Last Updated : Oct 16,2023

Kale Glossary, Benefits, Uses, Nutritional Information, recipes
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Description of Kale:

Kale or borecole is a form of cabbage , green or purple in color, in which the central leaves do not form a head. One may differentiate between varieties according to the low, intermediate, or high length of the stem, with varying leaf types. The leaf colours range from light green through green, dark green and violet-green to violet-brown. The beautiful leaves of the kale plant provide an earthy flavor and more nutritional value for fewer calories than almost any other food around. Although it can be found in markets throughout the year, it is in season from the middle of winter through the beginning of spring when it has a sweeter taste and is more widely available. It is easy to grow and can grow in colder temperatures where a light frost will produce especially sweet kale leaves.

Chopped kale
Before chopping, wash the kale leaves thoroughly under cool running water to remove any sand or dirt that may remain in the leaves. After removing any roots that remain, chop them thinly or roughly, using a sharp knife, as per recipe requirements.

How to select Kale:

Look for kale with firm, deeply colored leaves and moist hardy stems. Kale should be displayed in a cool environment since warm temperatures will cause it to wilt and will negatively affect its flavor. The leaves should look fresh, be unwilted, and be free from signs of browning, yellowing and small holes. Choose kale with smaller-sized leaves since these will be more tender and have a more mild flavor than those with larger leaves. Kale freezes well and actually tastes sweeter and more flavorful after being exposed to a frost.

Culinary uses of Kale

· The taste and texture of steamed kale makes it a wonderful topping for homemade pizzas
· Tender kale greens can provide an intense addition to salads, particularly when combined with other such strongly-flavored ingredients as dry-roasted peanuts, tamari-roasted almonds, red pepper flakes, or an Asian-style dressings.
· Kale is eaten throughout southeastern Africa, typically boiled with coconut milk and ground peanut and served with rice or boiled cornmeal
· The kale is used to make a stew of minced boiled kale, stock, cream, pepper and salt that is simmered together slowly for a few hours.
· Braise chopped kale and apples. Before serving, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and chopped walnuts.

How to store Kale :  Kale should be wrapped in a damp paper towel, placed in a plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator crisper. It should not be washed before storing since this may cause it to become limp. Kale can be kept in the refrigerator for several days, although it is best when eaten within one or two days after purchase since the longer it is stored, the more bitter its flavor becomes.

Let’s be aware of the nutrient profile of Kale to begin with…

Nutritive Information for Kale:
1 Cup of chopped kale is about 40 grams
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.

Energy - 20 calories
Protein – 1.3 g
Carbohydrate –4 g
Fat – 0.3 g
Fiber – 0.8 g

0.04 mg of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) = 2.1% of RDA ( (about 1.2 to 1.6 mg for men)
0.04 mg of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) = 2.1 of RDA (about 1.4 to 1.9 mg for men)
0.4 mg of Vitamin B3 (Niacin) =3.3 % of RDA (about 12 mg)
48 mg of Vitamin C = 120% of RDA (about 40 mg)
11.6 mcg of Folate (Vitamin B9) = 11.6 of RDA (about 100 mcg)
1846.8 mcg of Vitamin A = 38.5% of RDA (about 4800 mcg)

54 mg of Calcium = 5.4% of RDA (about 1000 mg)
0.68 mg of Iron = 3.4% of RDA (about 20 mg)
13.6 mg of Magnesium = 3.9% of RDA (about 350 mg)
22.4 mg of Phosphorus = 3.7% of RDA (about 600 mg)
178.8 mg of Potassium = 3.8% of RDA (about 4700 g)

7 Health Benefits of Kale

1. High in Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Kale has a higher ratio of Omega 3 fatty 180 mg to Omega 6 fatty acids 138 mg. Hence it is a good Anti inflammatory food for our body which is caused by eating processed foods and too much sugar or candy.

2. Antioxidant Food : Kale is a good anti oxidant food which helps fight the free radicals in the body. Free radicals are formed in the body and also come from external toxins like polluted air, processed foods and poor quality water. These free radicals need to be neutralised in the body as they comes in lots of different grades and you need to neutralise that by consuming different Anti Oxidant rich foods. Only one food will not do the trick. Kale is one of the foods which will help. But remember to consume a rainbow of colourful vegetables and fruits daily. Remember that free radicals cause Oxidative stress which results in the damage of cell walls creating a possibility of heart disease and cancer.

3. Cruciferous vegetables are Anti Cancer : Cruciferous vegetables like Kale and Broccoli when eaten, contain glucosinolates which help fight off bacteria and fungal infection in the body and linked to lowering the risk of colon cancer, breast cancer, but risk of bladder cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, prostrate cancer and bladder cancer. It is preferable to eat Kale raw instead of cooking it to get the best benefits. Try this salad.

4. Good for Heart : Kale is a very good source of both Anti Inflammatory and Anti Oxidant resulting in its ability to Lowering Cholesterol. In fact, most dark green vegetables are rich in nutrients and rich in Vitamin K and Vitamin E which is heart friendly.

5. Helps Blood Clotting : Kale is rich in Vitamin K which is crucial roll in blood clotting. Helps clot wounds and bleeding as a result of it.

6. Good for Eyes : Kale is rich in the Antioxidants Lutein and zeaxanthin plus it has beta carotene which is good for eye health. They may help in lower risk of cataract and macular degeneration.

7. Weight Loss : One cup of chopped Kale is only 20 calories and at the same time it has fibre which will keep you feeling full for a longer time.

Glycemic Index of Kale
Kale has a Glycemic Index of 15 which is low. Glycemic Index are for foods you eat, ranks carbohydrate-containing foods by how quickly they digest and raise your blood sugar or glucose levels. Foods rank from 0 to 50 are low GI, 51 to 69 are medium and 70 to 100 are high. Foods that are high in GI are not suitable for weight loss and diabetics. Foods like Kale have a low GI and hence don't spike your glucose level as they are absorbed slowly. Great for weight loss.

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