Kale, or leaf cabbage, belongs to a group of cabbage cultivars grown for their edible leaves, although some are used as ornamentals. Kale plants have green or purple leaves, and the central leaves do not form a head. Kale is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K. It is a green, leafy, cruciferous vegetable that is rich in nutrients. To me Kale is related as K-Kind, A- Adorable- L- Luscious, E- Exclusive! 

Some common questions associated here also include what is healthier spinach or kale? The Bottom Line. Kale and Spinach are highly nutritious and associated with several benefits. While kale offers more than twice the amount of vitamin C as spinach, spinach provides more folate and vitamins A and K. Both are linked to improved heart health, increased weight loss, and protection against disease.

While not many of us have yet explored the goodness of Kale in our daily diets, it is surely advised to include it once in a while to start with and it will truly stay with us for a long time. Kale offers a range of health benefits for the whole body. In fact, just one cup of it provides more vitamin A and K than you need in a whole day. Antioxidants are found in kale, which promote general health and well-being. cabbage, and has a ruffled texture. “Dark green vegetables are a powerhouse of nutrients,” and yes, that’s also why they call it a superfood for a reason, Smoothies and frequent blender of Kale with various options of fruits, nuts, seeds in combinations. 

Antioxidants help the body remove unwanted toxins that result from natural processes and environmental pressures. These toxins, known as free radicals, are unstable molecules. If too many build up in the body, they can lead to cell damage. This may result in health problems such as inflammation and diseases. Experts believe that free radicals may play a role in the development of cancer.

Why is Kale good for you

Kale Trivia

Kale Is A Relatively Well Known Green: Kale is popular now, but people have been growing this super food for more than 2,000 years. Popular in Europe during Roman times and the Middle Ages, it arrived in the U.S. in the 17th century.

Kale Chips: one unique way of cooking with Kale: these are a simple, good-for-you snack. Remove kale leaves from stems, tear into bite-sized pieces, drizzle with olive oil and a dash of salt, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes in a 400 deg Far hen / 200 deg celsius oven.

Power Bank Of Goodness: Kale is packed with antioxidants and other nutrients. Some research suggests that regularly eating vegetables in the cabbage family, like kale, helps lower the risk of certain cancers. Of course, many other things also affect your cancer risk.

Vitamins On The Offer: One cup of chopped raw kale provides more than 100% of the recommended daily amount of vitamins A and K and as listed above it is now more obvious that with so many benefits to offer, kale must be included in our day to day diets.

Kale's Relatives To Meet Up: Kale belongs to the same family as Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, however these categories of veggies fall more popularly into the western part of the world as a part of daily cooking. We need to change and adapt towards these as well to inculcate a better way of living and wellness.

The Best It Claims To Be: For the best flavor, kale must be harvested after the first frost. This ensures that some of the starches have turned into sugars.

The Color Wheels of Kale: Types of kale are marked by color (green, white, purple, or bluish green) and leaf shape. Kale contains lutein, a nutrient that helps create the plant’s color. Lutein helps keep eyes and vision healthy.

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Types Of Kale

As discussed, Kale is a crisp and hearty vegetable, with a hint of earthiness. The flavors and nutritional content can vary between types. Younger leaves and summer leaves tend to be less bitter and fibrous.

Curly Kale: This is the most commonly available type. It is usually bright green, dark green, or purple, with tight, ruffled leaves that are easy to tear. To remove the leaves from the fibrous stalk, run your hand down the stalk in the direction of growth.

Lacinato or Dinosaur Kale: This dark blue-green variety is firmer and more robust than curly kale. It is known as dinosaur kale because of its scaly texture. The leaves tend to be longer and flatter and maintain their texture after cooking. Less bitter than curly kale, dinosaur kale is ideal for making kale chips.

Red Russian Kale: This is a flat-leaf variety that looks a little like oak leaves. The stalks are slightly purple, and the leaves have a reddish tinge. People may find the stalks too fibrous to eat, but the leaves are sweet and delicate, with a hint of pepper and lemon, almost like sorrel. People can add them raw to salads, sandwiches, and juices, or as a garnish. Kale grows well in the colder winter months, making a good addition when other fruits and vegetables are less readily available. It is best to cook winter kale, as colder weather can turn the sugars in kale into starch, increasing the bitterness and fiber content.

Chef Kaviraj on Kale

How To Add Kale In Your Diet 

How To Work With Kale: People can eat kale raw, or steam, braise, boil, or saute it, or add it to soups and casseroles. Raw: Scrunching the leaves briefly in the hands can make them easier to digest. Add to salads, sandwiches, wraps, or smoothies.

Kale As An Effective Side Dish: Sauté fresh garlic and onions in olive oil until soft. Add kale and continue to sauté until desired tenderness. Alternatively, steam for 5 minutes, then drain and stir in a dash of soy sauce and tahini. Kale is also great to add quick batches of steamed veggies using a bamboo steamed lined with banana leaves, a bunch of lemon grass to go along side with some garden veggies

Kale in Snacky Chips: Remove the ribs from the kale and toss in olive oil or lightly spray and sprinkle with a combination of cumin, curry powder, chili powder, roasted red pepper flakes or garlic powder. Bake at 275°F for 15–30 minutes to desired crispness. These chips are great to go as a filler snack, quick munch on the go, to have it like an evening snack etc.

Kale In Shakes And Smoothies: a lot of people have been including kale into their health punch shakes these days, they find it great to add a handful of kale to any favorite smoothie. It will add nutrients without changing the flavor very much, while the smoothie could be using any kind of fruit of your choice the add ons like nuts, seeds, soy milk, curd etc just perfectly blends the entire concoction into a new sip to savour concept.

Don't miss: Recipes For The Dabeli Delights By Chef Kaviraj Khialani

Here are a few of my easy to fix and relish recipes with Kale:

Kale and Tofu Combo

Kale And Tofu Combo

Ingredients

  • Firm Tofu- 150 gms, cut into medium cubes
  • Oil-2 tsp
  • Butter-1 tsp
  • Garlic cloves- 4-5 no sliced
  • Ginger- 2 tsp shredded
  • Shallots- 4-5 cut into 1 x 2
  • Carrots- 100 gms, shreds/ cut into strips/ shavings
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lime juice-2-3 tsp
  • Noodles- of your choice- 1 cup boiled/ rice noodles etc
  • Tomato sauce- 2-3 tsp
  • Red chili sauce- 2 tsp
  • Soy sauce- 2 tsp
  • Peanut butter-2 tsp
  • Water/stock-1/4 cup
  • White vinegar-1 tsp
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds-1 cup
  • Fresh herbs/ cilantro/ parsley-1/4 cup
  • Assorted seeds/ nuts- 2-3 tsp

Method

  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the recipe as listed.
  2. Heat oil and butter in a pan/wok and saute the ginger, garlic, shallots saute for 1 min.
  3. Add in the tofu cubes and soy sauce, red chili sauce, seasonings and saute for 2 mins.
  4. Add in the other ingredients one by one including the kale and herbs, toss them for 2-3 mins on medium flame and turn off.
  5. In a separate pan, in a little oil and garlic saute the noodles/pasta of your choice with tomato sauce, red chili sauce and dash of seasonings for 2-3 mins and serve it with the tofu and kale delight.
  6. Garnish the dish with a choice of nuts/ seeds and herbs and enjoy it hot.

Kale And Potato Melange

Kale and Poato Melange

Ingredients

  • Kale- 100-150 gms, cleaned, washed, trimmed and roughly cut.
  • Oil-2 tsp
  • Butter- 1 tsp
  • Garlic-1 tsp chopped
  • Onion- 1 small chopped
  • Potato- 3-4 med sized, peeled and cubed, par-boiled
  • Sweet potatoes- 1-2 no, peeled and cubed, par- boiled
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Mixed herbs- ½ tsp
  • Chili flakes-1/2 tsp
  • Lime juice-2 tsp
  • Roasted crushed peanuts- 2-3 tbsp.
  • Soya sauce-2 tsp
  • Water-1/4 cup
  • Red chili sauce- 2 tsp
  • Fresh coriander/parsley-2-3 tbsp. chopped
  • Grated cheese-1/4 cup

Method

  • Prepare all the ingredients for the Kale and Potato dish.
  • Pre-cook the potatoes a little to maintain the texture and crunch.
  • Heat oil and butter in a pan saute the garlic and onions for a few seconds, add in the kale and potato cubes, add seasonings to taste.
  • Cook the kale and potatoes for a few minutes and turn off the flame, add in the lime juice and peanuts, transfer the mixture onto a lightly greased baking dish and top it with some grated cheese and allow to slightly brown for 6- 8 mins at 180 deg celsius.
  • To make it more interesting make a cheese sauce and spread a little of the creamy cheese sauce at the base and top it up as well and then gratinate the dish and serve with garlic bread.

Kale And Chickpea Bowl

Kale And Chickpea Bowl

Ingredients

  • Kale- 100-150gms, cleaned, trimmed, washed and roughly cut
  • Oil-2 tsp
  • Butter-2 tsp
  • Bay leaf- 1-2 no
  • Peppercorns- 3-4 no
  • Garlic- 2 tsp sliced
  • Onion- 1 medium size, chopped
  • Boiled chickpeas- 1 and a half cup
  • Celery-1/4 cup cut into small pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garam masala powder-1/4 tsp
  • Chaat masala-1/4 tsp
  • Lime juice-2-3 tsp
  • Brown rice- 1 cup boiled
  • For the sauce to go alongside:
  • Oil-1 tsp
  • Butter-1 tsp
  • Ginger- 1 tsp chopped
  • Shallots- 2-3 sliced
  • Lemon grass- 3-4 pieces
  • Water/stock- 1 cup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Soya sauce- 2-3 tsp
  • Schezwan sauce- ½ cup
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Slit green chilies-2-3 no
  • Corn starch solution- 2-3 tsp
  • Spring onion greens/ parsley- 1-2 tsp chopped.

Method

  1. Prepare both the elements of the recipe and keep ready.
  2. To start with the base recipe, heat oil and butter in a pan, add in bay leaf, peppercorns, garlic, shallots, lemon grass and saute for a few seconds.
  3. Add in the boiled chickpeas, kale and brown rice and give it a nice toss, add in the sauces, seasonings and little water/stock and simmer and cook for 3-4 mins. Turn off the flame.
  4. To finish with the sauce, heat oil and butter in a saucepan saute the ginger, shallots, lemon grass for a few seconds, add in the water/stock and sauces, seasonings, chilies and allow them to come to a boil. Thicken it up a little with slurry or corn starch solution and add a few cubes of green capsicum into the sauce towards the end along with some greens.
  5. Place the sauce in a sauce boat and serve it separately or else we can do it like a pot rice concept as well with the kale- chickpea and rice mixture at the base topped with the spicy sauce.
Celebrity Chef Kaviraj Khialani has a varied experience with hotels and airlines. He is also a consultant, food designer and food stylist. For more recipes by Chef Kaviraj; stay tuned to HerZindagi.