The Undisputed Green Vegetable Powerhouse

By Global Master Chef Karl Guggenmos     

I was first introduced to a strange leafy vegetable called kale when I worked as the executive chef in a southern city in the 70s and then again in the 80s. 

When I first saw it, I thought it was to be used as a salad, but was quickly told, “You can’t eat this! It’s bitter and very tough in texture.” 

I was confused and asked, “Then what is it used for?”

The manager replied, “Well it’s so cheap it’s used to line salad bars and buffets as it makes a great display and makes food look pretty.”

I thought what a waste, but I followed the culture.

How time has changed. Like so many other food items Kale has now risen to eating fame and glory, and rightly so.

It has even gained a rightful spot on the super food list of  green vegetables.

I, for one, am delighted with its elevation in status, as it is my favorite green.

Much has been written, studied and promoted in regards to the benefits of eating green vegetables, including the leafy and cruciferous  ones.

The “ugly” looking, once neglected Kale, certainly stands out. 

Kale, a leafy cruciferous vegetable, is now a widely chosen and creatively cooked addition to modern menus. It’s used in soups, salads, wraps, stews, stuffing and many other  delicious dishes.

Now ask, why the big change? Well, kale has many important health benefits.  

Kale has an ample supply of :

  •  Vitamin A
  •  Vitamin K
  •  Vitamin C 
  •  Beta Carotene (higher amounts than most vegetables)
  •   Vitamin B6
  •   Manganese
  •   Calcium
  •   Copper
  •   Potassium
  •   Magnesium
  •   B1,2 and 3
  •   Iron
  •   Phosphorus
  • Bile acid sequestrants (which lowers Cholesterol)
  • Quercetin and Kaempferol (two powerful antioxidants)
  • Sulforaphane (which supports the fight against cancer cells at the molecular level)
  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin (which support eye health)
  • And many more nutrients

 Now you clearly understand why I think Kale is the healthiest of the green vegetables.

 And here are my three favorite ways to prepare Kale:

  • Sautée in a healthy oil,  seasoned and served as a vegetable side dish
  • Used as an addition to soups and stews
  • Juiced and combined with fruit juices


Let’s go “Kale Green” and live a hundred years!




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