Quick Answer: What Is Kale? What Does It Taste Like?
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that is deep green in color (although you can find red varieties) and has an intense, earthy flavor. It is very popular as it has a tremendous amount of vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, K, and many others!
Kale is notoriously known for its nutritional value, and it is a common ingredient in many superfood green juices, smoothies, and capsules.
But, what is kale? What does it taste like? This article will be covering all your unanswered questions about kale, including what it is, what it tastes like, and the different ways you can cook it!
What Is Kale?
Kale comes from the Brassica family, which are also known as crucifers. Other vegetables, such as cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli, are also part of this family.
It is a leafy, hearty green that has a relatively long stem, and is deep green in color.
There are two types of kale: Brassica oleracea, which has smoother leaves, and Brassica napus. These have more ruffled and curlier leaves.
Kale has a very thick stem and thick veins, more so than other leafy greens.
What Does Kale Taste Like?
Kale can be eaten raw or cooked. To put it mildly, it has a fairly distinctive taste, one which many people do not necessarily enjoy.
It has a bitter taste that is strong and earthy, and as mentioned above, the leaves are tough, so they are pretty crunchy and strong-tasting.
However, young kale has a milder taste than mature kale, so because of this, many prefer opting for this variety.
Green kale isn’t the only option available, however. You can often find its cousin, red Russian kale. This type of kale is a lot sweeter and softer and is known for tasting better than mature, green kale.
Raw kale is often chopped up and used as a base for salads.
However, in order to soften the leaves, it is recommended that you massage some oil or dressing into the leaves and let that set before making the rest of your salad.
If you decide to cook your kale, the flavor becomes a lot milder, and so many prefer to cook it for this reason.
The leaves will also become a lot softer and when mixed with other foods in the dish, the taste will continue to be mild.
You can cook it in a number of ways. You can steam, boil, roast, or sauté it (more on that later!).
Health Benefits Of Kale
As mentioned earlier in this article, kale is known for its tremendous health benefits.
It comes loaded with antioxidants such as Quercetin, and Kaempferol. These antioxidants help your system fight against free radicals in your body.
These particular antioxidants are said to have anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, and anti-cancer effects!
Kale is also a wonderful source of vitamin C and is one of the vegetables with the highest vitamin C content.
It is said to have 4.5 times as much as spinach! A whole cup of kale contains more vitamin C than an entire orange!
Vitamin C is essential for the immune system, providing your body with what it needs to fight off disease and infection.
Kale is also a great source of vitamin K, which is an essential nutrient for the body.
It is crucial for blood clotting, and vitamin K1 (the type of vitamin that kale provides you with) is effective in preventing heart disease and osteoporosis.
If it couldn’t get any better, kale is also known for having cancer-fighting substances!
One of these is called sulforaphane which has been shown to have been effective at fighting the formation of cancer at certain molecular levels.
It is also very high in calcium, which is crucial for bone health and cellular functions. As well as this, it is high in magnesium, which can protect the body against developing heart disease and diabetes.
It is also a great food to include in diets if you are looking to lose weight. It is very low in calories, but significantly high in many essential nutrients your body needs.
It also will make you feel full and contains lots of protein and fiber, two nutrients that are essential for those trying to lose weight.
Nutritional Value Of Kale
|Nutritional Value||Kale (per 100gm)|
|Total Fat||0.9 gm|
|Total carbohydrates||9 gm|
How Do You Clean Kale For Cooking
Cleaning Kale before using it for cooking is essential as they sometimes are significantly filthy if you grow them yourself.
Here are the few steps one can follow in cleaning them:
- Put the chopped Kale in an ice container and wait for the dirt to sit in the bottom.
- Once the soil is settled, transfer it to the other container using a slotted spoon.
- If the Kale is still dirty, repeat the process until the water remains clean.
- When they are cleaned thoroughly, use the salad spinner to dry Kale.
How You Should Store Kale
When it comes to kale, the trick is reducing the amount of moisture it lets out. For best results, wrap your kale in a few paper towels, and place the entire vegetable in a zip-lock bag.
Place in the vegetable drawer in your refrigerator, and your kale should be good for up to a week!
If you’re into bulk-buying and then freezing, kale can be good for this too! However, it is recommended you blanch the kale before freezing it.
Simply remove the leaves from the veins and chop up what you’d like to freeze.
Place them in a pot of boiling water for around two minutes before moving them to a bowl of ice water. Dry the kale thoroughly, and place them in the freezer!
Ways To Cook Kale
As mentioned earlier on, there are several ways you can cook kale in order to add its wonderful nutritional benefits to your meals.
Make It Crispy
You can make your own kale chips pretty easily. All you need is some salt and any other seasonings you fancy, and a warm oven! Simply lay it all out on a pan and wait as the heat crisps the kale up.
When you braise something, it involves cooking it slowly in some liquid. As kale is very tough, it responds well to this cooking method.
It will turn tender and will take on the flavor of whatever you cook it with, such as garlic, or chili.
Roasting kale is probably the most simple way to cook it. Simply throw it in the oven for a few minutes with some oil and spices, and it will wilt nicely!
When you sauté kale over medium heat with some silky butter or oil, it’ll tenderize it and give it a delicious flavor.
You can add whatever spices you like, and makes for a perfect side to any meal!
Use It In Salads
Kale is a great base for salads and is great for meal prepping as it is so sturdy, so it won’t wilt as regular lettuce and other leafy greens do.
For less of an intense taste, massage the kale in some oil or whatever dressing you are using first. To do this, grab the leaves and rub them strongly in order to break down the fibers. These are what make the kale so tough, so doing this will soften them.
To steam your kale, simply chop it up as you wish to serve it, and lay it on a colander or steamer over a pot of boiling water.
Let it cook until the kale is tender, which will take around 5 to 10 minutes. This will leave you with some wonderfully soft kale, that can be added to a number of different dishes! It will also take on the flavor of anything else you add to it.
Add It To Smoothies
If you want to consume all the nutrients in kale but aren’t too crazy about the taste, adding it to smoothies is a great way to get all those vitamins without noticing the intense flavor all too much.
In order to balance out the flavors, try adding some mango, avocado, blueberries, or pear! The best thing about smoothies is that you can experiment as much as you like with all kinds of fruits and vegetables.
You can add some milk, juice, or even coconut water for liquid, and see what you come up with! For the summer months, try adding some frozen fruit. This will provide you with a super icy smoothie that is super refreshing and tasty!
Is Eating Kale Poisonous?
Although the first death of eating Kale is yet to be recorded, they are still poisonous if consumed in excess.
Kale can grow in high levels of toxic heavy metal, and they absorb it in their tissues.
Overconsumption of Kale results in having a higher intake of these metals in the body resulting in deadly diseases.
Does Kale Have Worms?
The most common form of worms found in veggies is Taeni solium, and Kale also has it hidden in the layers.
These worms come in a petite size that one won’t be able to see with the naked eye.
These worms are deadly as they can survive in the highest temperature. In addition, if they are once digested, they end up attaching to the intestine and producing larvae.
What Is The Best Way To Cook Kale?
Looking at Kale’s texture and tough leaves, it is not easy for everyone to eat; however, if you cook them properly, you might like it.
Out of many options, steaming and sauteing Kale are the two most popular choices that help make these rigid leafy vegetable tender with a better taste.
Sauteing the Kale provides it a crispy taste while steaming makes it tender to have.
Quick Table: Delicious Kale Recipes
|Easy Garlic Kale||87 Per Serving||15 Minutes|
|Lemon Garlic Sauteed Kale||118 Per Serving||20 Minutes|
|Sauteed Kale With Cider Vinegar||140 Per Serving||15 Minutes|
1. Easy Garlic Kale
Kale is a nutritious green vegetable known for its incredible health benefits.
This healthy, low-calorie green can be found in many recipes, from sautéed to raw.
There are a few ways to prepare Kale: by sautéing it with garlic and olive oil, in a salad with balsamic vinaigrette, or raw with a dressing.
Eating healthy is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. But unfortunately, many people, including children, struggle to ensure they’re getting the right amount of vegetables.
It includes easy recipes for anyone to try, including vegetables such as Kale, broccoli, and beets. In addition, it has vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options.
Calories Per Serving: 87 Per Serving
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
2. Lemon Garlic Sauteed Kale
Lemon Garlic Kale Recipes is a unique collection of flavorful and healthy recipes that satisfy any palate.
These recipes range from classic side dishes to complex entrees that are sure to impress the entire family.
One of the most important things you can do for your health is to eat fresh vegetables and fruit daily.
But even with a healthy diet, it’s still easy to feel like you’re missing a lot of nutrients.
Healthy cooking has all the nutrients you need in every Recipe, with delicious meals like the tomato and herb bisque, the garlic and lemon chicken with spinach, and the lemon garlic kale recipes.
The book is divided into four sections: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
It provides recipes for every meal of the day and makes them accessible to people of all skill levels.
Calories Per Serving: 118 Per Serving
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
3. Sauteed Kale With Cider Vinegar
Kale is a leafy green with a bitter taste, but when it’s sauteed in a delicious combination of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and other spices, it transforms into a sweet and savory side dish.
This Recipe for Kale Cider Vinegar Recipe is a great way to incorporate the leafy green into your diet.
Kale Cider Vinegar is a type of vinegar made by adding apple cider vinegar to kale leaves and allowing them to ferment.
It is famous as a condiment and used as a marinade. It has a slightly sweet and sour flavor. The result is a side dish that is light and crisp, with a tangy and tart flavor.
It is a great dish to eat on its own or accompany a meat dish.
Calories Per Serving: 140 Per Serving
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
To conclude, kale is known as one of the healthiest foods on the planet due to its significantly high nutritional value.
It is a dense leafy green, that is deep green in color, and has tough leaves. While its taste is not loved by many (due to the tough leaves) there are a number of ways you can add this leafy green to your meals without having to deal with its intense taste.
Cooking this vegetable will tenderize it, and in turn, gives it a milder taste. For those who don’t mind the taste, adding it to salads with other nutritious vegetables is also a great way to include it in your meals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Eat Kale Raw?
The green leafy vegetable is often touted as a superfood for its nutrient content and health benefits.
Leafy greens come in different colors, shapes, and textures. It’s often eaten raw in salads and smoothies but can also be enjoyed steamed, sautéed, boiled, or baked.
Is Kale Better For You, Cooked Or Raw?
Kale is more beneficial raw than cooked, while cholesterol studies show steamed Kale to be more beneficial than raw.
However, avoid boiling, sauteing, or stirring the vegetable too long or adding too much liquid.
Does Kale Have Any Side Effects?
Symptoms of Kale or cruciferous vegetable allergies may include itchy skin, hives, soft lips, tongue, and throat swelling, dizziness, digestive distress, and oral allergy syndrome.
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