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Easy to grow, kale has been a staple for centuries, originating in the Mediterranean/Asia Minor area around 4,000 ago. In Europe, kale was the most popular vegetable until the the middle ages, when cabbage jumped to first place. Kale has been a particularly popular vegetable in colder regions of the world, due to it’s resistance to frost. A favorite also in Scotland, where gardens are often called “kale yards,” because so much kale is grown in them. During World War II kale was often grown in Victory Gardens, as it was easy to grow and provided high amounts of much needed nutrients, so lacking in rationed food circumstances. In the last number of years kale was mostly used as a garnish, or for decorating salad bars, however, it is now making a great comeback, due to it’s great nutritional value!
Loaded with more vitamins and minerals than most other vegetables, kale is making a comeback. Kale is rich in magnesium, folate, fiber, protein, Omega-3s, iron, protein, calcium, and vitamins A, C and K . Also packed with antioxidants, which suppress inflammation and help detox the liver, kale can strengthen your immune system and rejuvenate your health. Relatively inexpensive, you get can get quite a bang for your buck by growing this super vegetable! Exceptionally high in vitamin K, kale can help strengthen your bones. But check with your pharmacist before eating kale, as it can interfere with some mediations. This tasty vegetable also helps with digestion and reduces coronary artery risk.
Eaten raw or cooked, kale can be sauteed, baked or boiled, added to soups, pesto, salads or whipped into a smoothie. Some people find kale somewhat bitter, so a great way to tone down any bitterness is to combine it with onion or garlic.
Kale seeds can be planted spring or fall, but keep in mind this versatile vegetable loves cooler temperatures, which increases sugar content, making it sweeter. Choose your vegetable seeds from St. Clare’s wide variety of heirloom kale seeds, from Black Kale, to Scottish Blue Kale, to Lacinto, Vates Dwarf Blue Curled, to Red Russian, and more!
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