Kale: A Controversial Vegetable

What is it about kale that sparks controversy?

I returned home last night from spending a week with my folks in Florida. On my desk this morning were four neatly cut out editions of the comic strip Stone Soup, a gift from my husband. Stone Soup details the adventures of an extended, blended family and is one of my favorite comics. In this story, the policeman/boyfriend of Val, a single mother with two daughters, is bringing over dinner and threatening to include kale. This evokes the common response from children to kale: Bleecch!

The dinner turns out to be better than expected and it does not involve kale. Which is too bad! Kale is a powerhouse vegetable, with more nutrition per ounce than almost any other food. It’s full of fiber and flavonoids and is said to reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.

I’ve never grown kale, but it’s a wonderful vegetable for those who want to stretch the season.  It tastes better after a bit of frost and some gardeners leave kale out after the snow flies. You can eat the leaves small and young or let them reach maturity.

We ate a lot of it one year when we joined a Community Supported Agriculture farm. I love it in soup and sauted with onions and garlic, especially with eggs or fish. I’ve even tried kale chips — one of kale’s most hyped incarnations. Some people love them.

My hubby feels otherwise — hence the cartoons on my desk. I still include kale in our diet now and then, but I don’t make kale chips. Fortunately, we have reached a compromise by choosing Swiss chard as our green of choice. It has many similar benefits without all the baggage.

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3 Responses to Kale: A Controversial Vegetable

  1. meemsnyc says:

    I didn’t eat Kale growing up, but I really enjoy it now! It’s so tasty. Especially in soups and kale chips!

  2. commonweeder says:

    I’ve made kale chips! And my husband’s favorite soup, caldo galego, cannot be made without kale. Neither can ribollata.

  3. Mary Schier says:

    I thought kale chips were good — especially with a fair amount of salt, but my husband hated them! I’ve never made caldo galego. I checked a recipe, though, and it sounds like a Cuban version of something my Belgian grandma used to make that she called “utzi putzi.” I’m going to have to try it.

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