Read a food magazine or watch a cooking show and you are most likely to hear about Kale. It seems to be the big trend in vegetables over the last few years. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Kale – I ate it for the first time three years back when I decided to grow it in my veggie patch. But I started thinking recently, Is Kale over-rated?
I recently completed a green juice cleanse, and Kale was big on the ingredients list. It makes sense since it is is a powerhouse leafy green. It’s also an acquired taste in a juice. My taste buds rebelled in the beginning, but there’s one handy tip I learnt. Lemon or lime juice can cut through the bitterness of any green juice.
Roasted Kale. Or should I say Kale Chips?
I love roasting Kale. One big reason is because all my kids will happily eat those crunchy greens. Matt Golinski, a local chef, visited my kids’ school to do a workshop. He made kale chips – the kids were super excited when they realised that mum cooks like a chef does!
As for myself, I could eat a whole tray of these yummy crunchy morsels. The reason I call them morsels is because when I bake Kale now, I no longer keep the leaves whole. I tear the leafy part off the stem, (giving my guinea pigs the stems – they love them), then roughly chop the leaves into bite size pieces.
Here’s how I make my delicious Kale Chips:
- Pop the chopped pieces of Kale leaves into a large bowl.
- Drizzle with olive oil (not too much as you don’t want the Kale to burn from too much oil) and then sprinkle with salt.
- Add sesame seeds, and toss together.
- Bake on a tray for 10 minutes at 180 degrees.
In my oven, 10 minutes is the perfect time, but you may want to check your tray after 8 minutes just to make sure that your goodies don’t burn. I have found from experience that kale does burn easily.
Tip: Bake Kale on a tray for extra crunchiness. If I’m baking Kale to put in a salad with other roasted veggies, I will then bake it in a quiche dish for the same amount of time. The texture isn’t as crunchy, but for some reason I prefer it this way in a roasted veggie salad.
Delicious in Soup
The first year that I grew kale in my patch, I had a crazy amount growing. It was like the plants were on steroids. This is when I started looking for recipes. One that I found was for a Portuguese Kale Soup. This has now become a winter favourite. It’s so simple and a delicious way to use up all that kale.
Kale Seed Run Out
I read an article that kale seed was in short supply because of the demand. I guess this is where growing your own veggies and collecting seed can come in handy!
I have sown seed directly into the patch. As with any seed, keep the ground moist while the seeds are germinating. When sowing seed directly, you do need to thin out the seedlings as they emerge. All those seedlings have to grow, and if you have over-crowding, it means that they are competing with each other. When I first starting growing veggies, I thought the more seedlings that popped up, the bigger the crop – no, this is not the case!
I have also grown Kale from bought seedlings. This is one of the quickest ways to grow Kale in your patch. That first time I grew seedlings, I fed them often with a liquid organic fertiliser. Maybe that’s why they seemed to be on steroids! I have also grown seedlings and not given them any fertiliser. While they haven’t grown as big, I did get enough leaves for my needs.
Kale is a brassica, which means that pesky white cabbage moth loves to lay its eggs on the leaves so their baby caterpillars can munch away. Here are some ways to keep that pesky moth away. I have used an exclusion tunnel, I have planted rocket on either side of the plants (I thought the scent of the rocket would keep the moth away). I also check the leaves while they are young to pick off any caterpillars.
So is kale over-rated? I don’t know about that, I am a big fan. But Kale becoming a trendy superfood has certainly made it a popular vegetable. If it means that more of us eat nutritious leafy greens, then I can’t see that as a bad thing.
What do you think, is kale over-rated? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.
Looking for more inspiration to cook with kale? Then check out 10 Healthy Kale Recipes.
Are there foods that are healthier than kale? Yes, there are. Read 10 Superfoods that are Healthier than Kale