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Kitchen - Cooking Tip of the Month

Lacinato Kale

photo_lacinto_kale.jpgI have known for a long time that kale, one of cruciferous vegetables, is supposed to be one of those 'greatest of greens' and yet I have to say I've never really liked the taste of it. That was always the case until I tried Lacinto kale. Lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur kale, is a type of kale from Italy. It is considered to be more of a wild variety rather than domesticated. The great thing about Lacinto verses regular kale is that it is delicious and on the sweet side.

Kale in general is loaded in nutrients and is therefore a must for your diet. Just to give you some of the great benefits kale has/is:

  • One of the highest levels of phytonutrients than any vegetable
  • Of those phytonutrients, one in particular that is high is glucosinolates, which research is showing to be involved in lessening the occurrence of a variety of cancers
  • Phytonutrients also work as antioxidants, which aid in keeping all the cells in your body healthier due to a decrease in free radicals
  • One of the highest levels of carotenes, especially lutein and zeaxanthin, both assist in the prevention of damage to the eyes, including decreasing the potential for macular degeneration
  • High in beta carotene, a precursor of Vitamin A
  • High in Vitamin C
  • High in Manganese, a mineral involved in the production of energy from carbohydrates and protein
  • 93 mg of Calcium in one cup
  • Is loaded with fiber with one cup giving you about 10% of the daily value for fiber
  • And much more!

Want to learn more? For more detailed studies go to:
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=38.

So the question is what to do with it? You can eat it raw in your salads or, my favorite thing to do is steam it. Here's how:

  • Place about 1/2" water in a quart pot
  • Slice Lacinto kale into about 1" pieces crosswise
  • Allow water to boil
  • Add kale to pot and cover
  • Cook 3-4 minutes
  • Put Celtic Salt on it and serve
  • It's that easy!

The added benefit? Research shows that lightly cooking the kale will increase the availability of the phytonutrients.