Often described as one of the healthiest vegetables on earth, kale is a true superstar. Lacinato or Tuscan kale, pictured here, is the most nutrient-dense choice you can make when buying kale. A cross between kale and cabbage, it is very winter hardy and tastes especially sweet after a freeze–it is at its best from mid-winter through early spring. Although we often use it in salads, in Tuscany and central Italy this kale is commonly used in soups and stews.
Kale’s cancer-preventative potential has been linked to a high concentration of flavonoids (kaempferol and quercitin) and carotenoids (lutein and beta carotene). In terms of anti-inflammatory potential, kale has the highest concentration of Vitamin K of any other vegetable. Kale’s high omega-3 content can provide other potential anti-inflammatory benefits. It is a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber and micronutrients.