Sea kale is a flowering plant in the cabbage family. It grows naturally along Europe’s Atlantic Ocean coast (and stretches all the way to the Black sea). Sea kale grows in moist, salty soil along sandy and rocky coasts and cliffs. It requires a lot of sunlight to grow and develop properly. For thousands of years, humans have consumed sea kale. Cultivation of this plant began in the 17th century and continued until the outbreak of World War II. Even though it is still used as food in some areas, sea kale is now primarily grown for ornamental purposes.
Interesting facts about Sea Kale:
Sea kale appears as a small bush. It has a height and width of 3 feet.
The leaves of sea kale are fleshy and deeply lobed, with wavy margins. They are green with purple veins and smooth to the touch.
Sea kale has white flowers that grow in dense terminal clusters. Flowers have both kinds of reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
From June to August, sea kale blooms. The fragrant flowers filled with nectar attract bees, wasps, and butterflies, which pollinate this plant.
The sea kale fruit is a pod filled with seeds.
Sea kale grows from seeds, division, and root cuttings. Sea kale matures 100 days after sowing when grown from seed, but its nutritional value isn’t optimal until the third season.
Sea kale is high in dietary fiber, vitamin C, iodine, and sulfur.
The young, fleshy, white root of sea kale has a sweetish flavor and more starch than potato. It can be eaten raw or cooked. Some sea kale varieties’ roots can be used in place of horseradish.
Sea kale leaves have a kale-like flavor (hence the name). They can be eaten raw as salad greens or cooked as spinach.
Sea kale leaf stalks are crisp and have a slightly bitter, hazelnut-like flavor. They can be eaten raw or cooked in the same way that asparagus is. Fresh leaf stalks must be consumed soon after harvesting due to their short lifespan.
Sea kale’s young flower stalks and flower buds have a broccoli-like flavor. They are prepared and consumed in the same manner as broccoli.
During their long sea voyages, the ancient Romans consumed sea kale (to prevent scurvy). Root, unlike leaf stalks, is non-perishable and can be stored for later use.
Cattle, sheep, pigs, and poultry can all benefit from eating sea kale.
Sea kale regulates hormone levels in the body, boosts the immune system, stimulates metabolism and urination, and improves digestion and kidney function. It can be used to gain weight due to its high starch content.
Sea kale is a perennial plant that can live for 10 to 12 years.