Brassica oleracea, also known as leaf cabbage, most closely resembles ancient wild cabbage.
Kale has been used all over the world, dating back before the Middle Ages in Europe, and to the 4th century B.C.E. in Greece. It’s extremely easy to grow (especially in San Diego and Orange County’s residential micro climates), and was used heavily as a supplement for lost nutrients when food was scarce.
Kale was brought to North America in the 16th century by colonists. Later, during World War II, it was grown and revered for its rich nutrition during times of heavy rations.
Kale varieties are classified by leaf type, and some varieties can grow up to seven feet tall! Popular varieties grown in Southern California include versions of Dinosaur and Scarlet Bor, Red Russian, Vates Blue Curly, and more.
There’s nothing you can’t do with kale! Raw, braised, steamed, blended, and you can clip a leaf or two for instant added nutrition. Some folks have a harder time digesting raw kale, so it’s great that there are so many other preparations to enjoy! It is amazing raw though, so we’ve included a link below from America’s Test Kitchen with tips for gorgeous raw preparations!
Looking for a healthy, spicy snack? Check out the spicy kale chips recipe below! Kale is a nutrient rich, flexible vegetable.