Kale is a leafy edible plant that is similar to cabbage. It belongs to the Brassicaceae family also known as the mustard family. It is often grown as the late autumn and winter crop because the plant’s flavor and eating quality are greatly influenced by low temperatures. Low temperatures allow kale to be harvested fresh when most green vegetables become unavailable during colder months.
Kale can be eaten raw as a fresh green vegetable or cooked in various different ways. It is often added to soups, stews, salads, and other dishes. Kale can also be fried in hot oil in order to achieve tasty and crunchy kale crisps. It can also be braised and served as a side dish. It tastes great with garlic, chilies, and tomatoes. The green vegetable is also a great ingredient used in healthy green smoothies.
Kale is rich in antioxidants, fiber, and important for the body minerals such as calcium, iron as well as vitamins, especially C and K. It is an excellent source of nutrients that help to improve body condition and to remove toxins, especially free radicals. Kale improves digestion, skin and hair condition, as well as bone and eyes health.
The plant creates rosettes of leaves with frilled margins. They are elongated and appear in dark green or blue-green colors. Some varieties of kale produce leaves in light green, purple, or red color. Kale’s main stem reaches up to 60 cm in height. There are two different methods used to harvest kale. It may be cut off as a whole rosette before the stem begins to grow, or, especially in colder regions, individual lower leaves may be removed progressively, allowing the stem to elongate. Kale is a biennial plant but it is commonly cultivated annually. Every second year it creates yellow little flowers with four petals collected in loose clusters. The flowers turn into dry fruit also known as siliques.
China is the leading global producer and exporter of kale with about 35,46% of the total global harvest. China is followed by the United States (18.14%), Spain (6.91%), and the Netherlands (6.83%)
Global kale production
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, global production of kale in 2016 was 6.9 million tonnes, with the top five producers being China (3.5 million tonnes), Russia (0.8 million tonnes), and the United States (0.6 million tonnes), the Netherlands (0.4 million tonnes) and Poland (0.3 million tonnes).
Kale is a popular leafy green vegetable that is packed with nutrients. It is low in calories and fat, but high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Kale can be eaten raw, cooked, or juiced. Kale is a nutrient-dense food and an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K. It is also a good source of minerals such as iron, calcium, and potassium.
Kale is a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. It can be sautéed, stir-fried, baked, or juiced. Kale can also be added to soups, stews, and casseroles. Kale is a hearty vegetable that is perfect for winter dishes. It pairs well with root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. Kale can also be cooked with beans, grains, and meats.