I have only come across kale in the last couple of years and in that time I’ve discovered what a wonderful vegie it is. It is extremely nutritious, looks impressive and grows really well in winter. I planted some with my students in the school garden a couple of weeks ago and they are eager for it to grow so that we can make kale chips. Here are some great facts about this fantastic vegie that will fascinate you and the kids:
- Kale is also known as borecole
- It is part of the brassica family.
- It is a descendant of wild cabbage.
- It is usually green however purple kale is popular too.
- Unlike many other brassicas, kale does not grow a central head in the middle of the plant.
- Kale is very high in vitamins A, K and C. It is an excellent source of fibre and is packed full of antioxidants. It is also a good source of plant-based calcium and iron.
- It is very popular in Europe however it is also used in African and Asian meals too.
- It makes a good substitute for cabbage in cooking.
- It can be used in a wide range of recipes such as soups, salads, casseroles and even juices. This smoothie recipe is delicious and kale chips are popular with kids too. To make kale chips simply tear off small pieces of kale, toss in some olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt and bake in the oven at 160oC for 15-20 minutes.
- Kale grows best during the cooler parts of the year making it a great winter vegie to plant.
- It is best to sow kale seeds into punnets and then transplant into garden beds once they are established.
- Kale likes to grow in free-draining soil.
- Kale tastes sweeter after it has been frozen so a winter frost is perfect for sweetening up the leaves.
As you can see it is a wonderful little plant with loads of great health benefits so why not grow some now?
Do you already love kale? If so, what is your favourite way to eat it?