Last summer, the previously ignored leafy vegetable that was shadowed by its more famously-appreciated counterparts of spinach and lettuce broke into stardom. Kale, the curly-leafed-green-and-sometimes-purple vegetable became the front-and-center star of seemingly every corner salad vendor. This summer was truly the summer of ‘the Kale Craze.’

Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet, or so the hype makes it seem. Known as a “super lettuce”, kale is full of great nutrients including vitamins K, A, C and calcium. And come on, as college students susceptible to all kinds of evil sicknesses, we need as many vitamins as we can get in the easiest ways possible.

Aside from its enormous health benefits, kale adds heartiness to many dishes. It can be eaten raw in salads as a substitute for sometimes boring lettuce. It can be steamed for five minutes to soften it or fried in butter with garlic and salt until tender as a great side dish. Kale chips, made by baking bite-sized pieces of kale with olive oil and salt for about 10 minutes at 350°F, are a great and equally crunchy alternative to potato chips.

Photo courtesy of US Magazine

US Weekly even published a Stars Who Love Kale piece full of celebrities’ raving opinions of the leafy green. So let kale become your first pick for your next green dish and pick some up at the supermarket. As actor Kevin Bacon said, “A day without kale is like a day without sunshine.” And who doesn’t trust someone with a last name like that?