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