Will King Kale Continue Trending in 2014?

broccoli vs kale

photo illustration: Victor & Spoils

Kale, the dark leafy green most Americans were not even aware of 20 years ago, has become a symbol most identified with nutritious eating in the last few years. Demand has gone up, and in addition to raw kale, grocery snack aisles are now lined with kale chips. Other kale inspired products abound in restaurants and shake shacks.

Sensing a bit left behind, American classics are demanding their fair share of the limelight. First and foremost is broccoli. Feared and hated by generations of children and Presidents too, broccoli hired a top branding agency earlier this year to make its comeback. The results were showcased in the New York Times Magazine late last year:

Thus was born the fictitious Broccoli Commission of America, whose slogans include: “Broccoli: Now 43 Percent Less Pretentious Than Kale” and “What Came First, Kale or the Bandwagon?” and “Eat Fad Free: Broccoli v. Kale.”

And not to be outdone, cauliflower has been marked by nutrition fashionistas as the veggie to watch in 2014. Janet Helm, a Registered Dietitian and influential food blogger, proclaimed that Cauliflower is the New Kale:

If there’s any vegetable that’s going to knock kale off its top spot as trendy vegetable #1 it will be cauliflower.  Once undeservedly dismissed as a nutritional lightweight due to its pale appearance and often overshadowed by its bold green cousin broccoli, cauliflower is now poised to take 2014 by storm.  The star status of this white cruciferous vegetable started rising in 2013, and now it’s showing up on the lists of several trend trackers.

How do these 3 vegetables stack up?

Here’s a comparison table, based on information from the USDA. Nutrient values are expressed as a percentage of the recommended daily value.

kale vs. cauliflower vs. broccoli

Let’s just say this: If you were a parent and these were your three kids, you’d be mighty proud.

Which of the 3 above is your favorite veg?

  • Rupert

    I eat kale every day.

    I like cauliflower.

    Broccoli is the spawn of Beelzebub!!!

  • Clay

    Love broccoli

  • Natural

    My kid is broccoli lover, but i give her kale in juice .

  • Kaleo

    Don’t forget that Kale also packs a lot of vitamin K! :)

  • pn3.14159

    Cauliflower has my vote as most delicous of the three. …raw with some light dressing, or easily added into almost any meal recipie. It’s definetely not as nutrient rich as it’s other two siblings. Conventinally-grown kale rates among the top 20 in produce for pesticide contamination based on EWG’s Dirty Dozen Plus repot http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/ . Brocolli has such high fiber content that many people avoid it because it can cause bloating and/or gas.

  • Carol H

    There are yellow/orange versions of cauliflower (from a mutant variety discovered 40+ years ago) that have more vitamin A.

  • JstJae

    I like all 3 just in different things. Definitely Kale is a must in almost every smoothie.

  • Missnikki930

    I think kale will continue to trend. It’s good, good for you, and can be prepared so many ways.

  • Annie

    I get my boyfriends little brother to eat cauliflower by making it like mashed potatoes.