Why kale is hot, hot, hot
by Laurie Gorton
There’s sure been a lot of buzz about kale in the popular media lately. Touted as a superfood, kale is a leafy green vegetable high in vitamins A, C and K and an excellent source of calcium, antioxidants and fiber. It is said to aid normal eye, liver, bone and digestive health and support a strong immune system. Kale, or borecole, belongs to the cabbage family, but its central leaves do not form a head. Botanists consider it closer to wild cabbage than most domesticated varieties.
So, how can bakers and snack food manufacturers put its high profile to work in their products? Carl De Vries, sales representative, Van Drunen Farms, Momence, IL, admitted that most of the interest in kale comes from food processors outside the grain-based foods industry, but the freeze-dried form has potential in snacks, crackers and dips.
“Kale used to be seen as secondary to spinach,” he said, “but it has a higher amount of antioxidants and flavonoids.”
Described as a hardy, bold-tasting vegetable, kale comes in individually quick frozen and freeze-dried forms, chopped, coarse-cut, diced and ground, with certified-organic styles available as well.