Kale, what is it? How to cook it with cannabis?
Kale is a cultivar of cabbage grown for their edible leaves.
The kale that we see in North America derives from Russia.
Russian kale was introduced to North America in 19th century.
USDA botanist David Fairchild is credited with introducing kale to Canadians and Americans. His kale originates from Croatia.
According to the USDA, the nutritional value of a raw kale is composed of 84% water, 9% carbohydrates, 4% protein, and 1% fat.
In North America, Kale become very popular with the recent push for consuming organic foods.
Kale is the most densely nutrient rich vegetable you can eat.
A single cup of raw Kale includes Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Victamin B6, Manganese, Calcium, Copper, Potassium, and Magnesium.
That is just under 33 calories, 6 grams of carbs (2 of which are fiber) and 3 grams of protein. Not to mention, Kale contains Omega-3 fatty acids called alpha Lionel-acid.
Did you also know Kale is loaded with antioxidants like Quercetin & Kaempferol?
Oxidative damage is believed to be among the leading drivers of aging!
These substances have powerful heart-protective, blood-lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-depressant, and anti-cancer effects.
In fact, Kale is much higher in Vitamin C than other vegetables or fruits like oranges.
It contains 4.5 times more Vitamin C than spinach.
A cup of raw kale contains more Vitamin C than an orange.
The Vitamin K in Kale also clears out blood clotting, activating certain proteins and providing them the ability to bind calcium.
Kale also helps improving your eye health. Not to mention, it helps to shed a lot of weight. Ever heard of kale diet?
That’s why you should keep checking out Kale Facts.
What does Kale cost though?
Big name grocery stores like Whole Foods have rebranded collard vegetables like Kale as the next big superfood (due to its rich nutrients).
This push has been attributed for the rise of price in vegetables.
Kale indeed is one of the foods affected by “food gentrification”.
Unfortunately in the United States, the cost of feeding a family of four has increased 18 percent in the five years since 2007.
In 2012, the average cost of feeding a family was USD145.
That’s a big leap from USD123. That’s what used to cost an American family of four in 2012.
Not to worry!
You can grow Kale in your backyard or indoors.
Kale grows best in the spring and fall. It can tolerate fall frosts and a bit of cold as well.
Remember, Kale can be very versatile as an ingredient. You can use it in salads as a garnish, or mix it in other cold or hot dishes.
The choice is yours.
As for planting, I’d recommend planting spring to early summer (unless you are growing Kale indoors).
You can harvest it from fall or until the ground freezes in winter.
Obviously, harvest Kale before winter comes in full strength!
Mix 1 and 1/2 cups of 8-10 fertilizer per 25 feet of row into the top 4 inches of soil.
Plant the seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep into well-drained, light soil.
Water the Kale plants regularly! Don’t overwater them. Kale is very sensitive to receiving a lot of water.
Mulch the soil heavily after the first hard freeze.
Sometimes, the Kale plants may continue to produce leaves throughout the winter. It’s the perfect plant for people who live in all four seasons.
Watch out for any cabbage worms, flea beetles or aphids. Be weary of the regular garden pests and plant diseases.
How do you harvest and store Kale?
Kale is ready for harvesting when the plant leaves are as big as your hand.
When you snip off the leaves, avoid picking the terminal bud (the core centre of the plant). This part of the Kale plant helps the plant stay productive.
Kale will grow until the temperature drops below 20 degrees F.
You might find that Kale is sweeter with frost.
If your Kale plant hasn’t fully matured yet or isn’t ready for another round of harvest, shield your Kale plant with row covers.
Smaller Kale leaves can be used for salads, and we used the bigger ones for larger, hot meals. Mostly because Kale shrinks in size if you cook under heat.
Olivia Dali is a cook based in Seattle, WA specializing in organic dishes. She likes to create experimental cannabis and kale dishes for her customers. She hopes to deliver more cannabis-infused dishes in the future.