The popularity of kale is nothing new. In fact, between 2007 and 2012, kale production in the U.S. increased by nearly 60%, despite the fact that this leafy green has been around for over 2,000 years. Before its surge in popularity in the early 2000’s though, it was actually rumored that Pizza Hut was the largest buyer of kale in the country, using the curled leaves as decor for their salad bars.
But because the last fifteen years has continued to see the appearance of kale on menus and in stores, many of us believe that perhaps this leafy green has bypassed trendiness and grown into a true health staple. It’s no wonder though, what with the many health benefits and uses of the hardy vegetable. Read on to learn more!
Kale + Health
As you may already know, this curly superfood is packed with nutrients – including an entire day’s worth of vitamin C, and twice the recommended amount of vitamin A in just one serving. But were you also aware that eating kale can help reduce the risk of heart disease? Additional benefits include lowered risk for cancer, blood pressure improvement, lowered risk for asthma, and improvement in the blood glucose levels of diabetics. This all from consuming around a serving (20-40 grams) of kale per day.
Kale + Flavor
So sure, kale is good for you – but is it tasty? Many people are turned off by kale when it’s not cooked properly, particularly since it’s difficult to eat raw and can be bitter or tough if prepared incorrectly.
Things to remember about the fluffy-leafed vegetable? Even though kale is a green, it’s more similar to cabbage than it is to, say spinach. Which means it’s hardier and less delicate when cooked. It will take longer to wilt and will retain its slightly bitter flavor if not cooked in something. One of the easiest ways to tone down this flavor is to saute the leaves with some olive oil and either lemon juice or a touch of red wine vinegar. The acidity will balance out the kale’s natural taste and make it more palatable.
Because kale is so popular though, it’s incredibly easy to find a diversity of recipes to use. Kale chips, for instance, make for an easy and delicious snack – but the leaves are also an excellent addition to any soup or stew. Kale makes for excellent salads, sides, and even pesto!
Kale + ..Sausage?
Something you may be wondering by now is what does kale have to do with sausage? Well in addition to making a wonderful pair in recipes like this Sausage Kale Pesto Pizza or this dish of Sausages with Kale and White Beans, here at Uncle Charley’s, we believe that kale is also particularly good in sausage.
Yes, you read that right. We’ve put this wonderfully delightful superfood into our latest Seasonal Selects: Victory Garden. In addition to kale, these products have carrots, celery, and added spices and will make the perfect addition to any soup, pasta, or pizza dish you want to cook up – or are delicious on their own!
To learn more about this release, contact us today to find out where you can find Victory Garden nearest you.