The Pick of the Batch: The Kale Batch
There’s a cool fall breeze and leaves are starting to change color. At this time of year, as temperatures begin to chill, something miraculous happens on a molecular level across farms everywhere.
As the winds begin to chill and sweep across farmlands across the nation, this touch of coolness actually helps vegetables and fruits grow in sugar content, making them sweeter as they grow ready for harvest.
At Baked Smart Cookie, we are proud to include nutritious ingredients like kale into our gourmet, one-of-a-kind cookie. And we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate the start of fall.
So let’s find out a little more about what kale is, its health benefits, and how it’s included in our non-GMO, vegan, peanut-free, and soy-free treats made especially for those children who avoid eating their veggies.
A Little Kale History
Kale has a deliciously long history dating back over 2,000 years. A member of the mustard family, which includes other familiar veggies like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts, kale was a widely eaten vegetable in the Middle Ages because of its leaves' ability to withstand both extreme hot and cold temperatures.
This toughness allowed the veggie to grow in colder regions and hotter areas of the world.
It’s believed that Red Russian kale was first introduced into the United States and Canada in the 19th century by traders who were crossing the Atlantic.
Full of vital nutrients and easily grown in a wide variety of environments, kale has proven itself to be an important (and healthy) crop in the modern world. In approximately one cup of kale, you can find:
- 42.5 calories
- 4.7 grams of fiber
- 3.5 grams of protein
- 21 mg of vitamin C
- A range of antioxidants and B vitamins
- 0 mg of cholesterol
- 0 grams of total fat
- 329 grams of potassium
- 6 grams total carbohydrate
- 25 grams of sodium
How Is Kale Grown?
When it comes to growing kale, the best time to plant and nurture the vegetable is during fall.
Kale reaches full ripeness when grown in direct sunlight and when the pH balance of the soil it is planted in is slightly acidic, at around 6.5 to 6.8. This helps to ensure that no disease will hurt its growth.
Additionally, farmers typically plant kale in soil that drains well in order to ensure the health of the leaves. The veggie is usually ready to harvest when its leaves are about the size of adult hands.
The Health Benefits of Kale
When it comes to kale, there are a wide variety of health benefits that come from introducing it into your diet.
For starters, the American Diabetes Association recommends eating the vegetable because it is rich in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants — all of which help to protect against the development of diabetes.
The antioxidants found in this amazing vegetable also help to counteract the negative effects of free radicals, which can increase when an individual is dealing with elevated blood sugar levels.
Additionally, kale is great for digestion. High in fiber and water, which are both great at preventing constipation and supporting a good digestive tract, kale is one powerful veggie that goes well with any number of salads and other recipes.
If you’re still not sold on kale, then consider how great it is for your skin and hair. The beta carotene and vitamin A found in kale are excellent for the growth of your skin and hair. There’s also the vitamin C, which helps contribute to the production of collagen in your body, which is important for skin, hair, and bones.
Finally, kale is great for bone health due to the calcium and phosphorus it contains. These minerals help contribute to healthy bone formation and also reduce the risks of bone fractures.
A Few Fun Facts About Kale
- One serving of kale has more calcium than a carton of milk
- Kale has been used as a medicine in various cultures.
- There are actually a variety of colors of kale (don’t be afraid to try them all).
- It used to be called “Peasant’s Cabbage.”
- Germans have a festival dedicated to kale
- There is such a thing as kale sprouts!
- Kale becomes sweeter after a frost.
- Kale has more vitamin C than an orange.
Find Your Serving of Kale in Baked Smart Cookies
Kale is an amazing superfood that offers nutrition, unbelievable taste, and is a great addition to any recipe. Is it really a surprise that we use it in our family-famous Baked Smart Cookie?
Made from four different fruits and four different vegetables — including kale — Baked Smart cookies are vegan, non-GMO, peanut-free, and soy-free. So why wait? Order your batch of cookies and enjoy them all fall long.