It might seem like Kale is the new veggie on the block but it is fact an ancient vegetable making a comeback. There are many good reasons to add this vegetable to your diet it contains high concentration of antioxidants. Loaded with vitamins A, C, K, it is ﬁbre rich and a source of the minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
It gets a bad rap for being tough and coarse, but we are long pass the days of just boiling the life out of it. Eaten raw, cooked or juiced it makes a nice change from the usual winter vegetable choices.
It is a hardy veggie that tolerates some frost; it said that the sweetness of the leaves improves if it gets frosted. As it belongs to the same family as the cabbage, you can give them the same growing conditions a well- drained sunny position, rich soil and like the rest of the family it also enjoys a sweet soil so add a few handfuls of Lime.
There can be some confusion around Kale, (Borecole) the types of Kale, Curly Kale is the one most often grown and Cavolo Nero is less popular. Feed with a general liquid fertiliser every couple of weeks, this can be applied in a watering can.
Pest control is minimal as it doesn’t get attacked by many of the insects; it is usually just the white cabbage butterﬂy that will have a nibble. Use Derris Dust on that; apply in the morning when the morning dew will help it stick.
You harvest the rufﬂed leaves that grow on a tall bush a bit like a miniature tree, it doesn’t form a head. Harvest from the outside in, younger leaves have a sweeter and milder ﬂavour, if you are using them raw. Otherwise pick the leaves when they are about 30 cm tall.
It is a cut and come again plant producing more leaves especially at the top of the plant, so don’t remove the growing stalk after your ﬁrst cut.
When using the larger leaves, cut away the tougher centre stalk, on younger leaves just cut away the thicker
base. Wash thoroughly in cold water, store washed leaves in a plastic bag in the vegetable bin of the fridge.
To sauté, cut or tear in to strips, heat oil in a pan and cook, covered for 1 minute. Uncover and cook until wilted and soft. Season with salt, pepper add a squeeze of lemon juice or a drizzle of olive oil.
For a smoothie, blend.
2-3 leaves of Kale
2 stalks of celery
About a thumb nail of ginger – peeled
½ lemon – peeled
I found a little Kale goes a long way, cramming masses in to the nutra ninja, thinking the more the better, resulted in it being poured in to the compost bin. So experiment with this recipe till you get something that suits you.