ROCHESTER, NY, 2014-10-28— /EPR Retail News/ — Remember when kale got no respect, when it’s pretty ruffled leaves appeared on a plate only as a garnish? Well today kale is a superstar, a hip and healthy veggie with a growing fan club. Chefs love it in salads, snacks, soups and sides. With all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants it packs in every bite, it might also be the healthiest food on the planet. Whether you’re already a fan, or just wondering if you’d like kale, you owe it to yourself to taste all the ways that chefs at Wegmans Food Markets have discovered to make this veggie one of your favorites.
WHAT: “Love Kale,” a tasting event
WHERE: All Wegmans stores
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 1, 2014
“Kale tastes great in so many different ways that I think every customer who comes to the store for the ‘Love Kale’ event will be in for some nice surprises,” says Executive Chef John Steinhoff. “Every dish we’ll be sampling features kale as an ingredient, so customers will get a sense of its versatility. There’ll be a salad and side dishes, a vegetarian sushi roll, a pasta dish, a smoothie, and even sweets and snacks. We’ll have recipe cards for those who want to recreate some of these dishes at home.”
- Sautéed Kale and Kale Chips in the Produce department
- Hail Kale Caesar Salad in the self-serve bar in Prepared Foods area
- ‘Kale-elujah’ Rolls at the Sushi Bar
- Tuscan Roasted Squash and Kale, paired with Roasted Honey-Brined Rib End of Pork in the Meat department
- Kale and Cannelini Cappellacci, a ravioli dish in the Dairy department
- Kandy Kale and Rhythm Chips in Nature’s Marketplace
- Fruit and Kale Smoothies in the Frozen Foods area
Though kale’s popularity as a superfood is a recent phenomenon, this vegetable has been appreciated for centuries. Romans loved their kale, as did peasants in the Middle Ages. English settlers brought kale to the United States in the 17th century. Kale belongs to the Brassica family of vegetables, a group that includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collards, and Brussels sprouts.
Kale grows best in cool temperatures, and its leaves grow sweeter with a touch of light frost, so its peak growing season, from fall to spring, is just beginning. Curly kale is the most popular and common variety. Tuscan kale (also known as Lacinato or dinosaur kale) has a slightly sweeter, more delicate flavor.
Ornamental kales in shades of white, pink and purple are grown for their beauty in the garden and in floral arrangements – though edible, they have a somewhat bitter flavor.
“Kale is really popping in my garden right now, and my kids love it,” Steinhoff says. “They’ll ask if I can make some kale chips for them, and then go pick some leaves for the chips. One day, after my son and I came home from a sporting event, I made ‘Hail Kale’ Caesar Salad. He ate it and liked it so much he asked for more.”
In fact, Steinhoff says, a good way to introduce kale to kids is to have it in foods with a familiar flavor – such as Caesar salad or a minestrone soup.
A nutritional powerhouse
“Kale’s reputation as a superfood is understandable since it’s so rich in a number of important nutrients,” says Wegmans Nutrition and Product Labeling Manager Jane Andrews, MS RD. “But no one fruit or vegetable – even kale – offers all the nutrients our bodies need from this food group. So as our Eat Well, Live Well guidelines suggest, enjoy five cups a day of fruits and vegetables in many varieties, tastes, and colors.”
So pretty with its deep green ruffled leaves, kale is a nutritional heavyweight. Just one cup of cooked kale provides:
- Nearly 3 grams of protein
- 2.5 grams of fiber (which helps manage blood sugar and makes you feel full).
- A day’s worth or more of Vitamins A, C, and K.
- Folate, a B vitamin that’s key for brain development.
- Alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. (While kale has far less omega-3 than fish, it is another way to get some of this healthy fat into your diet.)
- Lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that give kale its deep green color and protect against macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Minerals including phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and zinc.
[nutritional data from http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/kale-nutrition-and-cooking]
Kale’s nutrients and fiber can protect your health by:
- Reducing your risk of several types of cancer
- Lowering your cholesterol and boosting heart health
- Maintaining strong bones
- Promoting regularity
- Cutting your risk for cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and retinal detachment
[health claims come from multiple websites, including eatright.org and nutrition source, Harvard School of Public Health]
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is an 85-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, founded in 1916, is recognized as an industry leader and innovator. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 16 consecutive years. In 2014, Wegmans ranked #12 on the list.
Jo Natale, Wegmans’ director of media relations, 585-429-3627