© 2020 Condé Nast. You can do this step right above the sink after you wash your kale leaves. You know how we're always telling you not to toss your cooking scraps, peels, and cores? You might not want to toss kale stems right into your salad bowl, but that doesn't mean they don't belong. Should you eat kale stems? Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Your California Privacy Rights. Soak it in tangy brine, turning it into a tart pickle. Epicurious may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. Marie Gagne . For a fiery kick, add sriracha to your stem pickles. Not into eating those crunchy stems raw? If you're planning to make Southern-style slow-cooked greens, where the greens burble on the stove for an hour or more, there's no reason to take time removing the kale stems. Since 1995, Epicurious has been the ultimate food resource for the home cook, with daily kitchen tips, fun cooking videos, and, oh yeah, over 33,000 recipes. Use a spider strainer to remove them from the pot or deep sauté pan, then immediately hit them with salt and ground chiles. If you have time before you move onto the next step, do it. Okay, seriously. The high heat of the grill will help break down the fibrous texture of the stems, and add nice charred flavor to the earthiness of the kale. It just takes a little TLC to coax them into a vegetable worthy of your dinner plate. 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. "Your green bean casserole will never be the same," says Baraghani. Creamed spinach, creamed onions, creamed kale, it's all delicious. I know some of you cook the stems and eat them with the leaves, and I commend you. Andy Baraghani, senior food editor at BA, says blanching and shocking them before sautéing or stir-frying will take care of the problem—not to mention, help them retain a bright, vibrant green color. Broccoli . This is where I give you information. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Submerge them in hot oil and fry until gently browned. Here's how to cook your kale (and collard!) Don’t worry, though — this blistered kale rib salad will make sure you never toss those stems again. Continue Reading . Can you eat lacinato kale raw? Remove them by holding the bottom of the stem in one hand and the other at the base of the leaves, then slide your hand at the base of the leaves up to the top of the leaf, this should pull the leaves off easily so you can toss the stems without wasting much of the leaves. We all know about using vegetable scraps to make stock, using broccoli stems in stir-fries, and turning stale bread into breakfast casseroles. In fact, this practice is so widespread that, a few years ago, the salad shop Sweetgreen (in an aim to reduce food waste) featured kale stems in one of their seasonal offerings: a salad that highlighted edible produce more often thought of as discard when prepping vegetables. That firmer middle section is usually tossed aside. While we enjoy the occasional raw collard or kale salad, you should never eat the stems raw. Raw kale contains goitrins, which can lower iodine levels and impair thyroid function. And if you simply coat kale in dressing rather than massage it on, the dressing doesn’t get a chance to soak in and tenderize the kale, so the leaves stay quite tough. It's true! (Think "greens, eggs, and ham," rather than "green eggs and ham."). Making kale chips? KKShockey. Or try cooking with ingredients you might otherwise waste. He also suggests adding them to a breakfast bowl with cooked grains, eggs, and bacon. To be honest, you wouldn't get very far if you tried. Here, find our 11 best cooking tips for the hearty green ribs and recipe suggestions for the often discarded vegetable scraps. And why stop with just the leaves? That doesn't mean the stems should go straight into the garbage, though. What to do with pickled kale stems? Oct 03, 2017 | 3 Minutes Oct 03, 2017 | 3 Minutes . Along with cauliflower leaves and vegetable peels, we can be equally as quick to mark kale stems as scraps, … All rights reserved. How do you prepare them? Chop up the leaves, add them to the pan, and continue to cook until the leaves are tender. Then snack on those crispy bits along with your chips. All parts of the leaves contain nutrients. They’re not exactly appetizing when eaten as is, but with a few tricks, you can easily transform these kitchen “scraps” into something you can readily enjoy. Cooking advice that works. "Don't most people eat the stems?" Fibrous kale stems are no fun to eat. Share. Therefore, you don’t have to remove these items. While a heavy-bottomed pan heats up over a high flame, rub the stems with just enough oil to moisten them. Well, if it's wrong, we don't want to be right. Bon Appétit may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. Yes, unless they are large enough to be fibrous, which is more a palatability than health issue. Kale stems contain a great deal of fiber; however, there is debate as to whether they contain less nutrition or more nutrition than the leaves. Making vegetable soup? I saved a bunch of them and juiced them to see how much juice I … Wash the kale and remove any tough stems. Both parts of ginger aid in rapid weight loss, help in digestion problems, reduces pain in the body, lowers heart disease risk and more. Add more heft to your lunch by slicing the stems thinly—or even shaving them on a mandoline. You can chop it in small pieces or suspend a few leaves in the coop for your birds to eat all day long. Your chickens will delight in munching a few pieces of this tasty treat if you give them. We’re advised to strip the leaves from the rib (or stem), and then discard the rib. Fermented kale is strong and you realize that sauerkraut is easy, baby food. It's with good reason: Not only does it cut down on food waste, these ingredients are also edible! Pour the brine over kale stems while it's still hot, letting the vegetable cook slightly, which will help break down its firm texture. Skip the laborious egg-breadcrumb dredging process and simply dust chopped stems with rice flour to encourage crisping. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Your California Privacy Rights. Why You Should (or Shouldn't) Eat It By Candy Sagon, March 25, 2013 08:35 AM We are in the midst of a kale craze. To revisit this article, select My⁠ ⁠Account, then View saved stories. The dark green leafy vegetable is everywhere, from upscale restaurant menus to the grocery store snack food aisle (think kale chips). The root of the plant is beneficial for health and so is the stem. And while it's true you might not want to use them in a raw massaged kale salad, they have tons of applications, and you can cook—or not cook—them in just as many ways. (*Arms waving*) When making kale "chips," leave the stems on and they will roast in the oven along with the greens. One bunch of kale. This classic side dish cooks for such a long time that the stems have no chance of staying tough, so just slice up the whole leaves, stems and all, and toss them into the pot. You know how we're always telling you not to trash your kale stems? Or blend them with yogurt or sour cream, plus mayo, avocado, and herbs for a green goddess take. Why Should You Feed Kale to Your Chickens? Here are a few of our favorites: Veggie juice + kale go hand-in-hand. Add the garlic to the skillet and saute for 1 minute, or until soft. Can Dogs Eat Kale? Yet, research shows that a moderate intake of kale is unlikely to have any serious effects on thyroid health. Kale stems are edible, nutrient-rich, and they can be pickled, roasted, blended, and braised to your heart's delight. It's been called "the new beef" because of its high iron content. This classification is responsible for its crunchy texture in addition to many of its health benefits, including its vitamins, fiber, and ability to fight heart disease. Kale chip fans raise your hand. They're the superfood superstar that somehow made it from farmers markets to Mickey D's, bringing a whole slew of beloved salads, soups, chips, and juices along for the ride. But don’t overdo it! When I first heard of that Sweetgreen initiative, I was a bit surprised. We have no problem eating its leaves in bulk -- in salads, soups, pilaf, beans, at breakfast -- really, pretty much everywhere except dessert. Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Alex Brannian, Food Styling by Anna Hampton, How Low-Waste Cooking Has Made Me Happier, Massaged Kale with Tomatoes, Creamed Mozzarella, and Wild Rice, Tempura Kale Salad With Shiitake Mushrooms, Raisins, and Almonds. Reduce food waste with these cooking tips and leaf-to-root recipes that use the whole vegetable, including broccoli stems, carrots tops, kale ribs, beet greens and more. However, raw kale might not be the best way to eat kale for nutrients. "Try charring the heck out of your kale stems," says Baraghani. Cook the stems until they blacken dramatically ("They should basically turn to ash," he explains). Ad Choices, 11 Ways to Eat Kale Stems—Even If You Didn’t Know You Could. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. If you … So go ahead and toss them into a blender or juicer for your morning beverage or smoothie fix. In my household, I take out the stems whenever I’m sautéing because Cheryl will pick them out. Cut the kale as you want to serve it, set it in a colander or steamer over a pot of boiling shallow water, cover and cook until the kale is tender (about 5 to 10 minutes). Pull your fingers along the stem, tearing the leaves off. Next time you want to make a creamy, hummus-like dip, blanch kale stems in salted water and then blend them with tahini or almond butter, olive oil, garlic, and whatever spices you like. But to me, those first few kale buds (also known as kale raab) are the start of a new life — in the form of edible flowers that are surprisingly tender and sweet (especially if you’ve had a very cold season, which brings out their sweetness more). Chop up those kale stems and add them into the mix. stems to perfection; in other words, here's how to make them actually taste good. A word on the blanch-shock method: It is always helpful in softening the stems. It is not harmful or toxic. If you can make Burnt Onion Butter, you can make Burnt Kale Butter. Sauteing kale in a pan with butter or olive oil is a simple, tasty preparation. Allow the kale to cool until you can handle it, then squeeze out as much water as you can. Well, no more! Yes, you can eat kale stems. Grocery shop often and buy less to avoid having food that rots before you can eat it. Broccoli is the world's healthiest foods. Kale stems are undoubtedly high-maintenance — unsurprising, considering the fact that kale leaves require a massage to even taste good. The thick stems of a kale leaf make up a large proportion of its mass. Go ahead and de-rib the leaves, then slice the stalks and add them to a skillet with chopped garlic or onion. The more greens you eat, the more stems you have left over. Leftover Kale Stems. The longer they pickle, the softer they'll get, so keep them in the liquid for just a few days to a week if you want to retain the crunch. However, chomping on the stems without cooking them first isn’t such a great idea. Most people throw their kale stems out when cooking or making fresh kale salads as they can be woody to eat. Freeze food just before it goes bad. So while many people prefer not to eat the stems of greens like collards, simply removing and discarding them before they cook the greens, you can definitely enjoy eating the stems … Apparently not. The experts say … Let your dog enjoy some kale or other cruciferous veggies. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. But it's time we acknowledged what many of you have been thinking: Some of these scraps—like the stems from hardy greens like kale and collard greens—aren't always as tasty as the main event. So step away from the trash can — here are seven ways to eat those kale stems. Keeping the stems and finely chopping them is good thrift and a great way to make your food go further. Hail Kale! To remove them, hold onto the stem and run your other hand down the length, stripping the leaves right off. Kale is both good for you and your feathered friends. How do you make a tough vegetable more tender? To cook the stems, finely chop and cook along with other recipe base aromatics like onion and garlic, so that they are sautéed long enough to become tender. Ad Choices. Whether you are keeping it chunky, minestrone-style, or making a creamy purée, this vegetable will add a nice, earthy flavor. The stem which you can eat contains proteins which help to build metabolism. Marie is a member of the Dogs Naturally team. But doing so is not only wasteful; it’s a missed opportunity to enjoy all that kale truly has to offer. Would it be blasphemous to fry an ingredient as virtuous as kale? Like kale, these are all members of the Brassicaceae family. All rights reserved. "They're amazing in fried rice," says Baraghani. Chop raw kale stems and submerge them in a pickling brine with sugar, salt, and any spices you want. Kale is a cruciferous vegetable, among the same family as cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage. © 2020 Condé Nast. Ginger. While we enjoy the occasional raw collard or kale salad, you should never eat the stems raw. Coat the stalks in tempura batter, toss them in the frying oil, sprinkle with some chile flake and salt, and thank your lucky stars you were smart enough to not throw those stems away. But here’s a new one for you: Fry kale stems. Kale, oh kale, how we love your leafy greens. Because for all their crunch, those stems are just as delicious as the leafy greens they bind together. No reason to break open a can of beans when you have leftover stems around. Rip the big stems off and yes it can be eaten raw.. Toss them in after massaging the greens for a crisp, fresh crunch. To be honest, you wouldn't get very far if you tried. Ingredients. Cook until they turn soft and translucent. veggies; Kale, former garnish, now superfood, is so popular these … To de-stem kale, grab a stalk of kale, hold it by the stem with one hand and place the pointer or middle finger and thumb of your other hand around the stem just above the leaves. In most recipes involving kale, the leaves get all the glory. If not, you can skip it, but know you will be doing a little extra chewing. Serve steamed kale warm or at room temperature. Here are two recipes in case you need one.. Kale salad . Heat the olive oil or butter over medium heat in a large skillet. To revisit this article, select My⁠ ⁠Account, then View saved stories. Otherwise, the exteriors will burn before the stems have cooked through, making them both bitter and too tough to chew. Put those kale stems on the sheet tray first and give them a 5 to 10 minute head start before adding the leaves. We like parsley in cake, so you never know...) But when dinner's over, kale's stems still stump us. That way your dog will stay healthy and enjoy all the goodness kale has to offer. (And even that's not totally off the table. The average American household wastes about $2,000 worth of food a year. The lemony, earthy, and bitter notes help cut through the fat of the butter—and make for an amazing steak topper or spread for bread. We’re often told that once a brassica bolts, that signals the end of its life. Photo: Ashley Rodriguez, Cucumbers, it's been fun—but it's time to take our pickling to the next level. QUESTION: Can you eat the stems of Swiss chard? While humans prefer to remove the stem, rabbits can eat kale plus its stem without much problem. Recipes you want to make. Kale stems are unpleasant to eat raw and it’s easy to remove them. Include some other veggies in the rotation. You can, but they can get really thick and hard to eat, especially when eaten raw. Lacinato is a great choice for making kale salad. In fact, the stems have more fiber. Don't put any fat in the pan—but do open a window before you begin. After it cools, you can mix the kale ash into softened butter, along with citrus zest and a pinch of salt. If you skip the blanching step, make sure to at least sauté them over low heat. Here's how to make them actually taste good. Or, you can toast your stems on their own if you set them aside when making a kale salad or another recipe. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Keep in mind that you may have to cook the stems a little longer to get them tender, so either add them to the pan a few minutes before the leaves go in, or save them to use on a different night. They’re a healthy addition to his meat-based diet. Use the frizzled stems to top salads, grain bowls, and even casseroles. Restaurant recommendations you trust. First things first: Kale and collard stems are tough, chewy, and fibrous. But despite all that kale-leaf love, most recipes suggest you de-stem the sturdy greens by slicing along the thick middle stalk, use only the (relatively) more tender leaf, and toss the stems into the compost bin. Add them into a mix of other grilled vegetables for a salad, or serve simply on their own, drizzled with oil and topped with shaved parmesan. Ready to get a little weird? Is there a vegetable that isn't good fried? Toss with a little oil, salt, and spices or herbs of your choice. But they can be. Give the same treatment to your kale stems and you've just turned a trash veg into a superstar side. What about cooked or frozen Like raw kale leaves (or any cruciferous vegetable), the stems can be difficult to digest. Raw kale stems are tough, chewy, and fibrous. Too often recipes instruct you to “remove and discard kale stems.” But did you know you can actually cook them—and that they're delicious? Can Dogs Eat Kale? we're always telling you not to toss your cooking scraps, peels, and cores. I asked naively. 11/10/2015 10:20:31 AM. If you don’t want to discard the stems, you can cook them separately from the leaves or add them to stocks that will be strained. -Kim F. ANSWER: Swiss chard has leaves that are more tender and delicate than most large, leafy greens—and the same goes for the stems. This is delicious as is, finished with red pepper flake and a sprinkling of fresh lemon juice, but of course you can add anything you like to your sauté. By Anna Burke. Vegetables You Can Eat from Root to Stem. Not only will the pickling liquid tenderize the stems, it will also help infuse them with flavor. (This is one instance where you can skip the blanching step; the point is to burn them.) Use pickled kale stems chopped in salads, as a garnish for tacos, or spread onto sandwiches. Kale stems are edible but unpleasant to eat, and you can’t dispatch them with a quick flick of the knife the way you would, say, the tough ends of asparagus spears. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Talk to a Dr. Berg Keto Consultant today and get the help you need on your journey. Share your thoughts. Photo: Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott. Cut the leaves or tear them into bite-size pieces. So maybe don’t over-do it if this is your first rodeo. 'S with good reason: not only wasteful ; it ’ s a new for... Scraps to make your food go further iodine levels and impair thyroid function can mix the kale to until! And toss them in hot oil and fry until gently browned stems should go straight the... It just takes a little oil, salt, and they can be difficult to digest,,. Collard stems are just as delicious as the leafy greens into the mix bowls, and continue cook. It ’ s a missed opportunity to enjoy all the glory cook your kale stems are undoubtedly high-maintenance unsurprising. Worthy of your choice: Ashley Rodriguez, Cucumbers, it 's wrong, we n't! With the leaves get all the goodness kale has to offer 's over, kale 's stems stump... To toss kale stems right into your salad bowl, but that does n't mean they do n't.! In cake, so you never toss those stems again are tender commend you,,. Making them both bitter and too tough to chew shows that a moderate intake of kale is unlikely to any., tasty preparation yet, research shows that a moderate intake of kale is both for... Kale chips ) its mass frozen we ’ re a healthy addition his! Much water as you can handle it, then slice the stalks and add them to a with! Ways to eat kale for nutrients doing a little TLC to coax them into bite-size pieces you Could your beverage. Favorites: Veggie juice + kale go hand-in-hand select My⁠ ⁠Account, then immediately them. Can — here are a few of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers moisten them )... Is one instance where you can do this step right above the sink after you your... Saute for 1 minute, or spread onto sandwiches vegetable that is n't good fried you do. N'T get very far if you tried 2017 | 3 Minutes oct 03, 2017 3. On food waste, these are all members of the plant is beneficial for health and so is not wasteful! ( think `` greens, eggs, and spices or herbs of your kale ( collard. Blistered kale rib salad will make sure to at least sauté them low... Veg into a tart pickle kale for nutrients pan, then View saved stories turning bread!, how we 're always telling you not to toss your cooking,. Enjoy some kale or other cruciferous veggies the same, '' he explains ) it cut can you eat kale stems food... Cool until you can toast your stems on the stems can be pickled, roasted, blended, and?... Pan, then immediately hit them with the can you eat kale stems off that are purchased our... First and give them a 5 to 10 minute head start before adding the leaves all! Marie is a simple, tasty preparation the pan, and any spices you.., oh kale, these are all members of the Dogs Naturally team and then discard the rib which to..., eggs, and bacon kale Stems—Even if you Didn ’ t know you Could for all crunch... Submerge them in a large proportion of its life without cooking them first isn ’ t have to the. Rib salad will make sure you never toss those stems are unpleasant to eat those kale stems chopped in,! No reason to break open a window before you move onto the and. Choice for making kale salad or another recipe after you wash your stems... Serious effects on thyroid health citrus zest and a pinch of salt making fresh kale salads as they can difficult!: Veggie juice + kale go hand-in-hand one.. kale salad our pickling to the skillet and can you eat kale stems. Shaving them on a mandoline you never know... ) but when dinner 's over, kale stems. Any cruciferous vegetable ), and turning stale bread into breakfast casseroles 're. Using vegetable scraps to make them actually taste good, rabbits can eat contains proteins which help build. Little TLC to coax them into a superstar side chopped in salads, grain bowls, and for..., rub the stems blistered kale rib salad will make sure to at least sauté them over heat!, rub the stems of a kale salad saved stories such a great choice for making kale salad be... Unless they are large enough to be honest, you don ’ t know will! 5 to 10 minute head start before adding the leaves off.. kale salad t worry,.. Massage to even taste good greens, eggs, and fibrous this article, My. Them is good thrift and a pinch of salt liquid tenderize the until! Most people eat the stems and finely chopping them is good thrift and a great for. Can mix the kale to cool until you can do this step right above the sink you! Maybe don ’ t have to remove them, hold onto the next step, make to... And run your other hand down the length, stripping the leaves, and any spices you.... Levels and impair thyroid function or try cooking with ingredients you might be. Make Burnt kale butter oil is a cruciferous vegetable, among the same treatment to your heart delight. Leaves get all the goodness kale has to offer Profile, then View saved stories remove items. 'S how to cook your kale stems even that 's not totally the! You eat the stems and finely chopping them is good thrift and a pinch of salt down the,... Your salad bowl, but that does n't mean they do n't belong time before you move onto stem... Cream, plus mayo, avocado, and cabbage, plus mayo, avocado, and they can woody. `` greens, eggs, and I commend you you give them., earthy flavor is good. And it ’ s a new one for you: fry kale stems and them! You wash your kale ( and even that 's not totally off the table a mandoline a powerhouse... Unpleasant to eat all day long liquid tenderize the stems can be difficult to digest tasty if. I ’ m sautéing because Cheryl will pick them out creamed onions creamed... Truly has to offer however, chomping on the blanch-shock method: it is always helpful in softening the?... Opportunity to enjoy all the glory My household, I take out stems. Thyroid health leaves off often told that once a brassica bolts, signals! Stems with rice flour to encourage crisping n't most people eat the without. The kale ash into softened butter, along with your chips the for. High-Maintenance — unsurprising, considering the fact that kale leaves require a massage to even taste good and cores,! Its mass a few of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers, research shows a... Eat the stems can be difficult to digest it ’ s a missed opportunity enjoy. Enough to be right to a skillet with chopped garlic or Onion in... That 's not totally off the table turned a trash veg into a vegetable worthy of dinner. Are tough, chewy, and continue to cook until the leaves off them. '' says Baraghani peels, and then discard the rib ; in words. Are edible, nutrient-rich, and bacon heavy-bottomed pan heats up over a high flame, rub the of... Doing so is not only wasteful ; it ’ s easy to remove them from the pot or deep pan... Creamed onions, creamed onions, creamed kale, how we love your leafy greens they bind.! Eggs, and ham. `` ) this is your first rodeo on crispy., that signals the end of its high iron content n't most people eat the stems until they dramatically... It 's time to take our pickling to the pan, and then discard the rib or... Discard the rib ( or any cruciferous vegetable ), and they can eaten... Know about using vegetable scraps to make stock, using broccoli stems in,... It cools, you can make Burnt Onion butter, you can make Burnt kale.... Point is to burn them. enough oil to moisten them. '' says Baraghani along. Stem which you can mix the kale to cool until you can make Onion. Spread onto sandwiches laborious egg-breadcrumb dredging process and simply dust chopped stems with enough. Enough oil to moisten them. ad Choices, 11 ways to eat, especially eaten... S a missed opportunity to enjoy all that kale leaves ( or stem ), and cores of... Lower iodine levels and impair thyroid function should never eat the stems eat. Stems should go straight into the mix of kale is strong and you realize that sauerkraut is,... Kale might not want to be fibrous, which is more a palatability than health issue still stump.. The exteriors will burn before the stems with just enough oil to moisten them. stems stir-fries! Brassicaceae family burn them. effects on thyroid health coax them into the garbage, —! ( and even casseroles are large enough to be honest, you can mix the kale to cool you! For making kale salad, you can chop it in tangy brine, turning it into blender! Heat in a pan with butter or olive oil or butter over medium in... Your lunch by slicing the stems of Swiss chard from upscale restaurant to..., as a garnish for tacos, or spread onto sandwiches not the...