Happy Herbivore Blog

National Kale Day! +18 Compelling Reasons to Eat Kale + Recipes

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Holiday

Tomorrow is National Kale Day! Here are some amazing facts about this superhero (and oh-so-delicious) green! 


1. Kale might become the new state vegetable of Vermont.

2. There are over 50 varieties of kale!

3. There is an extremely tall variety of kale called “Jersey kale” or “cow cabbage”.

4. America plants more acres in Kale than Brussels Sprouts.

5. Kale might have saved people from starving in the UK during World War II because it’s easy to grow and hearty.

6. Lacinato Kale is known by many, many aliases including Cavolo nero (which means black cabbage in Italian), Tuscan Cabbage, Tuscan Kale, and dinosaur or dino kale.

7. A kale plant continues to produce late into winter.

8. After a frost, kale becomes sweeter.

9. Thomas Jefferson was onto the kale craze way before us, he experimented with several varieties of kale at his garden in early 1800s.

10. Kale is an amazing source of carotenoids, which are linked to one’s level of optimism.

11. Kale is grown around the world.

12. In Kenya, sautéed kale is called sukuma wiki and a staple of the diet.

13. Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish of kale and mashed potatoes. (And one of my fave recipes from HHA!)

14. Kale has been in cultivation for over 6000 years. (Source)

15. Like its cousins in the Brassica family — broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and collards — kale is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense powerhouse of antioxidants, including vitamins A and  C. 

16. Per calorie, kale contains more iron than beef and more calcium than milk, and it is better absorbed by the body. 

17. A single serving (about one cup, chopped) provides 5 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber, plus 2 grams of protein. It's also a rich source of both omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids.

18. Kale is a "green" green, high on the sustainability scale. Growing one pound of kale uses about 23 gallons of water; raising a pound of beef necessitates more than 2,400.


HH Kale-tastic Recipes

African Delight — HHA, page 106

African Kale and Yam SoupHHC, page 64

Caribbean Peas & RiceEHH, page 164

Colcannon — HHA, page 60

Comforting Winter Soup — HHC, page 58

Greens Quiche — EHH, page 152

Indian Spiced Chickpeas & Kale — EHH, page 191

Kale Chips

Lemony Kale — HHA, page 78

Maryland’s Kale — EHH, page 224


Check out my blog post on How to Cook and Prepare Kale (With Videos!) for my method and tips. Celebrate kale tomorrow (and if you're like me, almost every other day too)!


What's your favorite way to eat kale, Herbies?

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