Saturday, 8 October 2011

Kale? What is Kale!?

A lot of the cookbooks and vegan nutrition books that I have perused have had two vegetables pop up in recipes over and over - kale and collard greens, which seem to be fairly popular and findable in the USA. For the life of me, this Australian  had no idea what these were, how to cook them, how they tasted and most importantly, where to buy them.
And then I got lucky - I found kale!

Why lucky? Well, as it turns out, kale is jam packed full of nutrients! This super veggie is a leafy green, related to the cabbage family. There is the plain leaf type and the curly leaf, which comes in a few varieties. I found the curly leafed kind.

Kale is a very rich source of beta carotene and zeaxanthin which are flavonoids that have a strong anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properites. Kale is also  very rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin K Not to mention B6 and Iron. 

So what does it taste like? Well, I decided to keep it simple for my first try and just steamed it in the microwave. The great thing about kale is that it keeps its texture and shape! It does not melt down like spinach tends to. The kale leaves are chewy, slightly sweet with a nutty flavour. 

Kale was a hit in my home. I then started making plans for kale, like trying a simple little recipe for oven roasted kale chips...and then disaster struck. My kale source disappeared! I originally found this veggie being sold at the UWA markets on Tuesdays, by an organic grower. But after a few weeks, they disappeared. So now, I am in search of a new source for my kale fix. 
If anyone living in Perth knows of where I may get my hands on some, please let me know!

Oh....and as for collard greens - I still have never seen them on sale anywhere here. *sigh*
Sometimes it ain't easy eating green.


  1. I've never seen curly kale but it seems that black kale (aka tuscan kale or cavalo nero) is quite easy to find in Melbourne now - though quite a lot I see looks pretty tired. But I also find that I can use silverbeet or cabbage instead of kale in some recipes from the other side of the world.

    As for collard greens - I find them as mysterious as you do!

    The good news is that my mum gave me a pot with kale growing in it (the black kind) and it grew really well with very little attention (though maybe we have had more rain than you lately) so you could try and grow it if you can find a little plant

  2. I've never found collard greens in the UK either, I can find spring greens though which are a great substitute. I'm becoming a kale fan too, I love the sautéed kale recipe in Viva Vegan.

  3. The curly kale is what I found. There was also a purple-ish curly kale which I vowed to buy some of and try next time...and then the supplier disappeared! Probably tastes the same but looks very pretty!

    Yes, I was told by someone to use silverbeet which is what I will have to do until I find a new source....which may not be too long now, as my vegan co-worker has just spotted some at (for the Perth people out there) the Wanneroo Markets! Woo hoo!

    I was thinking of growing it myself, if I could find seeds or a plant. How do you keep snails from getting to it though? I really don't like to use pesticides!

    Hmm...I wonder if I will be able to find anyone who has eaten collard greens!?

  4. Fresh Provisions in Mt Lawley sells it seasonally. I think they have some there at the moment.

    Otherwise I'm fairly sure that Select Organics and Eden seeds both sell seed.


  5. I best go and check on the weekend! Ta.

  6. Perthites are hardcode beefeaters. Quite surprising to see a vegan in Perth

  7. There are quite a lot of us here, actually! Several vegan only cafes and stores, more and more local vegan events, Facebook groups, etc.