Hailed as the ‘queen of greens’, kale has grown in popularity in recent years. Curly kale, with its green, crinkly leaves, is the most common.
A member of the cabbage family, kale has a distinct, bitter taste. Like other dark green, leafy vegetables, it’s packed full of nutrients and is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K.
Kale also contains fibre, which is good for digestion, as well as phytochemicals, which are believed to help protect against certain types of cancer.
Read our tips on how to buy, store and cook it, plus try our two kale recipes.
How to buy
Leaves should be a bright green – not browning or yellow – fresh-looking and crisp, rather than wilting.
How to store
- Store in a perforated bag in the salad drawer of the fridge.
- Eat within 2-3 days as it becomes bitter the longer you keep it.
How to prepare
- Wash, shred or chop.
- If using from a packet, wash thoroughly before cooking.
How to use
- Shred and add to salads and stir fries
- Pan-fry with garlic for a veggie side dish
- Shred and add to minestrone soup or stews
- Add to green smoothies for breakfast
- Chop and add to spaghetti bolognese or substitute for spinach in cannelloni
- Add to a fish pie. Try adapting thisrecipe
- Make kale chips. Add kale when making thesehomemade crisps
How to cook
- You can bake, boil, microwave or stir fry kale.
- To make kale chips – cut the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces, wash, add a little unsaturated oil, such as olive, rapeseed or sunflower, and bake for 10-15 minutes.
- If boiling, rinse the leaves and put into a pan of boiling water. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 6-8 minutes, until just wilted. Drain well before serving.
- To microwave, place on a non-metallic plate and cook on high (800W) for approximate 2 mins. Leave to stand for one minute and serve.
- If chopped or shredded, stir-fry for 5-7 minutes.