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Winterbor Kale

Winterbor kale is a dutch hybrid type of kale. It is one of the well-known varieties of kale that has dark blue-green leaves. Kale’s origin traces back in the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor, where it was domesticated in the beginning of 2000 BC. Around the 4th century BC, the curly-leaved varieties of kale such as Winterbor started to exist. And just like any other kale, Winterbor is extremely cold hardy. It grows between 2 to 3-foot tall with thick, wide, and finely curved leaves. It provides a bitter taste when eaten raw. Therefore, this variety is best to be turned into soups, kale chips, or anything that is cooked.

Classification Information:
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Brassica
Species: Brassica Oleracea
Binomial Name: Brassica Oleracea

Winterbor Kale Trivia

  • Greeks used to boil these leaves to sober up for being drunk.
  • One serving of kale has more calcium than a small carton of milk.
  • Some people should avoid eating kale. First, those who are taking blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin) should talk to their doctors first as the vitamin K in kale can inhibit the medicine’s function. Second, those who are allergic to cruciferous vegetables – yes, the allergy exists but it’s rare.

Winterbor Kale Buying Guide

  • Look for the ones that have dark blue-green leaves. Avoid brown and slimy Winterbor kales as this is an indication that the product is not in its best quality and it has been dried out.
  • Choose the ones that are less than 18 inches long. The bigger or longer they are, the more bitterness it will provide.
  • If possible, buy organic kales during its season. Organic kales might not be as perfectly shaped as the conventional or GMO ones, but they’re sweeter and more nutritious. Not to mention that they’re kinder to the planet too.
  • As always, Winterbor kales from farmers’ markets are better than the ones in stores. Here, the products are usually organic and you might be able to taste them before you buy them.

Winterbor Kale Production & Farming in Texas

Winterbor kales prefer cool weather for optimal growth. Thus, they’re best to plant in the spring or in late summer to get ready for fall and winter harvest. They need a well-drained, moderately fertile soil with compost and/or well-rotted manure to start with. But, unlike the other kale varieties, Winterbor only needs at least 4 hours of sunlight each day. You can keep it in a partially shaded area for the rest of the day. 

From florets, to flowers, to leaves, these kales stay tender and sweet all throughout. Nonetheless, although these kales are flavorful at any stage of growth, they tend to increase their sweetness after frost. They also grow back better when they’re harvested repeatedly. When the plant reaches between 3 and 6 inches tall, harvest the large leaves by cutting from the base. It will then continue to grow from inside out.

Pesticides:

Conventional or organically grown, fruits and vegetables are essential components of a healthy diet. However, many of these contain potentially harmful pesticides, even after thorough washing, peeling, or scrubbing. Thus, what we can only do is to be aware of which items are the most or least contaminated.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is an American group that focuses on the advocacy of agricultural subsidies, pollutants, and toxic chemicals. They have created the Dirty Dozen List, which is being updated each year to rank fruits and vegetables that contain the highest pesticide contamination based on the samples tested by the USDA and FDA. 

Based on the 2020 Dirty Dozen List, Kale ranks third. Although it has gained its popularity as a superfood, the level and types of pesticide residues on it have significantly expanded. The predominant pesticide detected was DCPA, a possible human carcinogen that is sold under the brand name Dacthal. The European Union banned this pesticide in 2009. Thus, it is better to buy organic kales to reduce your pesticide consumption.

Geography:

Winterbor kale thrives better in cold weather but it can be grown in any state. California is the current leading grower of kales, followed by Georgia and New Jersey, narrowly beating Texas. 

Packaging:

Retail Winterbor kale usually comes in loose plastic bags. They are packaged by the bunch or bundle but they’re priced by the weight. But, if you’re planning to buy on wholesale, go to your nearest local producer, and you can get these kales in bushels, cartons, and even crates.

Eating Winterbor Kales

While you are free to consume this variety raw, its bitterness may slightly disappoint you, especially if you’re a newbie with kales. Thus, it’s better to cook them to get that subtle taste of sweetness and freshness. This dutch hybrid vegetable plays a significant role in the Dutch cuisine, where it is traditionally served as a hearty winter meal. These kales are often chopped finely, boiled, and scooped on top of mashed potatoes. They’re also traditionally accompanied by a savory smoked sausage called rookworst, along with a warm gravy.

Storage:

Although young or immature Winterbor kale leaves tend to stay longer than the matured ones, their shelf life still varies depending on the temperature. Both young and mature leaves can last for an average of 22 days at 41ºF, 12 days at 50ºF, 7 days at 50ºF, and 3 days at 68ºF.

As soon as you get home from the farmers market or grocery store, remove any damaged pieces and wash your kale right away. If you’re planning to eat it chopped, cut it first before washing. Afterward, transfer the kales onto a salad spinner and spin out to dry. Then, keep them in an airtight container or zip lock bags. If you’re using the latter, it’ll help if you squeeze them to remove the air out. Place some paper towels in between the layers so that the extra moisture will be absorbed. Keep them in the refrigerator or freezer with temperatures stated above Change the paper towels every now and then for fresher kales!

Cooking:

In the United States, Winterbor kale is usually enjoyed cooked. Roasted, sautéed, steamed and stir-fried are the most popular methods of cooking this variety. It also makes a great topper for pastas, pizzas, and flatbreads as it adds vibrancy and nutrition to these high-carb foods.

Nutrition:

Raw kale is composed of 84% water, 9% carbohydrates, 4% protein, and 1% fat. They contain high amounts of beta-carotene more than any other green vegetable. Not to mention that it’s also high in calcium and vitamin C too!

  • Carbohydrates: Kale is naturally low in calories and carbohydrates, which comes mostly from the fiber. It is also low in glycemic load.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Kale is an excellent source of vitamins K, C, and A. It’s also a good plant-based source of calcium. Therefore, kale really favors vegetarian and vegan meals. 

Nutritional Benefits:

  • Kale promotes weight loss because of its high water and low sugar content. Thus, it is very low in calories and it’ll help you feel more satisfied and full after eating. 
  • Kale belongs to the family of cruciferous vegetables, along with cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and others. Studies prove that consuming these kinds of vegetables offers the best cardiovascular health benefits. In addition, it also helps in reducing the risk of cancer. 
  • The high levels of vitamin K also promote better bone health, especially for postmenopausal women. Thus, it can prevent osteoporosis, while improving the absorption of calcium in our body.
  • The high levels of vitamin C acts as an antioxidant. It helps in boosting immunity and repairing cells, which retards the human aging process. 
  • The high levels of vitamin A promotes healthy vision. It also helps in preventing cancer too.

When Are Winterbor Kale in Season in Texas?

One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas.

Nutrition

DV%

  • Serving Size: per cup
  • Calories: 13 0
  • Carbs: 1.4g 0
  • Sugar: 0.4g 0
  • Fiber: 0.6g 0
  • Protein: 0.7g 0
  • Fat: 0.2g 0
  • Saturated Fat: 0.01g 0

Seasonality

When are apples in season in Texas?

  • Jan
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