A Guide To Buying And Cooking Kale
Offering more nutritional value with fewer calories than most foods, kale is a tasty addition to any diet. It’s a superb source of vitamins K, A, and C and contains 7 times the beta-carotene and 10 times the lutein of broccoli. To top it off, kale is packed with cancer-fighting glucosinolates and the methyl cysteine sulfoxides.
Kale is available year round at most grocery stores, but it’s at it’s sweetest in the winter and early spring.
How to Buy Kale
When purchasing kale, look for dark leaves and hardy, moist stems. Smaller leaves indicate a more tender vegetable.
Whether you’re buying at the grocery store or a farmer’s market, kale should be kept in a cool location, since warmth affects its flavor negatively. Avoid kale that’s wilted or has leaves with holes, yellowing, or browning.
How to Store Kale
As soon as you bring kale home, wrap it in a damp paper towel, place it in a plastic bag, and store it in the crisper of your refrigerator. Do not wash kale before storing.
For best results, consume the kale within 2 or 3 days. The longer it’s stored, the more bitter the vegetable becomes.
How to Prepare Kale
Just before cooking or consuming, wash the leaves in cool, running water. Cut off any roots. It’s not necessary to remove the stems unless your recipe calls only for leaves. To remove the stems, fold a leaf in half lengthwise.
Place one hand firmly at the bottom of the leaves and yank on the stem with the other hand. Or, fold the leaf in half lengthwise and cut the stem away with a knife.
How to Cook Kale
Use kale as a substitute for spinach, collards, Swiss chard, cabbage, Napa cabbage, kohlrabi leaves, or rapini.
Saute kale with a little olive oil and minced garlic and serve it as a side.
Serve fresh kale in your favorite green salad.
Braise kale (chopped into bite-sized pieces) and slices of apples. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and balsamic vinegar before serving.
Add kale as a pizza topping.
Add kale to soups, stews, and quiche.
Make kale chips by spraying leaves with oil, sprinkling with salt, and baking at a low temperature until crispy.
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