Cet été, en cuisine… le chou frisé !

This summer, in the kitchen… kale!

Kale, more commonly known as kale, is a vegetable in the cabbage family. Very leafy and rather fibrous, kale has been very popular in recent years. Its appearance is a little different from other cabbages: its long curly leaves (going from dark green to light green) are held by long stems that are so fibrous that we generally prefer to remove them before preparing it.


It is such a resistant vegetable that it can even be grown in Quebec: it tolerates temperatures down to -15℃! You can find Quebec kale in grocery stores and markets from July to October. It is also possible to obtain it all year round, but kale often comes in bags, pre-cut and ready-to-eat, and often does not come from Quebec.


Kale contains several vitamins and minerals. The star vitamins? Vitamin C and vitamin K. Surprisingly, 100 g of kale represents almost 150% of the recommended daily intake (in vitamin C) and more than 600% of the established daily sufficient intake (in vitamin K). Impressive ! Additionally, kale is an excellent source of vitamin A, beta-carotenes (a form of vitamin A associated with antioxidant functions), and folate. Increasingly popular, this vegetable is also a good source of calcium, iron and vitamin B6. Kale also contains a range of other vitamins and minerals: fiber, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, as well as vitamins B2 and B3. It's packed with nutrients!*


Although you have to give love to everything you prepare, kale requires a little more attention. This is why, before consuming it raw, it is necessary to massage it. Yes, yes, massage it! This massage has 3 main goals:

  1. Break the structure of the leaf (and thus reduce chewing time).

  2. Reduce the slightly bitter taste of the leaf.

  3. Work the oil into the inside of the leaf.

The kale leaf is fibrous and rather firm. It can therefore be difficult to chew kale when eating its leaves raw, in a salad for example. Steps ? We first put the leaves without their stem in a large bowl, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and add a fatty substance. Personally, I choose regular olive oil, but if you plan to make a salad, it may be interesting to massage your kale directly with its vinaigrette. Then, all you have to do is massage for 3 to 5 minutes, which will make our kale much more pleasant in the mouth!


It is important to clarify that kale is not a superfood. For what ? Because there is no such thing as a superfood . According to the English Oxford Living Dictionaries , a superfood is a “nutrient-rich food considered to benefit health and well-being.” In other words, it doesn't mean anything. Moreover, the use of the term “superfood” is not regulated. Anyone can claim that an ingredient is a superfood.

Designating a food, like kale, in this way (because of the nutrients it contains) also means “elevating” the food above others. Kale is not better than any other vegetable or food simply because it contains a lot of vitamins C and K. Just like a turmeric/pomegranate/spirulina cookie is not better for you because 'it contains so-called “superfoods”.**

In short, kale is worth trying and adopting, but not because it has so-called beneficial health properties. We eat it for all kinds of reasons:
  • Its particular texture, which gives life to its salads

  • Its good taste

  • Its vitamin and mineral content

  • Its great versatility: did you know that you can even make chips from it?



Not sure what to do with your bunch of kale? Do not panic ! This bushy vegetable fits almost everywhere. Here are some ideas to inspire you:
In a stir-fry - Sauteed in a little olive oil and some herbs, the kale softens and gives consistency to your stir-fries! A quick and delicious solution to get through your bunch of kale.

In chips - Making kale chips is super easy:

  1. Cut the kale into small pieces

  2. Add a drizzle of oil, maple syrup and soy sauce

  3. Place in the oven on a baking sheet at 275°F for 25 minutes

The kale then becomes crispy and is eaten like chips.

In soup - Thanks to its beautiful structure, kale retains all its tone in soups. It is incorporated into a minestrone soup, a potato soup or even a soup. A great way to enjoy it!

In salads - Kale makes salads with good character! Here, we recommend always massaging the kale, so that the experience is pleasant in the mouth. We love it with nuts and dried fruit. With a little crumbled feta, it’s bliss!

In short, kale is very versatile. You can use it to replace other green vegetables, such as Swiss chard or spinach in cooking, or to change iceberg lettuce in salads!

Photo credit: cookieandkate.com/spicy-kale-and-coconut-fried-rice/


Our goal at Marchés Ahuntsic-Cartierville is to promote better access to fresh food. However, it is just as important for us to introduce YOU to new foods and help you integrate them into your diet.

It is often said that kale is the favorite food of nutritionists / fancy people / people with lots of means / granos / etc. When we hear “kale”, we often see unappetizing green smoothies that we don’t want!

However, it is important to us that kale is simply seen as another type of cabbage. It's not a superfood, it's not trendy and it's certainly not fancier than any other greenery: it's just delicious cabbage! Too many foods are unnecessarily put on a pedestal... Let's de-dramatize them!


* Data comes from the Canadian Nutrient File by Health Canada, per 100 g of food.

** For more information on food myths and to demystify the good and bad information about food that circulates on the web, I recommend the book Don't swallow everything you're told, by nutritionist Bernard Lavallée (the urban nutritionist)

#Summer #Nutrition #Cooking #Vegetable #Caufry #Kale #Cabbage #Superfood #Salad

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