Kale frequently tops the list of the most nutritious foods on the planet. While it didn't make our superfood list, experts tell us not to be discouraged by the haters. It's still one of the most nutrient-dense greens readily available at the supermarket—just one cup contains 14% of your daily calcium, 659% of your daily vitamin A, and 900% of your daily vitamin K requirement, according to an article on Time.com. And the list of varietals and the ways you can prepare it are long. Whether you blend it, sauté it, bake it, or eat it raw, kale remains a trending food with a nutritional value that continues to shine, despite its numerous competitors. Get to know these types of kale and delicious options for weeknight meals.
Hearty, with a mildly sweet, nutty flavor and purple-red stems. Sauté or braise to cook the somewhat tough leaves.
Young leaves have a mild flavor and are tender enough to eat raw, yet hearty enough to stand up to a quick stir-fry or sauté. Stems are soft and don’t need to be trimmed.
White Flowering Kale
Leaves have a peppery, cabbage-forward flavor. Great in braises and soups.
Purple Flowering Kale
Sweet, cabbage-like leaves are tasty raw in salads or lightly cooked. Stems tend to be bitter.
The most common variety, with a lightly bitter flavor. The stem is woody, so strip and use just the leaves.
Also called dinosaur or Tuscan kale. Tender leaves have a mild, earthy flavor and are delicious raw, wilted, or sautéed.
Kale, Jicama, and Orange Salad
Here's an idea to get you started. This Kale, Jicama, and Orange Salad pops with color and texture from juicy citrus, creamy avocado, and crisp jicama. Dark, bumpy kale fits the mood, but you can substitute any lettuce you like. We love the pink hue of Cara Cara oranges in the salad, but regular navel or even blood oranges (in keeping with the spooky theme) would also work. Sturdy lacinato kale will become perfectly tender when dressed and left to stand at room temperature. Coating the avocado in the dressing first will keep it from browning while you're out having fun.