It started a few years back. I can’t remember the exact year, possibly 2017/18 when the term ‘superfood’ also started milling about. It wasn’t just kale that became an oracle to the general population, other foods such as avocado, manuka honey and spirulina also stepped into the limelight.
No longer were 30p vegetables good enough for regular health. Instead people felt that it was necessary to spend £5+ on a concoction of powders, obscure fruit and nuts that they thought would give them superpowers. One of the main ingredients that was being added to smoothies and ‘acai bowls’ during this time was kale. Since then kale has been somewhat of an icon in the vegetable world. But I don’t think it’s all that it’s cracked up to be, it’s no better than some of the more underrated greens anyway.
Benefits of Kale
First things first, there’s nothing new about kale. In fact, we’ve been growing it for more than 2000 years and it was a popular food in the 17th Century. And it doesn’t have to be used in a blended form for it to provide nutrients. One cup of kale can provide enough vitamin K and A for your full daily recommended intake. You can do several things with it such as fry it with olive oil, salt and pepper, bake it to make kale chips or even add it to your salad. The reason why people add it to their smoothie is because it doesn’t taste great and they have to disguise the flavour.
If you’re like me and you don’t like kale then there are options. Kale is part of the cabbage family and therefore vegetables that are similar that will provide similar nutritional benefits. Some of the most common ones include:
The Final Verdict on Kale
Although they might be the more unglamorous cousins of kale, that doesn’t make them any less worthy of your time. Kale doesn’t hit the spot on a Christmas dinner quite like brussel sprouts do. And have you ever sauteed tenderstem broccoli in butter, salt pepper and garlic? The outcome wouldn’t be quite the same with kale.
But I’m being a little unkind, it’s really not all that bad. Any vegetable (kale included) provides an overwhelming amount of benefits that I really can’t argue with. It’s just that I don’t get the hype. Especially for a vegetable that has such an unpleasant taste, because admit it. Have you ever heard anyone say they like the taste of kale?