Live Healthy With Kale
Kale has come from its humble origins to be a premium vegetable grown for its astounding health benefits as well as its great taste. It is a terrific fall and winter vegetable, and continues to be productive through all but the harshest winters. It used to be called a ‘hunger gap’ vegetable because if left in the ground all winter it will produce a crop of new leaves in early spring before any other vegetables are ready to harvest.
There are a several varieties of kale that can be grown, all with their benefits and traditional uses for healthy living, but Red Russian Kale is definitely one to find room for in your home vegetable garden. Kales are also a great source of healthy snacks and if you grow your own you know that you are really getting fresh, organic, GMO-free vegetables for your family.
Red Russian Kale – also called Ragged Jack Kale for its huge serrated leaves – is a close relative of rape, the plant that produces canola oil, so it is different in appearance and flavor from other types of kale. The flavour is sweeter and if you don’t like kale, this is the one to try that will change your mind.
Growing Kale in Your Vegetable Garden
Seeds of all the kale varieties can be sown outdoors from early July until late October, depending on the severity of winter in your area. Choose a sunny spot and add manure or compost and some garden lime to reduce disease. Rich soil and plenty of water will make for rapid growth and produce the best quality leaves for the kitchen.
Kale has few pests or diseases so it is a great vegetable for a beginner to start with and its contribution to the healthy living of your family is undeniable. There are two grams of protein in every serving, 26% of your daily manganese needs, plus iron and vitamins A, C and E. Besides containing many antioxidants it also contains the proven cancer-fighter sulforaphane. No wonder it is so good for you.
Healthy Snacks From Kale
Healthy snacks are always in demand in the home, especially if you have children and if healthy living is your priority. Kale chips are an amazing way to enjoy this vegetable and take advantage of its health benefits. These chips are quick and easy to make.
Harvest some leaves from the garden, tear them into bite-sized pieces and removing the centre stems. Wash them and then make sure they’re completely dry. Dribble some olive oil over the pile of leaves and rub it in well in until they are completely coated. Place the pieces on a tray and bake in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes. The exact cooking time can vary, so keep a watch so they don’t burn. When the edges are slightly browned, but the pieces are still a nice, deep green you know they are ready. Sprinkle on a little sea-salt if you wish and enjoy your healthy snacks.
These chips will store well in an air-tight bag or tin. You can vary the flavour by adding parmesan cheese, chili, spices or herbs to the oil. That way you can easily produce a wide variety of flavours making even more ways to enjoy these healthy snacks.