We’re really excited about kale over here at Dig Inn, and it will soon be added to the menu (slated for mid-June) as a delicious cold salad. If by chance you ate at our 52nd Street location yesterday, you may have been lucky enough to get a taste a little early (52nd Street doubles as our test kitchen). Here’s the skinny on this awesome, super healthy veggie.
Kale is a form of cabbage and is actually quite similar to broccoli (even though it looks a lot different). It’s most commonly found in hues of green and purple, and its peak growing season is right about now in the Northeast, which makes it a great time for us to add it to the menu.
We tried out several different varieties of kale during our recipe iterations. You might have heard of Lacinato Kale (also known as Tuscan, Dinosaur, or Cavolo Nero Kale), which is known for the embossed-texture of its dark leaves. It’s recommended that Lacinato Kale be cooked in order to soften its somewhat tough texture. The kale we liked the most for making salad is known as Curly Kale, and it’s at its best when the leaves are bright green and vibrantly curly. Its palatable, earthy flavor makes it the ideal foundation of our new Kale & Apple Salad, which includes a sprinkle of crunchy sunflower seeds.
To really enhance the flavor of the dish, the kale we’ll be serving will be super fresh. It will be coming from a local farm so it will be harvested and shipped over a very short period of time. Quite literally, the kale you’ll be eating at Dig Inn will have been in the ground just one to two days prior! (Don’t worry – we’ll be sure to give it a good washing.)
We also love kale because it’s really, really good for you. Here’s a quick summary of all the health benefits:
- Kale is a spectacular source of Vitamin K, which regulates the body’s inflammatory process.
- It contains sulforaphane, which helps prevent cancer.
- It’s an amazing source of indole-3 carbinol, a natural chemical which has terrific DNA repair qualities.
- Kale is said to inhibit the growth of certain cancers, including prostate, breast, colon, ovary, and bladder cancer.
- It contains significant amounts of two types of antioxidants – carotenoids and flavonoids. Within the flavonoids, kaempferol is the hero antioxidant, followed closely by quercitin.
Indeed, kale is one of the healthiest greens that you can eat. And when you combine it with apples, sunflower seeds, and some other tasty ingredients, it makes for a delicious and filling dish. We hope you’re as exciting about our new Kale & Apple Salad as we are!
P.S. It’s also worth mentioning that we use kale in our Serious Green Raw Juice, which is made daily in-house. This tasty, detoxifying green juice (along with our other Raw Juices) is a super clean way of getting three servings of vegetables in just one sitting. Each bottle is packed with a great selection of vitamins and nutrients.