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