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Fruit and Vegetable Guide

Photo of Kale

Kale

Autumn, Winter

Description: Kale, a hardy green, can survive severe frost. It grows in individual stalks and appears in the market in bunches. Kale is generally interchangeable with collard greens.

Selection: Choose dark green, crisp leaves and thinner stalks. After a frost kale is sweeter.

Storage and handling: Remove excess moisture and refrigerate in a loosely sealed plastic bag for up to 4 days. Before eating, wash thoroughly.

Preparation: Remove the tough stalk and central vein by hand or with a knife, and chop or tear leaves for cooking. Boil or steam 4-8 minutes. Sauté onions in a frying pan, then add raw chopped kale and a few tablespoons of water, cover and cook till kale is tender, about 8 minutes; uncover for a few minutes to allow water to evaporate. Microwave in a covered dish with a little water, about 4 minutes.

Serving suggestions: Slice young kale leaves and add to salads. Mature kale is not typically eaten raw. Sauté with corn and sweet red pepper (SIS, p. 194). Sprinkle cooked kale with vinegar; serve with polenta. Add raw kale to soups for the last few minutes of cooking time (SIS, p. 182). Mix leftovers with mashed potatoes to make the Irish dish colcannon.

Nutrients (when boiled): Vitamins A, C, K; cancer-preventing com-pounds sulforaphane, isothiocyanate and indoles; fiber. Also significant amount of Vitamin B6 and calcium.

1 lb raw = 8 cups
1 lb cooked = 2-3 cups

The Fruit and Vegetable Guide is reproduced here with permission of Herald Press, publisher of Simply in Season.

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