Harvest of the Month: Kale

Among all the healthy greens in your diet, kale is the king. Found in the cruciferous family of vegetables, kale pairs a low-calorie content with abundant nutrients. This makes kale not only a superfood, but one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet! Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that may not be in your everyday meal, kale is best known for having huge benefits, including protecting the cardiovascular system, preserving eyesight, and preventing cancer. Many studies show that the nutrients provided by this curly leaf are some of the best per calorie in any foodie’s collection.

How to Select
Kale can be curly, flat, and have a bluish tint mixed with its green color. Look for dark, crispy bunches with firm, moist stems. Avoid yellow or brown coloration and wilting leaves.

How to Store
Store kale in a tightly-sealed bag in the coldest part of the refrigerator, where it will stay firm and fresh for up to five days. Kale is sensitive to ethylene, a gas formed naturally by many fruits, so store bunches separately from other produce.

How to Prepare
Wash kale thoroughly before eating. Depending on the dish, kale may be steamed with your favorite veggies, chopped without its stalks for salads, blended into smoothies or herb pesto, or baked for a crunchy snack. If you’re set on cooking the leafy green into your diet, steaming is the best way to preserve the superfood’s nutrients.

Try kale in the recipe for Hearty Garbanzo Bean & Green Kale Soup from MyRecipes.com.

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