Michigan is home to a growing kale industry with more producers seeing the value of and demand for this green “super food.” New ways of incorporating kale into nutritious meals and snacks have elevated the green leafy vegetable from a garnish on your shrimp cocktail to one of the most popular products sold at farmers markets.
Kale can be found in a variety of textures and colors. While each variety is equally nutritious and nourishing, different attributes make them more suitable to different preparation techniques or uses. Kale’s versatility allows it to easily be integrated into your institution’s food service operation as a delicious side dish or added to a hearty soup or stew or refreshing salad.
Facts and Tips
- U.S. kale production rose 60 percent between 2007 and 2012, due mostly to growing consumer demand.
- Kale is a cool-season crop, hardy to frosts and light freezes. Its flavor is reported to sweeten with frost, making it an ideal crop for production in hoophouses (passive solar greenhouses).
- One serving of kale provides more than three-quarters of the recommended daily intake for Vitamin C.
- Kale is rich in carotenes that may protect the eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration.
- One cup of kale contains significant amounts of vitamins A, C, K and B6, and the minerals potassium, calcium, iron and manganese.
- When purchasing kale, select dark-colored bunches and avoid yellow or browning leaves. Sweeter, smaller leaves are best eaten raw in salads, and larger leaves are delicious when cooked.
- Fresh kale should be stored in a plastic bag in the coldest part of the fridge or cooler and can last for up to a week.
Use the resource list below to locate and purchase Michigan kale to serve in your institution.
Cultivate Michigan Resources
- Kale Purchasing Guide (PDF) - Includes facts, tips, purchasing codes & recipes!
- Promotional Materials