Looks like kale has been bumped out of that “trendiest veggie” spot, and it’s younger, smaller cohort is now taking the reins – the kalette.
Kalettes look like tiny, hand-sized cabbages, with kale-like leaves and small purple veins. They’re actually a hybridization of the kale plant and the Brussel sprout, but they don’t taste like it. Instead, they have a sweet, almost nutty flavor, and when it comes to cooking, they’re much more versatile than traditional kale is. You can saute them, roast them, eat them raw or even grill them! The options are endless.
Kalettes were launched back in 2010 in the United Kingdom as “flower sprouts,” but they weren’t released to the U.S. market until October last year, and since then, they’ve become the newest food hybrid to take the health food industry by storm. (Broccolini was huge just a few years ago.)
Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow have touted the health benefits of the kalette, and it’s been featured on countless talk shows, news segments and health food store aisles ever since its release just a few months ago.
But it’s not just the media that’s making this new veggie hot –it’s also the amazing results people are seeing when eating them. They come with some truly health-transforming benefits, and they can even help you lose weight.
If you’re looking to get healthier in the coming year, they can be just what you need to pave the way and get started. Want to know more about these powerhouse hybrid veggies? Just keep on reading.
Kalettes and their Health Benefits
Like its parent veggies, the kalette is loaded with nutrients and health benefits. It’s full of vitamin K (a whopping 120 percent of your daily recommended amount!), folate, vitamin c (40 percent of your daily value) and carotenoids, and it’s got tons of a fiber. Fiber is great for the body in a number of ways. First, it can help keep your digestive tract healthy, keep your bowels regular and ensure your body properly processes the food you eat (so you don’t bloat or get constipated.)
It can also help you lose weight, too. You see, fiber soak up liquids when it’s in your stomach, causing it to expand and take up more space as you digest it. This makes you feel fuller, and it can actually keep you from overeating or taking in too many calories once consumed. Fiber also takes a while longer for your body to break down than other types of foods, so it allows you to steer clear of unwanted cravings as well. This can make taking in fewer calories throughout the day a breeze!
Another way kalettes can help you lose weight? By filling you up on very few calories. You can eat 3 whole cups of the stuff for only 90 calories and absolutely zero grams of fat. What other food can say that? They also have no cholesterol, very few carbs and a good amount of protein!
Because kalettes are part of a flowering species of veggie called “brassicas,” they’ve also been known to boost heart, bowel and immune system health if eaten regularly. Another bonus? They boast iron, calcium and vitamin B6, too. They’re a veritable powerhouse of nutrition in a tiny, handheld green package.
Kalettes only grow between November and March, so you can’t get them year round. Your best bet is to hit the grocery store in mid- to late-November to find a fresh batch. Once you get them home, you have dozens of options when it comes to eating and preparing them.
You can simply blanch them for a few minutes in boiling water, you can saute them in coconut oil, you can grill them and sprinkle them with pepper and sea salt, you can roast them until crispy in the oven, or you can even eat them chopped up and raw, dipped in a little hummus. Basically any way you’d cook a Brussel sprout, you can cook kalettes the same way, too.
My favorite way to eat kalettes? I like them chopped up in a nice Asian stir fry. Just add some bell peppers, onions, snap peas, some chicken breast or shrimp, and a dash of tamari, and you’ve got a delicious, healthy and filling meal on your hands.
I also enjoy kalettes in the morning, in a homemade frittata. All you need are a couple eggs, a half-cup of almond milk (to add fluffiness) and all your favorite veggies (think kalettes, red onions, heirloom tomatoes and spinach). Then throwing them in a baking dish, season with salt and bake for about 30 minutes in the oven. It’s a warm, nutritious dish the whole family will love.
Have you ever tried kalettes before? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.