Kale Tips and Tricks

Follow along with SNAP-Ed Educator, Caitlin, as she talks about how to buy, store and prepare kale.

MyPlate suggests making half your plate fruits and vegetables. Luckily they come in a variety of flavors, textures, and colors, so even if you don’t like one fruit or vegetable, you might like another one. With all this variety, it can be hard to keep track of how to store and use each one. That’s why we’ll be highlighting kale! Here you’ll learn how to get the most out of your kale and save money along the way.

Vegetable Subgroup: Dark Green

  • Includes dark leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, collard & mustard greens
  • Contains calcium, a mineral important for bone health
  • Also contains B vitamins, which help our cells grow and stay healthy

A cool season vegetable

  • Buy in season or on sale for the best deals.
  • Check your local farmer’s market for the freshest varieties. See if they have incentive programs to stretch your SNAP or food dollars.
  • Frozen kale is easy to keep on hand and is a great option for saving time and money.

At the store

Kale grows in a variety of textures and colors. Unlike other leafy greens, kale tends to be really rough and fibrous, so look for smaller, more tender leaves to use in salads and larger leaves for cooking.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind while shopping for kale:

  • Choose smaller leaves for a tender texture and a milder flavor
  • Make sure leaves are firm with a dark color
  • Avoid wilted or discolored brown or yellow leaves

In the kitchen

  • Store in a plastic bag for 3-5 days
  • Place in the coolest part of your fridge or crisper drawer
  • Kale may become more bitter over time, so use it as soon as possible

Kale on your plate

Most recipes will tell you to remove the stem of the kale because it can be fairly tough. You can do this by hand, with a knife, or with clean kitchen scissors. To avoid waste, you can blend the stems into a smoothie or homemade pesto or toss them into a soup.

With the stems removed, kale can be added in any recipe that calls for leafy greens. You can use them raw in a salad, sandwich, or wrap, or cooked, sauteed, baked, or steamed.

Keep in mind that cooking kale will make it shrink in size, so to equal a one cup serving of vegetables, you will need two cups of raw leafy greens.

So that’s kale–a bit tough, but delicious when made right! For more recipes that incorporate kale, click here. Remember, small changes can make a big difference, so how else can you make half your plate fruits and vegetables?

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