Winter is on its way, and though most school gardens are empty and put away for the season, one hearty vegetable is braving the cold, standing tall, and producing healthy food. Meet December’s harvest of the month: kale.
This month, kids all across the Island are learning about kale, a delicious leafy green packed with nutrition. I thought it might be a tough sell, with its earthy smell and slightly bitter taste. But while making kale chips with preschoolers this week, some of the pickiest eaters were eating raw kale leaves right out of the bowl.
Kale is my go-to when my meal needs a vegetable. It cooks quickly, and tastes great sautéed in a little oil and added to a burrito or scrambled eggs, mixed in a soup, or chopped up and sprinkled on a salad. You can never go wrong with kale chips: Remove the stems from the kale and toss with olive oil and salt, then bake in a single layer on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes at 350° until they’re crispy but still green.
In cafeterias this month, students are tasting kale slaw, a fun alternative to coleslaw. Try it at home!
1 bunch of kale, washed, dried, and pulsed in a food processor to small to medium grind, or sliced by hand into thin strips
2-3 carrots, grated
2 apples, diced
2 Tbsp. purple onion, finely chopped
½ cup canned crushed pineapple, or finely diced fresh pineapple
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. honey, sugar, or maple syrup
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. black pepper
4 Tbsp. olive oil
Place vinaigrette ingredients except olive oil into a small bowl. Whisk until smooth. Continue whisking while adding the olive oil. Combine with the slaw. Refrigerate.
Ava Castro is the preschool coordinator for Island Grown Schools, the Vineyard’s farm-to-school program.