How To Select & Store Kale

Kale JuiceKale is an autumn/winter vegetable in the cruciferous family that can survive some pretty cold frosts.  So why am I writing about it in spring?  Because you may actually have some left in your garden from last year 😉  As you are clearing out your garden beds and beginning to plant new seeds, look for some kale remnants and toss them in a juice or two!

When selecting kale, look for nice rich dark green frilly leaves that have a little bend to them.  That means that they are hydrated and supple.  If the leaves are yellowing or wilted they are older and won’t last as long for you.

Store kale unwashed in a plastic bag in the coldest section of the refrigerator.  To add a little more storage life, add a paper towel to the bag.  It will collect the excess moisture and the kale won’t get soggy so fast.  If you don’t think you will use all the kale right away, go ahead and freeze it.  Here is my previous post on how.

It’s best to use your kale within 1 to 3 days of purchase.  As the kale ages it can develop a strong bitter flavor.

When you use kale, remove the leaves from the tough center stalk.  Add it to almost any juice or smoothie to make it green!  Kale packs a whopping amount of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fiber, carotenoids, and flavonoids, which provide a variety of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Eating kale raw can take a bit of getting used to, but it blends well with just about anything I’ve tried.  Here is the recipe for our latest kale kick:

Blueberry Kale LemonadeKale Blueberry Lemonade

makes 2 18oz drinks

2 cups water
2 large kale leaves (stalks removed)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 small lemon, peeled
ice if desired

Add all ingredients in the order listed in the Vitamix and blend for 45 seconds or until completely smooth.  If you have a powerful blender, you do not need to remove any seeds, they will be pureed.

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