Tuscan kale is known for its rich blue or grayish-green to deep green leaves with a crinkly texture. It is sometimes referred to as dinosaur kale. It is chewier than Swiss chard, sweeter in taste than collard greens and milder in flavor than the somewhat peppery mustard greens.
Rich in vitamins A and K, kale is also an excellent source of vitamin C and the B-complex group of vitamins. It is also a rich source of minerals such as copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Kale should be used quickly once it is harvested. To store, wrap the unwashed leaves in dry paper towels, place in a plastic bag and refrigerate. Use within 1-2 days.
To prepare, wash the kale leaves thoroughly under clear running water, checking the undersides for any soil residue. Just before cooking remove tough stems and separate any wilted leaves from the crisp healthy ones. To get the most health benefits from kale, the recommendation is to let it sit a minimum of five minutes before cooking. For maximum nutrition and flavor, steaming is recommended. Fill the bottom of a steamer pot with 2″ of water. Chop greens while waiting for the water to boil. Steam for five minutes, then toss with butter, or drizzle with olive oil or any dressing of choice.
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