Hello Bloggers! We are very excited that today, October 1, is National Kale Day! National Kale Day takes place on the first Wednesday of October and was created to increase awareness, access, and education about the positive health benefits of eating more kale.
In the spirit of this food holiday, here are 15 facts about kale:
- Kale has been cultivated for over 2,000 years. It was originally farmed in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
- It was the most popular vegetable in Europe until cabbage rose to fame during the Middle Ages.
- It was so popular in Scotland that the word “kail” was a generic term for “dinner.”
- During World War II, Britain urged home gardeners to grow kale for its “Dig for Victory” campaign.
- Kale is a member of the brassica family, which also includes cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
- There are many varieties of kale, including curly green kale, Red Russian kale, Tuscan kale, and dinosaur kale.
- Kale can be eaten raw, steamed, sautéed, or baked.
- Kale provides antioxidants, it is an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C, and it is a good source of fiber.
- One cup of kale delivers 134% of daily vitamin C, 204% of daily vitamin A, and 684% of daily vitamin K.
- Kale is the best green in terms of antioxidants on the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) chart. It scored 1,770 units, while spinach was less than 1,500.
- Kale has been used in many different cuisines, including African stews, Portuguese caldo verde (soup), Irish colcannon (kale with mashed potatoes), German Gruenkohl, and Asian stir-fries.
- Kale can be grown during any season, but its peak season is winter. It is believed to taste better after a frost, which drives sugars into the leaves, making it less bitter.
- Kale should be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator, loosely wrapped in plastic.
- An analysis by Technomic, a food industry-consulting group, found the use of kale as a menu item has increased by over 400 percent over the past 5 years.
- In 2008, 539 babies born in the U.S. were named Kale.
To celebrate this nutrient-packed leafy green, be sure to check out our kale recipes here.