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It’s fantastic raw or cooked and it’s full of nutrition. What’s not to love about delicious Kale?

Get to know kale

Kale is a leafy green that’s also known as “Curly Cabbage”. Locally grown kale is packed with texture and close-to-the-fields freshness. Harvested by hand in Ontario, it’s a naturally tasty way to load up on vitamins and nutrients.

Kale originates from the Mediterranean region. It was on the menu in Ancient Rome, and was a basic staple for peasants in the Middle Ages. It wasn't until the 17th century that kale was introduced in North America by the English.

Kale is the most robust species of cabbage and it thrives in cold climates. It can tolerate temperatures as cold as -15º C. Unlike other varieties of cabbage, its leaves do not grow in the form of a head but rather in branches, which makes it easy to distinguish. Kale is characterized by its long, very curly, fibrous leaves that go from light green, to blue-green, to dark green. This curly cabbage is so decorative that several kale fields are used only to grow ornamental varieties, all of which retain the great qualities of regular kale.

Kale is sold year round at Metro, with local Ontario kale available from late summer to fall.

Nutritious and Delicious

Kale is a source of many vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C and K; potassium; folic acid; calcium and iron. It’s a cruciferous vegetable in the same family as broccoli and cabbage, and all of these pleasing vegetables have been widely studied for their potential benefit in helping with cancer prevention. Kale is also considered to have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Choosing and Storing Kale

When selecting:

Kale, look for very firm, deeply-coloured and rather small leaves, with no spots or mould.

To keep kale in optimal conditions:

store the cabbage leaves in the refrigerator, tightly packed and unwashed, in a perforated plastic bag. It will keep for 5 to 10 days but it’s always preferable to use it as soon as possible as it tends to become bitter with time. Kale can also be frozen, but must be blanched for 2 to 3 minutes first.

Enjoy it raw

Kale is very nutritious in both its raw and cooked forms, but to get the most nutrients from your kale, try it raw.

Salad king

Enjoy kale sliced thinly into strips in salads. Note that when you’re preparing your kale, always remove the tough centre ribs. Massaging the leaves prior to use is great for tenderizing them, and sprinkling kale with a bit of sea salt can remove some of the bitterness. For a treat, toss raw kale with blueberries and vinaigrette dressing!

In your smoothie

Whip kale with honey, yogurt, fruit and almond milk for a delicious snack or morning pick-me-up.

Make kale pesto

Combine with nuts, olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese to make a fresh, savoury pesto – perfect for tossing with pasta!

Enjoy it cooked

There are so many ways to enjoy delicious kale!

Steam it

Steam for about 5 minutes and enjoy as is or with a touch of homemade vinaigrette.

Sauté it

Sauté kale in a frying pan with some olive oil, garlic and honey. Add salt and pepper and it’s ready to eat. It’s that simple!

Add it to soup or a quiche

Versatile food par excellence, kale can be used instead of spinach in most recipes. It also adds colour and nutrients to many dishes.

Stuff it

Wrap mixed vegetables or a savoury ground meat mix into kale leaves for a beautiful side dish

Toss it into your pasta

Chop and boil kale and add to pasta dishes before serving. Adding kale is a great way to boost flavour, texture and nutrition.

Grill it

Chop kale leaves into large pieces and toss with olive oil and kosher salt. Grill on medium heat for 4-5 minutes for a lovely char. Flip and cook for another minute. Serve as a nutrient-packed side dish.

Have you tried crispy kale chips?

Crispy Kale Chips

Kale is also wonderful baked into Crispy Kale Chips – see our recipe! If you’d like, use roasted sesame oil and replace the salt with a bit of soy sauce for an Asian-inspired version, or season with smoked paprika, curry powder, or herbes de Provence.

View full recipe

Kale Comfort Food

Nutritious kale can be used in many satisfying, comforting dishes

Curly Kale Rolls with Vegetables

These Curly Kale Rolls with Vegetables make a great impression! They’re an absolutely beautiful side dish or first course. Filled with tofu, herbs and diced summer vegetables, they’re also a light, nutritious addition to any meal.

See the full recipe

Curly kale rolls with vegetables

Sausage, Onion, Kale and Parmesan Rotini

Sausage, Onion, Kale and Parmesan Rotini

Kale is wonderful in pasta! Try our Sausage, Onion, Kale and Parmesan Rotini when you’re craving your next pasta fix.

View full recipe

Fun facts

Kale has more Vitamin C than an orange.

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