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What’s coming up: Kale

The Free Lance-Star food section and the Front Burner blog are reviving a popular feature from years past. Each week we will feature a vegetable or fruit that is in season in our area and offer tips on selection and cooking. Here on the blog, please feel free to offer your own serving suggestions for these seasonal delights!

This week’s feature: Kale

When it’s fresh here: Kale can be grown most of the year, but it tends to get sweeter after autumn’s first frost.

Fun fact: Kale, like broccoli, is a cruciferous vegetable proven to have many nutritional benefits. Eating these vegetables two to three times a week or more can help you take advantage of their cancer-fighting and cholesterol-lowering properties.

Pick and choose: Select deep green leaves with uniform color and few holes. Avoid bunches that appear wilted.

Quick serving ideas:

  • To prep kale for steaming, boiling or sautéing, remove the leaves from the thick parts of the stem and tear them into bite-size pieces.
  • “Kale chips” are a low-calorie snack your whole family might love. Toss prepared kale leaves with a little bit of olive oil and salt and spread on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the edges of the leaves are brown, but not burnt. These are a little like potato chips.
  • Sprinkle raw kale on homemade pizza on top of the sauce, but under the cheese. It will bake up with the pizza and add nutrition  and a little bit of earthy crunch to the dish.
  • Can’t get the kids to eat their greens? It’s hard to detect the flavor of raw kale blended into a smoothie.

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