Traverse City Record-Eagle

Feature Columnists

October 3, 2013

Intentional Minimalist: Kale is nutritional powerhouse, delicious

I admit that I am a kale addict. I eat kale raw for breakfast, include kale in numerous recipes, adore kale in smoothies and even crave raw kale again in the evenings for a snack.

Kale is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family and is a nutritional powerhouse. Eating kale on a regular basis may lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation and build a strong immune system. Kale contains anti-cancer properties and is a great source of vitamins, calcium, protein and fiber. Hail kale.

My heart races when I see my favorite Red Russian variety of kale at the farmers market, especially in the late fall and winter as kale tastes sweeter after it has been exposed to frost. Nic Welty of 9 Bean Rows Farm in Northport grows many varieties of kale year round. “Kale is a great crop for northern farmers because it is freeze hardy,” Welty said. “Rotating kale after super food crops like fava beans adds nutrition to the soil when planting for a winter harvest, resulting in the most flavorful kale of the year in January and February.”

You can find kale at most local farmers markets and through several local community supported agriculture programs or CSAs.

When at the farmers market, look for kale leaves that are firm, deep green in color, free from brown spots and leaves that are not wilted. Store unwashed kale in your refrigerator and use it within a week. Get on the kale bandwagon with this fall kale salad featuring Red Russian kale, red curly kale and a sweet, yet tart autumn berry dressing.

Autumn Berry Kale Salad

Farm fresh local flat leaf parsley

Black Star Farms verjus

Food for Thought olive oil

Food for Thought autumn berry preserves

Farm fresh local Red Russian kale

Farm fresh local red curly kale

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