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Simple Kale Greens Cooking Recipes

Ancient Greeks and then Romans grew and enjoyed kale, but whether it originally grew wild there or further east isn't known. Kale greens gradually made its way west and north to England and tehn on to the New World. Available almost everywhere, it is especially popular in the southern states. Kale is not delicate; it has a hearty, almost meaty quality that makes it very satisfactory if it is the mainstay of a meal. Add a little meat, ham hock, salt pork, or bacon along with homemade bread or biscuits, and a kettle of kale become a full meal.

Kale greens  is a cold weather vegetable. It is at its best from September to May, and many cooks think it is definitely better after it has been touched by frost. The plants are hardy enough to withstand even snow, and if you are a gardener, the leaves can be picked all winter long, unless temperatures stay in the teens for prolonged periods of time.

These are often several varieties of kale in the market: the familiar dark, blue-green kind with its very curly leaves; the lighter green, almost flat leaf, only crinkly around the edges; and purple or flowering kale, sometimes called Salad Savoy. Flowering kale greens ranges in color from purple to creamy white or pale yellow. While it is often planted as an ornamental, it can be used as a decorative plant in the house, added to salads or cooked and eaten like other kale.

In the past, kale greens was classed as one of the "bitter greens" and thought to have too strong a taste to eat raw, but I have found that it can be delicious as a salad if only the smallest, most tender leaves are used. Use a well-flavored dressing and enjoy a crisp new taste.

While kale's bulk does diminish to some extent in cooking, it is not like spinach, which practically disappears when it wilts. Also, the heavy leaves are very misleading to the first-time cook. Only the oldest kale is tough. Normally, kale requires 8 to 10 minutes cooking before it is delightfully tender. This shortened cooking time also helps eliminate the strong odor once associated with cooked kale.

Not only does kale greens offer vitamins A and C, the same health benefits as its cruciferous cousin cabbage, it contains substantial quantities of iron and absorbable calcium. And kale is also low in calories and fat. The above are all kale vegetable nutrients.


More about cooking with leaf vegetables

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