Leafy, plump, and rich- vegetables have never been a popular item amongst the masses. Although some veggies like potato and carrot have maneuvered their way into people’s hearts, there’s still a considerable gap in the love meter for fresh produce.
One such vegetable goes by the name of kale; an item that has garnered a rather unfavorable reputation. Very leafy produce, kale is a vegetable rich in nutrients. It comes in a vast range of different shapes, colors, and textures. But what does kale taste like?
To answer the question in detail, let’s take a better look at what this vegetable is and the benefits it holds for consumers.
What is Kale?
A nutritious and hearty vegetable, kale comes with an elongated stem. It is a product of the infamous Brassica family, also known as the crucifers. Having close ties with cabbage, kale leaves can give tough competition to those of cabbage. There are two main types of kale:
- Brassica Napus- has a ruffled appearance.
- Brassica Oleracea- has a smoother texture.
Most of the vegetable’s heavyweight lies in the stem and ribs. A large majority of chefs always remove the stem before getting down to work. However, the stem can be eaten by all means. If you wish to eat that part, just cook it well before consuming it.
Benefits of Kale
Also referred to as the “king of super healthy greens,” kale has immense benefits for the consumer. Like most vegetables, it has been ignored by people and especially children. But, kale is extremely nutritious and holds great potential as a regular vegetable item in the house. Here are some of the top reasons why you should incorporate kale in your diet:
- Plays a pivotal role in lowering the chances of cancer.
- Keeps blood levels in check all the time.
- Full of potassium and thus, it helps in preventing the risk of heart diseases.
- A great source of antioxidants and vitamins such as vitamins A, K, and C, with hints of magnesium, calcium, and several others.
- Blood glucose levels are maintained. It is also a great food item for diabetic patients.
- Helps in preventing serious asthmatic diseases.
As established above, kale serves several different dietary benefits. From prevention of critical diseases to boosting vitamin levels, the vegetable can do it all. So far, we have taken a closer look at the vegetable and its string of benefits. Now, if kale holds a myriad of nutrients and helps in so many other things, then why is it so unpopular among the masses?
Although we may not know the exact answer, intuition suggests that kale’s reputation is linked to its taste. But what does kale taste like?
The Flavor of Kale
The taste of kale would vary from person to person and palate to palate. From a bigger perspective, however, the vegetable is known to have a strong taste, which is the reason behind people’s dislike. Earthy and tough, kale’s leaves are extremely dry and crunchy. Most people who consume the vegetable for the first time are likely to be put off by the overwhelming taste of the vegetable.
Although kale is a nice, hearty, and leafy green, it is much unlike the distinct spice of Arugula. But this is usually the case with mature kale. Younger kale has leaves that are soft and thin, accompanied by a much milder taste. Since the flavor of young kale is light, it can work as a great product in fresh salads. Even mature kale can be added to enhance the flavor of a salad; just cut it up in small ribbons and mix it well with lettuce.
It is important to note that kale’s taste may also be subject to its variety. Since the vegetable comes in several different varieties, the flavor will vary significantly. For instance, the Red Russian kale has a much sweeter taste than other types of kale in the market. Additionally, kale grown via frost has a much sweeter taste than kale grown without the use of frost.
If kale is old, it may have an inherent, bitter and unpleasant taste. Apart from its strong taste, the leaves may also be tougher to use. Hence, when using old kale, it is imperative that you cook it well, otherwise, the dish may be completely ruined.
Nonetheless, kale is one of the best vegetables in the world. It may take a while for you to get accustomed to the taste, but, when you do, the vegetable would taste delectable. To avoid the bitterness in taste and the toughness in leaves, you can choose the best varieties of kale.
Ways to Choose the Best Kale
Since kale is a hearty vegetable, it has the potential of growing all year round in several places. From grocery stores to farmers markets, the vegetable is widely available. However, the real kale season” falls in the months between October and March. Here are two ways in which you can pick the best kale varieties.
- Always remember that healthy kale will have leaves that are strong and crisp. The leaves also have a fresh color that holds immense vibrance. On the other hand, young kale will have smaller but moist leaves. Hence, when buying kale, always pay special attention to the quality and color of the leaves.
- Additionally, try avoiding kale which has a certain degree of brown spots. This type of vegetable will have wilted leaves and thus must not be bought.
Summing it Up
In conclusion, we could call kale a rich and healthy vegetable. Although its taste is subject to people’s opinion, its dietary benefits cannot be ignored. Just like other vegetables, kale is a great source of vitamins and other important elements that help in keeping our system healthy. The taste may be bitter at first, but cooking it well and accompanying the vegetable with other elements will surely help in enhancing the taste. So, are you convinced to buy kale?