A few days ago we told you about why we love kale and how good it is for your body. Most kale you’ll come across is a variety called “curly kale” which is mild and works well in many different dishes. Forget any horror stories you’ve heard about it being bitter and tough. We’ve got some tips for how to prep the leafy green goodness:
• Remove the leaves from the stem: You’ll want to remove the leaves from the crunchy stem so simply tear the leaves away from the stem until they’re all removed. You can then tear the leaves into smaller pieces or roll the leaves up and cut into thin ribbons.
• Massage kale to soften it: If you’re going to eat it raw, the key to kale that’s not tough, is massaging it. Pour some olive oil, salt, and pepper over your kale leaves and begin to knead them with your hands. The leaves will turn a darker green and begin to get smaller as the plant fibers break down. Adding something acidic such as lemon juice or a vinaigrette will help break down the roughness of the kale even more.
• Cooked kale is even easier: If you’re going to cook the kale, massaging isn’t necessary. You can roast kale in the oven to make crunchy chips. You can throw it into a skillet if your meal needs some greenery. For most dishes, you can prepare them as usual then add the kale at the end. Several minutes of heat mixed in with the rest of the dish is usually all it needs to be ready to serve.
• Add into soups instead of spinach: If a soup recipe calls for spinach but you don’t like how the spinach tends to get thin and break down, then add kale instead. It’ll hold up better and even leftovers will have a little bit of firmness.
• Avoid blanching: Blanching is when you place a fruit or vegetable into boiling water for an amount of time then remove it and place in cold water to stop the cooking process. Doing this with kale robs it of some of its nutrients, as they get left behind in the water.
Photo by Deryn Macey on Unsplash