Eat Seasonably – KALE

IMG_0465 copyThere is nothing like fresh fruits and vegetables during peak season. Check out our “Eat Seasonably” feature where we will share health tips, preparation tricks, and new recipes featuring the best of the season’s produce. This cruciferous vegetable packs a variety of health benefits, including vitamins A, C and K, filling fiber and free radical-fighting antioxidants. As a winter green, kale is at its best now and can easily be found in most grocery stores. Read along for tips on selecting the best kale and tasty recipe ideas to enjoy this versatile, seasonal vegetable.

Selecting and Storing:

  • As a member of the “Dirty Dozen,” try to look for organic kale, if possible, to avoid any unwanted pesticide contaminants.
  • Although available throughout the year, peak kale season begins during winter and lasts through the early months of spring.
  • When choosing kale, look for firm, deeply colored leaves and moist stems, without signs of browning, yellowing, or small holes. Smaller leaves are more tender with a milder flavor than large leaves.
  • To store, keep unwashed kale in a plastic bag, removing as much air as possible. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, rinsing before use. Kale should be stored in a cool environment, since warm temperatures will cause it to wilt.

Preparation and Recipe Ideas:

  • Steaming or sautéing kale not only will create a more tender texture, but also will release some key nutrients, including iron and calcium, making them more easily absorbed during digestion.
  • Roasting turns this leafy green into a crisp kale chip — perfect for snacking!
  • Unlike some leafy greens with distinctive flavors, kale, like spinach, is easily adaptable and perfect for adding to smoothies to increase nutrient content and decrease sugar.
  • To prep and store for use throughout the week, finely chop kale and leave “undressed” in the refrigerator as a base for quick, customizable salads.
  • Massage your kale? That’s right! Show this green some love by massaging to break down fibers for a more palatable texture. 

FEED’s Favorite Recipes:

Lara Field MS, RD, LDN is a Registered Dietitian and Specialist in Pediatrics with over a decade of clinical and client experience. When she’s not actively working to keep her clients healthy, she’s a busy mother of two active boys and loves testing new recipes in her kitchen. Follow her on Instagram to see her recipe ideas, product suggestions, and see how she manages a healthy lifestyle @larafield.