Warm weather is just around the bend, which means now is prime time to stock up on the tail end of winters bounty of greens here in the Central Valley! This time of year, as the temperature is still cool, a molecular miracle is still happening on farms everywhere: food like kale are at their peak! Cold makes kale taste better and better.

Touched by the chill, kale gets sweeter, as the sugars start to concentrate. If you are already a huge fan of kale (or haven’t yet tried this amazingly nutritious green) now is the time to buy!
Looking for some more inspiration to add kale to your menu this week? Here are ten fun facts about kale!

A Serving of Kale Has More Absorbable Calcium Than A Small Carton Of Milk

Kale has 150 mg of calcium per 100 grams, while milk has 125 mg per 100 grams. Turns out kale really does a body good!

Kale Tops the Nutrient Density Scale

It gives you more nutritional bang for your buck. Example? 1 cup of raw kale has just 33 calories yet contains 684% of vitamin K, 134% of vitamin C, 206% of Vitamin A – plus iron, folate, omega-3s, magnesium, calcium, iron, fiber, and 2 grams of protein. BAM! That’s nutrient density.

Kale’s Secret Power Is Its Phytonutrients, Those Miraculous Molecules In Plants That Are Often Called “Antioxidants”

Kale possesses phytonutrients, which quell inflammation, improve the liver’s detox ability, and can even protect brain cells from stress. Kale talks to your DNA and tells it to sing the sweet, slow song of health and happiness.

Go Slow, Kale Newbie. Start With Kale Chips, Not A Giant Kale Salad

Be mindful as you introduce more roughage into your diet. If kale isn’t a part of your diet, give your body time to adjust.

Kale Is A Team Player

There’s been a nutrient smack-down lately — kale vs. collards, kale vs. broccoli, etc. First, kale is tired of people trying to turn cruciferous cousins against each other. Second, kale beats most greens like spinach in terms of nutrients. But rather than worrying about which vegetable is the best … how about if we all just focused on helping people eat more plants?

Kale Is Not A Fad

With kale salad fatigue, some foodies are whispering that kale is a fad. It’s true: kale is having a spectacular, even unprecedented run. That said, kale is an Old World food and eaten across the globe; it’s a staple in Scotland, Kenya, Denmark, Portugal, Italy and many other countries. As we all get more focused about eating for health, kale will continue to be a staple for those in the know.

The World Of Kale Is Vast And Varied – Keep Exploring!

Get inspired by the many tastes and colors of the dozens of varieties of kale: lacinato, redbor, Gulag Stars, True Siberian, Red Russian, White Russian, Dwarf Blue Vates, Red Nagoya, Chinese Kale, Sea Kale and the six-foot tall Walking Stick Kale. I hope you’ll seek out a kale you have not yet tried.. many of which can be found at the Visalia Farmers Market!

Kale Offers Unmatched Culinary Versatility

Name another green that you can whip into a smoothie, toss into a salad, amp up your juice, sauté as a side, bake as a chip, or mix in a cocktail. Every try a kalejito?

Kale Is An Awesome Deal

A tasty bunch of 10 to 20 organic leaves costs, on average, two bucks at the Visalia Farmers Market. It’s one of the few superfoods that’s accessible to everyone, everywhere.

You Can Absorb The Nutrients In Raw Kale

Cooking kale frees some nutrients like magnesium and decreases others, like heat-sensitive folate. But consuming kale in any form delivers fiber, protein, omega-3s, and a bevy of vitamins and minerals. I suggest mixing it up! I have myself on a steady rotation of sautéed kale, kale salads, kale chips, and kale smoothies.