First Time? Start Here.
Find here the I Love Kale quickstart guide.
What is Kale?
Kale is a vegetable!
More specifically, kale is a type of cabbage, though it does not form a head like its counterpart.
Kale is considered a superfood thanks to it’s nutrient density. Kale contains beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and is rich in calcium. Kale also contains sulforaphane which is thought to have cancer fighting properties.
Clean Your Kale
Submerge leaves in cool water for 10 to 15 minutes. Rotate leaves through water 2-3 times during time, to ensure all surfaces are covered. Remove leaves and rinse quickly to remove any remaining dirt.
Remove the stem (they are inedible) by slicing on each side of the main stalk. Compost the stem!
Dry leaves using a flour sack towel.
Use leaves immediately, or store in a Ziploc bag or sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Kale is is past it’s prime when leaves become wilted or faded (they will look yellow).
Long Term Storage
Whole leaves of kale will last up to 3 weeks in the fridge.
In the freezer: Blanch the kale. lay out a baking sheet and put in the freezer for thirty minutes, then place the leaves in a Ziploc in the freezer. Kale will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Canning kale is possible though it requires use of a pressure cooker. Pickyourown.org has a great resource on canning kale (and other greens) available here.
Many first time kale eaters will find it’s taste unappetizing, as it does have a tendency to be bitter* and more of an acquired taste. If you are going to start with raw, it may be wise to start by juicing some kale to consume. If you wish to try in a salad format, mixing kale with lemon juice and salt and massaging (get in there with your hands and give it a good old fashioned rub down) will also help.
You may boil, bake, braise, steam, and sautee kale. Kale is great included in soups and sauces, and everyone loves baked kale chips.
*A Note on Bitterness
You can eat kale raw, but for many people kale will be an acquired taste. You can reduce the bitterness of raw kale by adding salt, olive oil, and lemon juice to raw kale. Massage the mixture into the leaves using your hands. The lighter and larger the leaf the more bitter the taste. The smaller the leaf and darker the color the milder the taste.