What is Kale
And what do I do with it?
This is Kale:Credit: Marlene W.
Kale is a vegetable. Isn't it lovely? The health benefits of kale have recieved a lot of attention lately and for good reason: this leafy green vegetable is a superfood. It will clean, nourish and defend your body from disease.
How to Harvest Kale from your Garden or Where to Buy Kale:
I have kale growing in my organic vegetable garden, so when I want some, I just snap off a few leaves from the main stalk of the plant. I pick from the middle and bottom of the plant so that the baby leaves at the top can grow bigger. I avoid any old, tough or yellowed leaves.Credit: Marlene W.
If you don't have a kale patch, you can buy kale at a supermarket, a farmer's market, an organic market or a grocery store. Kale is in the produce section.
What to Do With Kale:
Wash and spin dry or pat dry your kale. Then, remove the spine to prepare it for eating. The spine is too tough to be tasty, like a brocolli stalk, so cut it our with a sharp knife and toss it.
Credit: Marlene W.
Fresh or Frozen
The leaves of kale can be eaten fresh or frozen. I like to store kale in my freezer because frozen kale is wonderful during the winter months. Kale holds it's structure incredibly well in soups and sauces so it's easy and perfect to add to winter dishes to boost the nutritional content. The flavour of kale actually improves with freezing: it gets sweeter! So if you have more than you want to eat fresh, definately freeze kale.Credit: Marlene W.
Put kale leaves in a freezer bag whole, you needn't bother to chopping them up. When you want to add frozen kale to a dish, you can simply crumple a leaf or two in with your fingers.
10 Perfect Uses for Kale:
- SOUP: Crumple frozen kale leaves or chopped fresh leaves of kale into any homemade soup or use kale to improve store-bought soup
- SMOOTHIES: Yup. Just add a small amount of fresh or frozen kale leaves into your smoothie blender to boost the nutrition and fibre content of your smoothie tremendously
- STIR-FRY: Kale is delicious stir-fried with onions and black bean sauce. Add a small amount of kale to a stirfry or stirfry a large quantity of kale to serve as a side-dish on it's own. Stirfry the leaves until they are wilted but still brightly coloured.
- KALE CHIPS: Dehydrate whole leaves of kale and then dip them in a sesame soy sauce. Yum.
- SALAD: Add finely sliced fresh kale to any salad or slaw.
- TOMATO PASTA SAUCE: crumple some frozen kale leaves into your tomato-based pasta sauces or use fresh
- CHILIS: kale will boost the fibre and nutrition of your chili and improve it's structure and flavour
- STEWS: kale behaves more like cabbage then spinach during the cooking process, meaning it won't dissolve in your dish but will hold up beautifully during slow-cooking
- LASAGNE: layer whole leaves under your noodles or instead of!
- GARNISH: kale used to be used almost entirely as a garnish but has since gained popularity for it's nutritional benefits. It still makes a beautiful garnish though, especially the ornamental (but still edible) varities such as flowering purple kale.