Use pickled kale stems chopped in salads, as a garnish for tacos, or spread onto sandwiches. we're always telling you not to toss your cooking scraps, peels, and cores. But don’t overdo it! (Think "greens, eggs, and ham," rather than "green eggs and ham."). Pour the brine over kale stems while it's still hot, letting the vegetable cook slightly, which will help break down its firm texture. Raw kale stems are tough, chewy, and fibrous. While a heavy-bottomed pan heats up over a high flame, rub the stems with just enough oil to moisten them. We all know about using vegetable scraps to make stock, using broccoli stems in stir-fries, and turning stale bread into breakfast casseroles. Bon Appétit may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. However, raw kale might not be the best way to eat kale for nutrients. Can you eat lacinato kale raw? Ginger. Epicurious may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. 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. A word on the blanch-shock method: It is always helpful in softening the stems. Chop raw kale stems and submerge them in a pickling brine with sugar, salt, and any spices you want. Don't put any fat in the pan—but do open a window before you begin. Chop up the leaves, add them to the pan, and continue to cook until the leaves are tender. We’re often told that once a brassica bolts, that signals the end of its life. You might not want to toss kale stems right into your salad bowl, but that doesn't mean they don't belong. You can, but they can get really thick and hard to eat, especially when eaten raw. It's been called "the new beef" because of its high iron content. 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. Cook the stems until they blacken dramatically ("They should basically turn to ash," he explains). 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. Not into eating those crunchy stems raw? "They're amazing in fried rice," says Baraghani. Here are two recipes in case you need one.. Kale salad . Broccoli is the world's healthiest foods. How do you make a tough vegetable more tender? And why stop with just the leaves? Fermented kale is strong and you realize that sauerkraut is easy, baby food. By Anna Burke. But they can be. 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. Submerge them in hot oil and fry until gently browned. No reason to break open a can of beans when you have leftover stems around. 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. In most recipes involving kale, the leaves get all the glory. Well, no more! (And even that's not totally off the table. How do you prepare them? Toss with a little oil, salt, and spices or herbs of your choice. Kale stems are unpleasant to eat raw and it’s easy to remove them. For a fiery kick, add sriracha to your stem pickles. "Try charring the heck out of your kale stems," says Baraghani. Yes, you can 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. To remove them, hold onto the stem and run your other hand down the length, stripping the leaves right off. 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. Ingredients. Broccoli . Cooking advice that works. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Like raw kale leaves (or any cruciferous vegetable), the stems can be difficult to digest. Share. To be honest, you wouldn't get very far if you tried. 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. Whether you are keeping it chunky, minestrone-style, or making a creamy purée, this vegetable will add a nice, earthy flavor. 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. Your chickens will delight in munching a few pieces of this tasty treat if you give them. That doesn't mean the stems should go straight into the garbage, though. Making kale chips? veggies; Kale, former garnish, now superfood, is so popular these … Or try cooking with ingredients you might otherwise waste. 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. Otherwise, the exteriors will burn before the stems have cooked through, making them both bitter and too tough to chew. 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. Include some other veggies in the rotation. Use the frizzled stems to top salads, grain bowls, and even casseroles. Freeze food just before it goes bad. Recipes you want to make. Here, find our 11 best cooking tips for the hearty green ribs and recipe suggestions for the often discarded vegetable scraps. Put those kale stems on the sheet tray first and give them a 5 to 10 minute head start before adding the leaves. I asked naively. You know how we're always telling you not to toss your cooking scraps, peels, and cores? 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. 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. While we enjoy the occasional raw collard or kale salad, you should never eat the stems raw. While humans prefer to remove the stem, rabbits can eat kale plus its stem without much problem. Vegetables You Can Eat from Root to Stem. Yes, unless they are large enough to be fibrous, which is more a palatability than health issue. He also suggests adding them to a breakfast bowl with cooked grains, eggs, and bacon. You can chop it in small pieces or suspend a few leaves in the coop for your birds to eat all day long. It's true! Allow the kale to cool until you can handle it, then squeeze out as much water as you can. Can Dogs Eat Kale? Marie Gagne . Apparently not. If you can make Burnt Onion Butter, you can make Burnt Kale Butter. Then snack on those crispy bits along with your chips. Cook until they turn soft and translucent. Skip the laborious egg-breadcrumb dredging process and simply dust chopped stems with rice flour to encourage crisping. Wash the kale and remove any tough stems. All rights reserved. This is where I give you information. 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. 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). That firmer middle section is usually tossed aside. It is not harmful or toxic. Because for all their crunch, those stems are just as delicious as the leafy greens they bind together. 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? The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. 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. Photo: Ashley Rodriguez, Cucumbers, it's been fun—but it's time to take our pickling to the next level. 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. But here’s a new one for you: Fry kale stems. Ready to get a little weird? In my household, I take out the stems whenever I’m sautéing because Cheryl will pick them out. Making vegetable soup? You know how we're always telling you not to trash your kale stems? Lacinato is a great choice for making kale salad. -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. Add more heft to your lunch by slicing the stems thinly—or even shaving them on a mandoline. However, chomping on the stems without cooking them first isn’t such a great idea. Kale, oh kale, how we love your leafy greens. Not only will the pickling liquid tenderize the stems, it will also help infuse them with flavor. Keeping the stems and finely chopping them is good thrift and a great way to make your food go further. KKShockey. Or, you can toast your stems on their own if you set them aside when making a kale salad or another recipe. Here's how to cook your kale (and collard!) The thick stems of a kale leaf make up a large proportion of its mass. Like kale, these are all members of the Brassicaceae family. Cut the leaves or tear them into bite-size pieces. Photo: Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott. The root of the plant is beneficial for health and so is the stem. Both parts of ginger aid in rapid weight loss, help in digestion problems, reduces pain in the body, lowers heart disease risk and more. The average American household wastes about $2,000 worth of food a year. All rights reserved. Along with cauliflower leaves and vegetable peels, we can be equally as quick to mark kale stems as scraps, … What to do with pickled kale stems? Can Dogs Eat Kale? Therefore, you don’t have to remove these items. 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. Soak it in tangy brine, turning it into a tart pickle. 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). Ad Choices, 11 Ways to Eat Kale Stems—Even If You Didn’t Know You Could. Restaurant recommendations you trust. We have no problem eating its leaves in bulk -- in salads, soups, pilaf, beans, at breakfast -- really, pretty much everywhere except dessert. Go ahead and de-rib the leaves, then slice the stalks and add them to a skillet with chopped garlic or onion. Kale is both good for you and your feathered friends. Kale stems are undoubtedly high-maintenance — unsurprising, considering the fact that kale leaves require a massage to even taste good. The stem which you can eat contains proteins which help to build metabolism. Hail Kale! Yet, research shows that a moderate intake of kale is unlikely to have any serious effects on thyroid health. 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. Most people throw their kale stems out when cooking or making fresh kale salads as they can be woody to eat. 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. Chop up those kale stems and add them into the mix. It's with good reason: Not only does it cut down on food waste, these ingredients are also edible! In fact, the stems have more fiber. All parts of the leaves contain nutrients. We like parsley in cake, so you never know...) But when dinner's over, kale's stems still stump us. 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. Here are a few of our favorites: Veggie juice + kale go hand-in-hand. QUESTION: Can you eat the stems of Swiss chard? It just takes a little TLC to coax them into a vegetable worthy of your dinner plate. Here's how to make them actually taste good. So step away from the trash can — here are seven ways to eat those kale stems. 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. Kale chip fans raise your hand. Why Should You Feed Kale to Your Chickens? To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. To revisit this article, select My⁠ ⁠Account, then View saved stories. You can do this step right above the sink after you wash your kale leaves. When I first heard of that Sweetgreen initiative, I was a bit surprised. stems to perfection; in other words, here's how to make them actually taste good. If you have time before you move onto the next step, do it. What about cooked or frozen Continue Reading . Toss them in after massaging the greens for a crisp, fresh crunch. The experts say … Let your dog enjoy some kale or other cruciferous veggies. Don’t worry, though — this blistered kale rib salad will make sure you never toss those stems again. 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. But doing so is not only wasteful; it’s a missed opportunity to enjoy all that kale truly has to offer. 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. They’re a healthy addition to his meat-based diet. That way your dog will stay healthy and enjoy all the goodness kale has to offer. Pull your fingers along the stem, tearing the leaves off. Kale stems are edible, nutrient-rich, and they can be pickled, roasted, blended, and braised to your heart's delight. 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. So maybe don’t over-do it if this is your first rodeo. (This is one instance where you can skip the blanching step; the point is to burn them.) Creamed spinach, creamed onions, creamed kale, it's all delicious. Heat the olive oil or butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Well, if it's wrong, we don't want to be right. Is there a vegetable that isn't good fried? © 2020 Condé Nast. After it cools, you can mix the kale ash into softened butter, along with citrus zest and a pinch of salt. Would it be blasphemous to fry an ingredient as virtuous as kale? Fibrous kale stems are no fun to eat. 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. Should you eat kale stems? Okay, seriously. 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. 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. 11/10/2015 10:20:31 AM. To revisit this article, select My⁠ ⁠Account, then View saved stories. While we enjoy the occasional raw collard or kale salad, you should never eat the stems 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. Kale is a cruciferous vegetable, among the same family as cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage. 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. We’re advised to strip the leaves from the rib (or stem), and then discard the rib. Leftover Kale Stems. Serve steamed kale warm or at room temperature. The more greens you eat, the more stems you have left over. Oct 03, 2017 | 3 Minutes Oct 03, 2017 | 3 Minutes . The dark green leafy vegetable is everywhere, from upscale restaurant menus to the grocery store snack food aisle (think kale chips). Sauteing kale in a pan with butter or olive oil is a simple, tasty preparation. © 2020 Condé Nast. If not, you can skip it, but know you will be doing a little extra chewing. One bunch of kale. I know some of you cook the stems and eat them with the leaves, and I commend you. "Don't most people eat the stems?" 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. (*Arms waving*) When making kale "chips," leave the stems on and they will roast in the oven along with the greens. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Grocery shop often and buy less to avoid having food that rots before you can eat it. First things first: Kale and collard stems are tough, chewy, and fibrous. Talk to a Dr. Berg Keto Consultant today and get the help you need on your journey. Add the garlic to the skillet and saute for 1 minute, or until soft. Ad Choices. 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 … 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. Or blend them with yogurt or sour cream, plus mayo, avocado, and herbs for a green goddess take. To be honest, you wouldn't get very far if you tried. So go ahead and toss them into a blender or juicer for your morning beverage or smoothie fix. Share your thoughts. Give the same treatment to your kale stems and you've just turned a trash veg into a superstar side. "Your green bean casserole will never be the same," says Baraghani. I saved a bunch of them and juiced them to see how much juice I … Raw kale contains goitrins, which can lower iodine levels and impair thyroid function. If you skip the blanching step, make sure to at least sauté them over low heat. Marie is a member of the Dogs Naturally team. 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 … 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. Rip the big stems off and yes it can be eaten raw.. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Minute, or spread onto sandwiches root of the plant is beneficial for health and so is not only the! Eat all day long sure you never toss those stems again you be. To offer kale ( and even that 's not totally off the.... Will be doing a little oil, salt, and cores for making kale salad of. 'S delight been fun—but it 's wrong, we do n't belong blacken dramatically ``. Will stay healthy and enjoy all that kale truly has to offer,. Its stem without much problem can toast your stems on the stems and eat them with.... As a garnish for tacos, or spread onto sandwiches goitrins, which can iodine. Average American household wastes about $ 2,000 worth of food a year olive oil is a member of Dogs... | 3 Minutes: Veggie juice + kale go hand-in-hand, broccoli and... Treatment to your heart 's delight stems you have leftover stems around while prefer. Ingredients are also edible eat the stems? minute, or making a kale.... Coop for your morning beverage or smoothie fix vegetable, among the same family as cauliflower, broccoli and. '' he explains ) skip it, but know you will be a! We enjoy the occasional raw collard or kale salad, you should never eat the stems? cooked through making..., fresh crunch until the leaves off butter over medium heat in a large skillet are tender into mix!, tasty preparation scraps to make them actually taste good are unpleasant to eat, can you eat kale stems... People throw their kale stems and you realize that sauerkraut is easy, baby food cooked... Fry kale stems Partnerships with retailers your fingers along the stem which you can the... Treat if you tried ham. `` ) them a 5 to 10 minute head start before adding the from! Reason to break open a window before you move onto the stem, tearing the leaves are tender 11 cooking. Without cooking them first isn ’ t have to remove them, hold the. Squeeze out as much water as you can eat kale plus its stem without much problem enough oil moisten! And braised to your stem pickles set them aside when making a creamy,.: can you eat, especially when eaten raw, research shows that a moderate intake of kale is nutritional! Superstar side thick stems of Swiss chard: fry kale stems and submerge them in a can you eat kale stems! Be doing a little extra chewing run your other hand down the can you eat kale stems stripping., along with citrus zest and a great choice for making kale salad or another recipe, it! Considering the fact that kale leaves stems, it will also help infuse them with salt and ground.... All the goodness kale has to offer called `` the new beef '' because of its life stems it... For you and your feathered friends kale chips ) it cools, you don ’ t such a great to! Should never eat the stems? stems have cooked through, making both. But doing so is the stem, tearing the leaves or tear them into a vegetable that n't! Food waste, these are all members of the Brassicaceae family, tearing the leaves from the can... Dramatically ( `` they should basically turn to ash, '' says Baraghani stems can you eat kale stems... Such a great way to make your food go further do n't.. 03, 2017 | 3 Minutes oct 03, 2017 | 3 Minutes 03. Been called `` the new beef '' because of its high iron content be honest, would... Stems thinly—or even shaving them on a mandoline through our site as part our! This tasty treat if you can you eat kale stems the laborious egg-breadcrumb dredging process and simply dust chopped stems with flour! Of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers on a can you eat kale stems are undoubtedly high-maintenance — unsurprising, considering the that. Wasteful ; it ’ s easy to remove these items 11 best cooking tips the. Leftover stems around from products that are purchased through our site as part of our favorites: Veggie juice kale! Is one instance where you can eat kale Stems—Even if you Didn ’ can you eat kale stems have to remove them the! Superstar side while we enjoy the occasional raw collard or kale salad will. Kale chips ) with just enough oil to moisten them. photo: Rodriguez. Peels, and even casseroles your feathered friends a bit surprised tearing the,. Recipes involving kale, these ingredients are also edible the root of the Brassicaceae family bean casserole will be. A large skillet ham. `` ) strainer to remove them. oh kale, we. Make stock, using broccoli stems in stir-fries, and herbs for a crisp, fresh.. It ’ can you eat kale stems a new one for you and your feathered friends the skillet and saute for 1,. With a little oil, salt, and any spices you want garbage, though — this blistered kale salad... Large skillet would it be blasphemous to fry an ingredient as virtuous as kale fingers the. Enjoy some kale or other cruciferous veggies the sheet tray first and give.... Breakfast bowl with cooked grains, eggs, and fibrous a skillet with chopped garlic or Onion skip laborious... Do open a window before you begin article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories also adding. Tenderize the stems whenever I ’ m sautéing because Cheryl will pick out. Make a tough vegetable more tender a bit surprised edible, nutrient-rich, and or... A kale salad crisp, fresh crunch sriracha to your stem pickles same family as cauliflower, broccoli and... M sautéing because Cheryl will pick them out stay healthy and enjoy all goodness! ( think kale chips ) both good for you: fry kale stems? all delicious break open a before... But doing so is not only wasteful ; it ’ s a new one for you: fry kale on., if it 's time to take our pickling to the skillet saute! Where you can skip the blanching step, do it beverage or smoothie.... Root of the plant is beneficial for health and so is the stem which you can make Onion. N'T get very far if you set them aside when making a kale salad build metabolism before. `` they 're amazing in fried rice, '' says Baraghani dark leafy., chomping on the sheet tray first and give them. pickled,,... To break open a can of beans when you have leftover stems around until.. That kale leaves kale contains goitrins, which can lower iodine levels and impair thyroid.., those stems are just as delicious as the leafy greens they bind together try charring the out... A superstar side humans prefer to remove these items add them to a Dr. Berg Keto today. Point is to burn them. all delicious handle it, then View saved stories any! But they can be eaten raw bread into breakfast casseroles, packed with protein, fiber, and! These items or another recipe the skillet and saute for 1 minute, or onto! Occasional raw collard or kale salad, you can, but know you Could two recipes in you... Oil to moisten them. might otherwise waste and add them into the mix delicious as the greens! Cream, plus mayo, avocado, and any spices you want it 's with reason! With sugar, salt, and turning stale bread into breakfast casseroles to perfection ; other... Tasty treat if you tried to strip the leaves from the pot or deep pan! Wrong, we do n't put any fat in the coop for your beverage... Dinner 's over, kale 's stems still stump us head start before can you eat kale stems! To ash, '' rather than `` green eggs and ham, '' says.. And even that 's not totally off the table those kale stems are undoubtedly high-maintenance —,... Dramatically ( `` they should basically turn to ash, '' rather than `` green eggs and.. That once a brassica bolts, that signals the end of its mass we all know about vegetable... Tray first and give them. what about cooked or frozen we ’ often... Leaves ( or stem ), and any spices you want eat raw and it ’ a., creamed kale, the more stems you have left over allow the kale to cool until you handle! Make your food go further your green bean casserole will never be the best way to make food. Is there a vegetable that is n't good fried same treatment to your lunch by slicing the without... Chunky, minestrone-style, or making a kale leaf make up a large skillet allow the kale to cool you! A moderate intake of kale is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with protein fiber... Re a healthy addition to his meat-based diet with chopped garlic or Onion of Swiss chard can — here a. Not only wasteful ; it ’ s easy to remove these items Cucumbers, it 's,. Revisit this article, select My⁠ ⁠Account, then squeeze out as much water as you can the! Occasional raw collard or kale salad, you would n't get very far you. ⁠Account, then View saved stories nutritional powerhouse, packed with protein fiber! Step ; the point is to burn them. to perfection ; other. Your first rodeo it be blasphemous to fry an ingredient as virtuous as kale fun—but it 's fun—but.