Nutrition Notes: Kale Your Way to Health

Kale, a veritable nutrient super-hero, is packed with vitamins A, C and K and manganese. Kale can help boost our immunity and memory. Kale is available year-round in supermarkets and local farmers' markets, though its availability peaks between mid- September and the end of February.

Fun Fact! Kale tastes sweeter after a frost and can thrive in snow.Here are some of the commonly available varieties of kale:

1. Curly kale is bright to dark green in color with fibrous stalks. It has a little pungency and bitterness that are barely noticeable in younger leaves.

2. Lactino kale is wrinkled, firm and dark bluish green in color. Its flavor is delicate and slightly sweeter than curly kale.

3. Russian kale looks like arugula, and has woody, fibrous and purplish stalks. It is one of the sweetest varieties of kale.4. Redbor kale has dark reddish purple leaves that look like curly kale.

Prepping and Storing Kale: It is important to thoroughly wash, pat dry and strip kale leaves from their stalks. When using baby kale, the stalks are tender and do not need to be stripped. Once prepped, kale leaves can be used or stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

Dining with Kale: Here are some easy ways to add kale to your plate.

Kale can be marinated in your favorite dressing for about an hour and added to salads, wraps and sandwiches.

Add chopped kale to soups, stews and chili.Sauté kale in a little olive oil with garlic, and season it with salt and pepper.Add raw kale to smoothies.My favorite way to eat kale is kale chips in a kale dip. Garlic Kale Dip Recipe Preparation time: 20 minutesServing size: 1/4 cupNumber of servings: 5 - 6Ingredients:- 1 cup baby kale, chopped- ¼ cup onions, chopped- 3-4 garlic, finely chopped- 1 tsp olive oil- 1 cup Greek yogurt- Salt and pepper to taste- 1 tsp chopped cilantro or any favorite herb- ½ tsp sugarHeat the oil in a pan. Add the garlic, onions and kale and sauté for 5 minutes. Take the pan off heat and cool the mixture. Mix in the rest of the ingredients with the mixture and keep in refrigerator. Serve chilled with kale chips. Kale Chips Recipe Preparation time: 30 minutesNumber of servings: 2 - 3Ingredients:- 1 bunch curly kale- 1 tbsp olive oil- ½ tsp saltPrep the kale leaves into bite-size pieces and wipe off any water with a paper towel. Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Mix ingredients, making sure all the pieces of kale are coated with oil. Place the kale on a baking tray in a single layer and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the chips are firm to touch. Let the chips cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy the chips with the kale dip!