In the second installment of our, “12 Great Way to Use” series we celebrate kale.  Over the past few years this hearty green has gone from garnish to greatness, bursting onto the culinary scene as a leading plant food star. (There’s even a book called Fifty Shades of Kale to showcase its astonishing versatility.)

How did we overlook kale for so many years and think of it only as the green stuff that decorated salad bars?  This nutrition powerhouse has seen a meteoric rise to fame that would turn even Justin Bieber green with envy! Some attribute kale’s popularity to celebrities and chefs alike touting its health benefits. Others point to its central role in vegetarian and vegan diets, which continue to become more popular. No matter how it happened we are just glad this green goddess is now part of our daily diet.

When we asked our Fresh Friday newsletter readers about fruits and vegetables they were interested in, kale was the clear winner; the majority of these readers are looking for new ways to prepare it.  So, today we dive into the details and learn a bit more about our new bestie in the kitchen.

Did you know….

  • Kale has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years.
  • Kale is actually a type of cabbage that doesn’t form a head!
  • Kale is a hearty vegetable that grows year-round in most places.
  • The most widely available kale varieties include Curly, Lacinato (aka Dinosaur), and Red Russian.
  • One cup of chopped raw kale is only 36 calories and has 100% of the daily value of vitamins A, C, and K.

And without further ado here are Oldways Ideas for 12 Great Ways to Use Kale!

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