Everyone is talking about kale; athletes, fitness coaches, chefs, dieticians, and many more. Most talks about leafy greens will include kale. Kale is trendy because it is one of the healthiest food items out there, one you should definitely add to your diet.
Kale comes from the Brassica family, sometimes called crucifers. It comes in varying shapes and colors, even texture. Some varieties are tender, while others can be tough. If you haven’t tried kale before, preparing a dish or eating it might be too much. Just so you know what to expect when you want to try kale, here’s what it tastes like.
What does kale taste like? The taste of kale depends on what type of kale. Generally, kale is bitter, with a strong and earthy flavor. It might taste slightly different if you eat young or very fresh kale. Young kale will have thin and soft leaves, and the taste is very mild compared to mature kale leaves.
Eating old or matured raw might not be a good idea because it would be better. It would be better to cook old or matured kale before eating it. Kale has a very distinctive taste. It is not spicy like other greens like arugula and has a crunchy and dry texture when eaten raw.
Nutritional Benefits of Kale
Kale is highly nutritious, nutrient-dense, and packed with enough beneficial compounds to be regarded as a superfood. Kale contains beta-carotene, which supplies the body with 206 percent of vitamin A from one cup. You also get 134 percent for vitamin C, 684 percent for vitamin K, and 9 percent for vitamin B6.
Kale also contains other vitamins like niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin. You will get minerals like calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, and phosphorus from eating kale.
Kale doesn’t contain much fat; the small amount of fat in it is alpha-linolenic acid, a kind of omega-3 fatty acid. It is deficient in calories, just 33 calories from a cup. You get 3 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fiber in that same cup.
Eating kale can help the body against oxidative stress. Kale is loaded with antioxidants that protect from the damage caused to cells in the body by free radicals. Research shows that oxidative stress is one of the leading causes of many diseases, including cancer. It is also responsible for aging.
The antioxidants in kale have many other beneficial properties; they can act as antidepressants, protect the heart, lower blood pressure, and prevent some kinds of cancer.
Kale has almost five times more vitamin C than spinach. Vitamin C helps boost the immune system, protecting the body from everyday illnesses. Kale has so much vitamin C that an entire cup has more vitamin C than an orange. It is also one of the best sources of vitamin K and can lower cholesterol levels.
Eating kale is also great for the eyes, and it is full of minerals that people don’t usually get enough of from most foods. Kale will make a great addition to a weight loss diet because it has a low energy density and provides bulk that makes you feel full and eat less without adding too many calories.
Culinary Uses of Kale
There are several ways you can cook kale. With olive oil and some basil leaves, you can blend kale leaves into a smooth paste called kale pesto and use it as a topping in any dish or recipe. Kale pesto can also be used in sandwiches.
Kale can also be eaten on its own raw. You might enjoy the harsh and bitter matured kale leaves if you appreciate the bitter taste. Fresh and young kale leaves are soft and have a mild taste that makes them great as garnish or salads. Using your hands, you can make kale more tender in salads by massaging it with some olive oil or lemon juice and salt.
You can cook kale to make it better; braising it will soften the leaves and make the flavor less intense. Kale can also be sautéed in olive oil with chopped garlic and shallots. You can add other flavors by adding chicken or vegetable stock as the kale cooks.
Cooking kale doesn’t just make the texture more bearable; it also breaks down the fibers. Garlic and shallots can also help enhance the earthy flavor of the kale leaves.
Kale chips are another way you can enjoy kale. Massage the leaves with some olive oil and season to taste, then bake in the oven on a baking sheet at 300 °F for about 10 to 15 minutes. Kale can also be enjoyed in a smoothie.
What is the Origin of Kale? Where to Procure it?
There are different kinds of kale leaves; we have Tuscan kale, also known as Dinosaur kale. Then we have Red Russian Kale, which goes by Ragged Jack in some cooking circles.
There is also curly kale, which you can easily tell apart because the leaves are curly and have a blue-green color when they are fresh and mature. These are the most popular kinds of kale you will find around. Their looks and taste are quite different.
Kale grows all year round in most places, but it usually blossoms in the cold months, from October to March. Kale is rugged enough to last during winter, even when surrounded by frost and snow. You can easily grow it in your garden and not worry about it drying out. If you can’t tend to a garden and grow your own kale, you can get it from the grocery store.
Does Kale Taste Like Spinach?
Kale has a very different taste compared to spinach. It is slightly more bitter, and the texture is different. If you contemplate which leafy green you want to add to creamy or smooth dishes, you would be better off with spinach. It wilts easily, and the flavor profile is not as strong.
Facts You Don’t Know About Kale
- Kale is part of a group of green veggies that the ancient Greeks used to cure drunkenness.
- Raw kale can cause indigestion problems because it is hard on the digestive system, so be careful to eat a moderate amount.
- Kale is involved in more sayings than you can count.