Love it? Share it!

I love kale. It’s a hearty produce and is so versatile. From seasoned crispy kale chips to soups and to salads, it adds flavor, color, and a hearty crunch to so many dishes.

What you Need to Know about Kale

What Is Kale?

Kale is a cruciferous vegetable in the Brassica family and considered one of the healthiest vegetables you can add to your diet. You may already have seen a bit more of kale than you ever wanted to since it has been a trendy vegetable in recent years, but I believe it should be here to stay. A serving of kale has over 1000% of your daily recommended dose of Vitamin K, 98% Vitamin A, 71% Vitamin C, and a good amount of copper and manganese.

How to Choose Kale

Kale is found in the coolers of the produce department near lettuce. Look for a deep green or blue green leaf that isn’t wilted, yellowed, or spotty. You can buy it as a bunch or, in most stores, near the packaged lettuce, pre-cut as mature kale or tender small leaves of baby kale. I find packaged pre-cut kale to be much easier to use and tend to buy it this way more often than the bunch. If you ever have the chance to try the Lacinto-type kale, it looks a little different than the popular one but it has a really nice flavor. It can be peppery or have a slightly bitter taste to it but I like it to liven up a green salad.

How To Use Kale

Mature kale tends to have a tougher bite to the leaf and baby kale is a nice easy introduction to this produce as it is tender and mild flavored. On occasion I will eat mature kale on its own as a salad base but most people prefer it mixed in with other greens or use the baby kale leaves for salads, keeping mature kale for cooked preparations. One interesting fact I learned is that when kale gets hit with frost it can turn a little sweeter.

How To Prepare Kale For Use

  • Wash kale well and pat dry or put in a salad spinner.
  • If using mature kale leaf from the bunch for raw preparation, I often take the rib out of the bottom section of the kale as it can be tough and stringy.
  • Chop as desired.

Cooking Preparations For Kale

As I said, I like to use kale in salads, but also saute it, dry it for kale crisps, and add it to soups. It is quite easy to work with and I haven’t goofed it up yet…except for the time I left it in the oven too long and we had burnt kale crisps. I’ve also heard that it can be blanched before using raw so I am going to give that a try and report back.

How To Preserve Kale

Freezing Kale

You can freeze kale for later use. I have not done so yet but have done a bit of research on how to do so. I’m holding on to this for summer just in case I have mountains of kale from my garden.

Blanching Kale

  1. Bring stock pot 2/3 full of water to a boil.
  2. While water is heating, cut kale to size you want to freeze.
  3. Prepare a bowl of ice water (to stop the cooking process and cool the kale after blanching).
  4. Add kale to boiling water.
  5. Blanch for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove kale from water and give a quick ice bath (approximately 2 minutes).
  7. Drain then package and freeze.

TIP 1: Flash Freezing: If you want your kale to freeze in individual pieces or smaller clumps so you can package together and just use as much as you need, spread them out on a cookie sheet that’s been covered in parchment, waxed, or freezer paper. Put in freezer for 1 hour then package as you wish for freezing.

TIP 2: I use my salad spinner to get excess water off my produce after blanching and before freezing.

Canning Kale

I’m sure you see a pattern here but yes, kale has a low acid/ high pH level so it isn’t approved for water bath canning unless you are making pickled products. I have a pressure canner but it needs a few pieces replaced (it’s the canner we used when I was a kid) so I only use recipes that can be water bath canned. See everything I use to waterbath can and steps that show just how easy it is.

Kale Recipes

Beet and Goat’s Cheese Kale Salad

Spicy Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup

Roast Chicken, Strawberry, and Kale Salad

Strawberry and Kale Chicken Salad

Kale Pesto and 6 Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Kale Pesto {Nut-free}

Kale Crisps {Airfryer Recipe}

Pineapple Kale Smoothies

Everything You Need to Know About Kale

Love it? Share it!

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *