrette is my current favorite). It's one of the only dehydrated things that gets used up over the winter.

Mama Pea said...

Yes, my favorite varieties are the curly kind, too. This year I planted Vates. Bummer that in your climate it's bothered by those nasty critters. :o(

Mama Pea said...

Dawn - What do you stuff the kale leaves with? Makes me think of stuffed cabbage rolls.

Mama Pea said...

Vera - You'll have to supervise him better next year! ;o)

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Could you make the kale chips in the dehydrator?

P.S. I cannot believe how many times I've wanted to use my oven for meals but, like you, won't do it in this hot weather!

Mama Pea said...

Kim - Yes, we like vinegar on our cooked kale also. (Same with spinach.) I'll bet many greens are good crops in your climate!

Mama Pea said...

Glenda - Well, dog-gone-it, 'bout everything that could have gone wrong with your first season growing kale did! At least that marauding varmint should be healthy now. ;o)

Mama Pea said...

Jenn - Once again, like Glenda, you're helping to raise healthy animals by "feeding" them kale!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Oh, give me one of those salads . . . please! (Your rhubarb vinaigrette dressing is a good one. We sure like it here.)

Laurie said...

I love Kale. I make kale chips, steam it, sautée it, add it to soups, massage it and the chop it finely and add to salads and Budha bowls.

I've never grown it, though. But since I'm on a roll, I'm going to try to grow some this fall.

Mama Pea said...

Laurie - No reason in the world you won't be successful growing it. I'll bet if you plant it when you get back home from CO, you may just get a fall crop! As with everything, I think you'll be happy with the flavor compared to "store-bought." :o)

Kev Alviti said...

My wife loves it but ive never been a fan, so it doesn't get grown here, but maybe next year!

Mama Pea said...

Kev - There must be a couple of yummy ways you could figure out to prepare kale that would appeal to you. (Plus, I'm betting homegrown kale would be even better than that purchased at the market.) It's so high in nutrients that you and the kiddies should be eating it, too. (How's that for being a bossy "mom" to you?)