Last Updated on December 13, 2021 by Guillermina
When I think about my favorite vegetables, I certainly don’t think of kale. This leafy green has gained a lot of popularity over recent years, and you may be wondering “does kale taste good”? We’re uncovering what kale tastes like and how to make it taste better with a few easy tips.
What Is Kale?
Back to the basics – kale is a distinguishable leafy green with origins tied to Greek and Roman culture. It’s in the cruciferous vegetable family, meaning it’s related to cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts.
Kale’s popularity took off around 2012, appearing as a star ingredient used by chefs and food bloggers alike. Featured in greens in salads, soups, smoothies, pasta, sandwiches and more – kale is everywhere! There’s even a “National Kale Day” on the first Wednesday of October every year.
Kale is available throughout the year at local farmer’s markets and grocery stores. It can be purchased fresh, frozen, pre-washed and stemmed, or canned. Kale is a versatile ingredient for a variety of dishes.
Types Of Kale
Believe it or not, there is more than just one kind of kale out there! The most common is known as curly kale. Dinosaur and red Russian kale are two other less popular varieties.
Health Benefits Of Kale
Kale is commonly referred to as a superfood. The vitamins in kale, specifically vitamin A and C, are antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent disease by preventing damage on a cellular level.
Other components of kale have been shown to help protect against some cancers. It also promotes urinary health.
Kale also has fiber, which is important for digestive health and fullness after eating. Adult women need 25 g and men need 38 g of fiber per day. Eating kale can help meet your daily fiber needs.
Kale Nutrition Facts
Kale is low calorie and high in fiber. For one cup of chopped kale, there are around 30 calories and 3 g of both protein and fiber. It’s also very low in carbohydrates, with only 7 g per cup.
As a dark, leafy green, kale is packed with a few essential nutrients. It’s one of the best vegetable sources of vitamin K, which is helpful in blood clotting. Kale also has vitamin C, and A, as well as B6 and folate.
What Does Kale Taste Like?
Described as earthy and bitter, kale can be a hard vegetable to love if it’s not prepared tastefully. Most kale has a crunchy texture and strong flavor that is distinctly bitter. For the sake of taste alone, it’s not recommended to eat kale without cooking and seasoning.
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How to Buy Kale
As with any product, you want to make sure you’re picking out good quality kale at the store. Kale should be a rich green color and the leaves should be somewhat rigid. If the leaves are yellowing, have brown spots, or are wilted and mushy, the kale is close to expiring.
Keep kale stored in the refrigerator. The best place to store it is in one of the refrigerator drawers, in a plastic bag or Tupperware. Kale should stay fresh for around a week.
Cooking with Kale
If you’re wondering “how can I make kale taste good?”, you’re in the right place. Kale is very versatile. It has strong leaves that make it suitable for many methods of cooking including steaming, sautéing, roasting, and stir-frying. Kale makes great additions blended into smoothies or pesto.
How to Make Kale Less Bitter
1. Remove the Rib
The sturdy center of a leaf of kale is also known as the rib and is even more bitter than the leaves. For best results, use your hands or kitchen shears. Simply remove the leaves from the thick stem by cutting or pulling them off. Compost or discard the stems.
2. Marinade Before Cooking
Seasoning kale with simple ingredients like minced garlic, olive oil, and salt can help cut the bitter flavor. For best results, marinade kale in this mixture overnight before cooking.
3. Massage The Leaves
Yep, you read that right. If you’re going to eat it raw, massaging kale with some oil creates a better flavor and texture. Rub the kale leaves between your fingers for a few minutes before dressing the rest of your salad.
5 Ways To Cook Kale
Before cooking kale, the leaves need to be washed and removed from the stem. Once they are washed and ready to go, cook with them right away or store them as instructed above.
Add your favorite cooking oil to a skillet and sauté kale for ~5 minutes. Kale is durable, meaning it will hold its shape well during cooking.
Whether it’s on the stovetop or in a crockpot, kale can make an excellent green to add to almost any soup. It’s one way to get another vegetable in your day and will also add extra fiber. You’ll be surprised at how much this adds to your meal – both nutritionally and flavor-wise!
Making [vegan ramen noodles]? Try adding kale into the mix!
Kale roasted into “chips” makes a great snack. Additionally, add roasted kale as a side or to a grain bowl or salad.
Who doesn’t love a stir-fry? Kale can be a great addition to any stir-fry because it’s so durable. It holds its shape well during cooking, so it won’t get soggy or overcook easily.
If you just can’t get behind the taste of kale cooked, hiding it in a smoothie is the way to go. The other ingredients in smoothies usually cover the bitterness of kale. Adding kale to a smoothie is an easy way to get a serving of vegetables.
Kale is a superfood full of vitamins and minerals. There are three easy ways on how to make kale taste less bitter. Do you like kale? Comment your favorite tips below!