Heard about Cavolo Nero and curiously waiting to know in-depth about it, then this post that describes everything about Cavolo Nero is for you.
It seems everyone is “kale-ing” it at the moment. It’s the trendy food must-have.
Two years after the New York Times hailed it as “veggie chic,” the trendy veg is still red hot.
American actor Kevin Bacon was reportedly quoted as saying: “A day without kale is like a day without sunshine.” While Gwyneth Paltrow praised its virtues on her Goop website. “It’s one of the best things you can put into your system,” she wrote.
There is no doubt that this green darling is healthy. It does pack a strong dose of calcium, vitamins A, B, C and K, omega-3 fatty acids, fibre as well as other nutrients and minerals.
But claims that kale contains more iron than beef are false.
According to the British Nutrition Foundation, 100 grams of raw curly kale has 1.7 grams of iron while 100 grams of grilled lean steak has 3.6 grams. Therefore, “you would need to eat just over two times the amount of kale (2.25 portions of kale) for the same amount as the steak.”
A recent study by researchers at William Patterson University in New Jersey, which studied 41 powerhouse fruits and vegetables, found that other greens like watercress, spinach and chard were actually more “nutrient-dense” than kale.
While the trendiness and popularity of kale shows no signs of abating, there is a new green vegetable now taking UK supermarkets by storm.
It’s cavolo nero. Once deemed an underground favourite and the preserve of those in the know, it is now starting to reach critical mass.
Earlier this year, Waitrose announced that it would be “the new green star of 2015,” with “a staggering sales increase of 343%.” While at Sainsbury’s, they’ve noticed a year on year jump of more than 20% and over the past three years, a rise of more than 180%.
Here Are Some Cavolo Nero Factoids:
1. It’s Kale’s Italian Cousin
It’s kale’s close relative and part of the brassica family. Also known as black kale, Tuscan kale or black cabbage, this green vegetable has been enjoyed by Italians for generations, even centuries.
Originating from sunny Tuscany, where it is believed to have been first harvested in 600BC, cavolo nero has long, lean, dark green and almost black leaves with a noticeably rich, intense and slightly sweet flavour.
2. Health Benefits
It is packed with antioxidants, high in vitamins and minerals including lutein, vitamins A, C, K, fibre, calcium, manganese and iron. Studies suggest it may help to prevent certain types of cancers.
3. Cavolo Nero – Say What?
A survey conducted by Discover Kale found that 60% of people didn’t know what cavolo nero was. Only 20% knew it was a vegetable, while almost half thought it was “something Italian.” Now farmers in Lincolnshire where it is cultivated want to drop the Italian sounding name and just call it “black kale” to avoid any confusion.
Cavolo nero has been growing in the UK for over 15 years. It’s available here from July to October.
5. How To Use It
Cavolo nero had been traditionally used in hearty minestrone soups or side dishes.
But it is a versatile vegetable that can be steamed or sautéed in coconut oil to make beautiful salads and stir-fries, added to colourful soups or whizzed up in tasty smoothies.
Fortunately, kale can be easily added to your diet. You may toss it into salads or can even incorporate it into other dishes of your choice. Adding kale to smoothies is another popular way to up the nutrient content.Whatever you choose, keep it healthy, that’s it!