Learn how to cook kale from scratch. We show you how easy it is with our helpful kale guide for cleaning and prep, cooking techniques, and flavor matches.
Kale scares some people. Why? Because it's one of those dark leafy greens that many people are afraid to try. It took me years before I really started to enjoy nutritious veggie.
Believe me I NEVER in a million years thought I would see the day, but now I LOVE kale, and if you haven't already fallen head over heels for it, you soon will.
Not too long ago, every time I went to the grocery store they were OUT of kale -- not just for a day, but for weeks!
I asked the friendly produce guy, "Where the HECK is all the kale lately? I haven't seen any for-ev-er! It's not out of season, is it?"
He said, "Sorry, you must keep missing it. We can't keep it on the shelves. As soon as we put it out, people come along and buy it all up."
I wondered when the H-E-DOUBLE-TOOTHPICKS did kale became such a hot commodity? Everyone else must be finally catching on that it's one of the EASIEST vegetables to clean, prep, and cook, as you'll learn below.
And when you cook it properly, and mix it is with your favorite ingredients, such as those from the list of Kale's "Vegan Flavor Matches", this dark green leafy just could end up turning into one of your favorite vegetables. Believe it or not!
Here's what you'll discover below:
How To Select Kale
Since it comes in many different varieties, it's fun to experiment until you find the kale that you prefer (I love Dinosaur kale).
Delicious fresh kale recipes start with choosing the vegetable with a beautiful dark, rich color (bluish-green or darker) and no yellowing or holes in the leaves. The stems should be moist and hardy. Smaller leaves are actually better tasting.
Kale comes in many different shapes and colors, some with frilly leaves and some without. So be sure to try as many as you can until you find your favorite. Personally, I think that the non-frilly variety tastes the best, but be your own judge, for sures. ;)
"I do not like greens when they are wilted. Is there a way to cook them so they are more crispy?"
Yes, there surely is a way. Try these Kale Chips -- they are DIVINE. :)
How To Clean and Prep Kale
Now, here's the thing. If you're going to take the time to go to the store and spend the money to buy kale, don't bring it home and let it sit in your fridge until it rots. I mean, what's the point of that exercise, I ask of thee?!
I understand, really I do. You think to yourself "Well, at least I TRIED to be healthy!" But have a little respect for the poor veggie! Sheesh.
On the other hand, you don't want to wash before storing, because this could cause the leaves to become limp.
There are two main reasons that you need to get that kale cleaned and into your belly as soon as possible. They are:
When you're ready to wash, here's how to do it...
Fill a large bowl or Salad Spinner with fresh water and 1-2 Tbsp. of lemon juice (or other foodie acid like Apple Cider Vinegar) and soak for 5-10 minutes. Rinse.
You can eat the stalks, or remove them before you cook it up.
How To Cook Kale
Kale has a fairly strong flavor that mellows out as it cooks. Some people compare it to collard greens, but I find collards have a kinder, gentler taste. Personally, I find the texture of raw kale too rough for my taste, so cooking helps to tenderize it.
I always find that adding a touch of some sort of sweetener to balance the slight bitter taste is what makes every one of my kale dishes perfection.
Click to learn more about the cooking technique we use and recommend for kale...
Kale Vegan Flavor Matches
Create your very own kale recipe with some of your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly.
Try One Of These Vegan Kale Recipes...
Kale Helpful Hints
The most common has curly leaves that are deep green with a tinge of blue. Another type has purple-red stems and a less curly leaf (my favorite);
Although it will last for several days in your fridge, try to use it within 1-2 days after purchase. The longer it sits, the more bitter it is;
Kale freezes well. In fact, it actually tastes sweeter and more flavorful afterwards. To freeze for a long period, blanch till the color turns bright in hot boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and run cold water over the top. Remove any excess water from the surface (setting it out to dry works great) and place in freezer bags, or containers. Then when needed, thaw to room temperature, removing only as much veggie as you require.