The Kale Quotient

Today we are going to celebrate a wildly popular plant-based food.

Kale.

That is because October 5th is National Kale Day.

Pepper Clipping path includedWhat better time to honor this versatile antioxidant- and vitamin-rich vegetable which is considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.

There is a good reason that no plant-based food is trendier than kale.

Kale has become so popular that health food distributor Whole Foods recently reported they sell around 20,000 bunches every single day nationwide.

That is a lot of kale!

So today let’s discover more about this veritable plant celebrity.

What Is Kale Anyway?

Before we begin the National Kale Day celebrations, let’s back up a minute and talk about the plant itself.

Kale is a green, hearty and leafy cruciferous vegetable, power-packed with nutrients.

One cup is only 33 calories and boasts:

  • 134 percent of the daily requirement of Vitamin C
  • freshly harvested kale cabbage684 percent of the daily requirement of Vitamin K
  • 206 percent of the daily requirement of Vitamin A
  • High levels of calcium
  • A very low fat content
  • Fiber and protein
  • And more!

There are many different types of kale, but the three most common varieties are curly kale, lacinato kale (dinosaur kale, black kale, Tuscan kale), and red Russian kale.

  • Curly Kale, as suggested by its name, is curly at the edges. Its color can range from light green to purple and it is also one of the most bitter-tasting of the kale types.
  • Lacinato is more wrinkled with a spear-like dark blue-green leaf. It has a deep flavor with a touch of nutty sweetness.
  • Red Russian Kale has a flat leaf similar to oak or arugula and is reddish purple in color. In terms of taste, it is mild and sweet although the woody stems need to be removed.

Kale is typically enjoyed as a salad green.  However, it first needs to be ‘massaged’, or it can be too tough to chew.

You can also eat kale blended in a smoothie, baked into tasty, crispy chips, or in chilis and stews.

Kale’s Superpowers

Sliced golden beetKale is more than just an addition to your salad or smoothie.

As a nutritional and antioxidant powerhouse, it is considered one of the healthiest foods in the world.

In conjunction with a healthful diet, it may help reduce cancer risk and lower cholesterol levels.

In addition, kale supports your body’s natural detoxification system and is well-known for its anti-inflammatory effects.

How Should You Celebrate National Kale Day?

Chef Rosane Oliveira with Gold Beet Kale SaladSo…how can you celebrate kale this year on October 5th?

How about giving one of these ideas a try.

  1. Commit to Eating More Kale: Eating kale on National Kale Day is definitely a good thing, but why stop there? Instead, begin integrating kale into your diet several times a week.
  2. Bake Kale Chips: There is nothing yummier than kale chips. A delicious, healthful alternative to regular potato chips, they make a perfect snack or side dish.
  3. Test out Our Favorite Kale Recipe: As always, no holiday would be complete without a new and delicious recipe. Give this recipe for Golden Beet and Kale Salad a try today. I promise you will love it.

However, you choose to celebrate National Kale Day, enjoy this nutritious little vegetable and continue to look for fresh ways to incorporate leafy greens like kale into your daily diet.