Kale is an extremely nutritious, easy to grow vegetable which can be used in salads, stir-fries or smoothies. The Tuscan variety is very hardy and is a prolific producer – simply pick the leaves as you need them.
Kale has very high concentrations of vitamins K, A, C, B6 & E, and is a great source of
calcium and antioxidants. Known to help lower cholesterol, Kale is also an anti-inflammatory which assists with the symptoms of arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.
Plant Kale in either the garden or in pots. It likes well-drained soil and full sun, and benefits from mulching to retain moisture around the roots. Tuscan Kale has a weeping habit rather than other varieties which can grow quite tall, so it’s good to regularly pick the lower leaves to keep the growth away from soil.
Have you tried delicious Kale chips?
1. Preheat an oven to 180 degrees. Trim off and discard the stem ends of the kale leaves. Cut out and discard any large ribs from the centre of the leaves (these won’t crisp up the same way as the leaves will). Rinse the leaves clean with cool water and pat them thoroughly dry.
You can leave small leaves whole, but you may want to cut larger leaves into more
manageable pieces. Alternatively, you can cut the leaves into largish yet more chip-like
pieces to be eaten in a bite or two.
2. Put the kale in a very large bowl and drizzle it with the oil. Gently toss the kale pieces until they are thoroughly and evenly coated with the oil. Arrange the leaves on baking sheets in a single layer (you may need to cook them in batches; but the key to getting the kale crisp is to bake it in a single layer, so resist any temptation to layer the leaves!). Sprinkle the kale with salt. For extra flavour, you can also add lemon zest or some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
3. Bake the kale for 20 minutes, remove the kale from the oven, and let it cool—you can leave the kale on the baking sheets or transfer it to cooling racks. Note that the kale will not be crisp yet, they will crisp up as they cool, so don’t leave them in the oven longer or they will get a charred taste.
4. Pile into a bowl or onto a platter with cheeses, dips or antipasto and enjoy!