Useful information

Kale cabbage: the return of the emigrant

Kale, Mediterranean variety

Kale, so fashionable in America and Europe, is still found in our country mainly in expensive restaurants specializing in healthy eating. Existing on our planet for many centuries, this cabbage has suddenly become the object of close attention of fashionable culinary experts and adherents of healthy cuisine, there is a lot of writing about it in medical and culinary magazines around the world, television programs are filmed about it, it has become the "heroine" of a number of the most popular shows. dedicated to proper nutrition. She is praised and advertised by the mega-stars of Hollywood. Now this fashion has reached Russia. So what is this miracle - kale cabbage?

Kale cabbage has many names: kale, gruncol, browncol, bruncol and even ... red Russian cabbage. As for its botanical identity, it is the same biennial garden cabbage belonging to the group Brassica oleracea Acephala Group. Acephala literally means "headless", that is, a head of cabbage, since it is a collard, most likely of Mediterranean origin. It is believed that its curly variety (Brassica oleracea var. sabellica) was grown in Ancient Greece as early as the 4th century BC.

Kale (Brassica oleracea var.sabellica)

Culinary historians Olga and Pavel Syutkin have found out why in different countries of the world kale can often be found under the name "red Russian cabbage".

The earliest mentions of this cabbage date back to the 6th century BC. In the past centuries, collard greens in Europe were very popular, they were successfully grown in many countries. But by the beginning of the 17th century, it had given way to more productive and disease-resistant head relatives.

In Russia, due to the colder climate, especially in the north, due to its frost resistance, this type of cabbage was very common until the end of the 18th century. And again he returned to European countries already from Russia in Peter's and later times thanks to trade. And from Europe, this type of cabbage came to America, where it spread under the name "red Russian cabbage". At the same time in Russia this type of cabbage gradually lost its significance, retreating "under the onslaught" of more successful cabbage relatives.

And today in the world some varieties of kale are still called "red Russian cabbage". And in Spain and England this cabbage is called Siberian cabbage.

Today there are more than 50 varieties of kale, the most common are Tuscan and curly.

Kale is a collard cabbage, that is, those types that do not form a head of cabbage. This representative of the cabbage family has large, dense, many varieties have curly leaves, which can be not only green in color, but also bluish, purple and even red, and after the first frost they acquire a thick purple color. Such an outfit makes this cabbage an original and bright decoration of any vegetable garden.

It is this cabbage that is considered the progenitor of all types of cabbage that exist today.

Useful properties of kale cabbage


Kale can be proud of its beneficial properties. It contains a large amount of protein, all 9 essential amino acids for the human body and 18 more essential amino acids. In its composition, in an ideal ratio, there is also such an essential fatty acid Omega-3, which is not produced by our body, but is very necessary for our health.

The vitamin reserve of this cabbage can be envied by other cabbage relatives. This is, for example, the record content of vitamin A, which is in the form of beta-carotene, due to which it does not form an excess in the body. One serving of kale cabbage contains 2 daily allowances of this vitamin! The collection of vitamins of this representative of cabbage plants also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are necessary for the health of our eyes, as well as B vitamins, vitamins K and PP.

The presence of folic acid makes kale cabbage a necessary component of the diet of expectant mothers, and this cabbage is more than useful to all other representatives of the beautiful half of humanity! In addition, the kale is very favorable for the figure, in 100 g of this cabbage - only 33 kcal and only 6 g of carbohydrates.

The mineral composition is also very rich: calcium, which is more in this cabbage than in milk, and it is in it in an easily digestible form, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, zinc, selenium, copper. Among the rare components: sulforane, which has a powerful antibacterial effect; indole-3-carbinol, which actively fights against the growth of cancer cells.

Modern medicine claims that kale should be included in the diet for the treatment of cancer, eye diseases (especially glaucoma), as well as for various chemical poisoning. It helps to increase immunity, reduce the level of harmful cholesterol in the blood, improve the functioning of the stomach, is a general tonic, and increases stress resistance.

Kale cabbage in cooking


Kale, Mediterranean variety

If you're ready to head out to the shops in search of this wonderful cabbage, it doesn't hurt to learn how to cook it properly.

Cale is used in different ways in cooking around the world. In Holland, it is part of a national dish called stamppot, in which it is served with mashed potatoes and sausages. In Turkey, you can try soup from it, and in Japan it is used as a food additive. In America, she is the queen of numerous salads and smoothies.

Kale keeps perfectly in the refrigerator for several days, and after freezing it only becomes sweeter. This cabbage tolerates heat treatment well; it is added to vegetable stews and soups, especially cold ones. However, it is most widely used in green smoothies, juices and salads.

By itself, kale cabbage is unlikely to please you to your taste - rather tough, bitter-tasteless curly tops. In order to understand its "hidden essence", it is necessary to choose the right sauce for it and combine it with ingredients brighter to taste.

Only kale leaves are used in salads. As a dressing, olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar will be appropriate. In salads, kale successfully complements tomatoes, goes well with basil, dill, parsley, young garlic, various nuts and green onions.

Kale is added to soups based on meat or vegetable broths. Chopped leaves without large veins are placed in the soup a few minutes until fully cooked.

Kale cabbage is stewed with meat or smoked meats, most often with beans or potatoes. Together with kale leaves, you can also cook a pasta with vegetables. In a green omelet, this cabbage is simmered in a pan for one to two minutes, and then poured with beaten eggs. To preserve the fullest possible set of nutrients in the leaves, do not subject the cabbage to prolonged heat treatment.

When combined with fruits and vegetables, kale is an ideal ingredient for fresh juices and smoothies.

In Russia today, you can most often find Tuscan kale. This species has a peculiar pimply-ribbed texture of the leaves, for which it was called "dinosaur". Quite large, dark green leaves with a blue tint are located on a long, cone-shaped stem. The taste of the leaves collected on time is original, slightly sweet, reminiscent of something in between broccoli and spinach.

Cooking recipes with kale:

  • Kale pesto with garlic and seeds
  • Mint pear smoothie with kale
  • Kale, spinach and fruit smoothie
  • Kale salad with red currant, quinoa and feta
  • Kale cabbage salad with raisins and pine nuts
  • Kale salad with avocado and red onion

Growing cabbage kale


This type of cabbage is extremely unpretentious to growing conditions. Kale can be grown in almost any climatic conditions. Adapting to any type of soil, he still prefers sandy, peaty or medium clay soils. She perfectly tolerates temperature changes and is rarely affected by diseases. Indifferent to organic fertilizers and fertilizing. Due to its strong root system, it can tolerate some lack of moisture. It is frost-resistant, withstands frosts down to -15 ° C in autumn. After freezing, the taste only gets better.

Kale (Brassica oleracea var.sabellica)

The leaves ripen 60-90 days after germination, so in our climate it is usually sown in April directly into the ground under the film. For seed germination, a temperature of + 5 ° C is sufficient. Seeds are sown in holes 2-2.5 cm deep. The first shoots appear in a week. At the end of May, the plants are planted at a distance of 40 cm from each other. Under favorable conditions, the rosette of leaves can reach a height of 1 m.

For this cabbage, it is advisable to choose a sunny place, on a hill, without stagnant water.

The main care is watering and loosening the earth. It is advisable to carry out hilling several times over the summer.

Cutting leaves can be carried out throughout the summer, like all salad plants, new ones grow in place of cut leaves. Harvesting must be done in a cool time - the hotter the weather, the more bitter the leaves will be. It is recommended to freeze the cut leaves; this improves the taste of the cabbage.

If you leave a few bushes for the winter, then in the spring the kale will grow back and be able to give an earlier harvest.

Kale varieties


In Russia, the varietal assortment of this species available for sale is not very wide, but it still allows you to make a choice from personal preferences and the peculiarities of the climatic conditions of a particular area.

Cabbage Kale RedCabbage Kale Green
  • Gruncoln - leaves are strongly curly, bluish-green. It has a very delicate taste and gives a large amount of valuable leaf mass.
  • Cadet - leaves are medium green, corrugated, curly. Differs in valuable dietary qualities and frost resistance.
  • Calais Red F1 - has leaves with strongly corrugated edges, changing color from violet-green to deep purple after the first frost. Extremely cold and frost resistant.
  • Red Russian - has a good taste and distinctive red twisting leaves.
  • Curly - the most popular and often found on the market type of kale cabbage, which has a milder and sweeter taste compared to other types, has a pungent, slightly peppery aroma.
  • Prime cabbage - one of the fastest growing varieties, frost-resistant.
  • Redbor F1- mid-late hybrid, reaches a height of 150 cm, it is red or dark purple, which is why it is often used to give color to dishes.
  • Reflex F1 - mid-late hybrid, semi-vertical rosette, dark green leaves, strongly corrugated, reaches a height of 80 cm.
  • Siberian cabbage - the variety is particularly resistant to pests and low temperatures.
  • Blue dwarf (Dwarf Blue Scotch Curled) - early maturing variety, very decorative, compact, easy to grow, ideal for home gardening.
  • Scarlet - mid-season variety, green-violet leaves, corrugated, curly, acquiring an intense blue-violet color after the first frost. Differs in valuable dietary qualities.
  • Tintoreto - leaves are light green, bubbly, strongly curly. Possesses high frost resistance and decorative properties.
  • Tuscan - has large, elongated, short stalks, large bubbly, dark green leaves. They are eaten boiled, stewed and fresh.
  • Trostyanaya - can grow to a height of 1.9 m, the presence of a thick stem that can be used as a cane explains the origin of the name.

It is worth noting that Russian, or Siberian, kale is much sweeter and more tender in taste compared to kale or Tuscan cabbage. But in terms of the composition of useful and nutritious substances, all types of this cabbage are almost identical.

Scientists believe that kale is an indispensable product for a healthy future for humanity. The beneficial properties of this type of cabbage are comparable to those of valuable medicinal plants, and its unpretentiousness guarantees a good harvest in any weather and with a minimum of effort.

Russian gardeners cultivate kale most often as an exclusively ornamental plant, without thinking about its enormous nutritional value. Although, perhaps, in the near future, in our country, this plant will become not only a garden decoration, but also a plate.

Ornamental cabbage Rossignol