Learn About Kale

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is Kale?

Kale is a leafy vegetable from the cabbage family.  It has green leaves that come in different shapes such as curly or plain-leaf.  The leaves branch off from a fibrous, crunchy stem.  Kale usually comes in regular or baby kale varieties, which vary in intensity.  Quality kale should have deep green leaves and feel crunchy.

What Does Kale Taste Like?

Kale has a strong, somewhat bitter taste.  Baby kale has a milder flavor than regular kale.

kale
Curly-leaf kale in a wooden bowl.

How Do You Eat Kale?

Eat kale raw or cooked.  Make sure to thoroughly wash the leaves before using them.  Most people do not like eating the stems, so remove them by cutting the leaves away from the stem.  Use raw kale in salads or smoothies.  Common cooking methods for kale include sauteing, steaming, and boiling.  Cooked kale works well in soups, pasta, rice, and other side dishes.  Kale also comes baked in the form of crunchy kale chips.  Many chefs frequently pair garlic, lemon, or olive oil with kale.

Where Can You Buy Kale?

Look for kale in the refrigerated area of the produce section of the grocery store.  Kale usually comes in plastic bags or plastic containers near the salad mixes.

How Do You Store Kale?

Wrap kale in dry paper towels and place the leaves in a sealed plastic bag.  Place the bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.  Fresh kale may last up to a week.  Remove any leaves that begin to wilt or turn soggy to maintain freshness.

Fun Facts About Kale

Kale comes in blue, pink, white, or red when used for decoration.  These types of kale look like giant flowers.

Did You Know?

Kale comes from a large vegetable family!  Its relatives include cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

Recipes Using Kale

Kale Salad

Make an easy salad using kale leaves as a base. Combine kale, avocado, feta cheese, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes. Top with a vinaigrette and serve.

Refreshing Fruit Smoothie

Whip up a refreshing smoothie. Place kale, strawberries, a banana, maple syrup, vanilla yogurt, and ice in a blender. Blend until smooth and pour into glasses.

Kale Chips

Bake up some kale chips as a crunchy snack to enjoy. Start by removing the stems from kale leaves. Toss kale in olive oil and salt, then line on a baking sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes or until crispy.

Vegetable Soup

Make a delicious vegetable soup for a delicious appetizer. Add canned tomatoes, kale, onions, vegetable broth, cannellini beans, carrots, orzo, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and garlic power to a stock pot. Simmer ingredients until the soup thickens and the vegetables are fork tender.

Garlic Rice

Eat kale in your next rice side dish. Prepare white rice with garlic and vegetable broth. Then, add in kale leaves and allow rice to sit for about 10 minutes to wilt the leaves.


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