Saturday, August 10, 2013

Cooking with Kale

Kale from our local school garden
Never cooked with Kale before? These recipes are ideal for gardeners who have planted kale for the first time and would like some tips and recipes on how to start use them.

Our Grade 2/3 teacher was in a panic about our kale crops growing so well in the school garden, she was definitely not ready for their success. I was the one who had initially talked her into growing them as I had such an amazing no-fuss crop growing at home. Kale is so easy to grow!

It was all 'let's wait and see if it actually grows' approach this year in the school garden, 'and then we'll see what we can make of it if it does grow.'

Well, we've hit that second marker and it's desperation time to not only find some great kale recipes, but to actually convince the kids to eat it...and LOVE it.

You may remember last year I had the task of challenging the junior primary kids to learn to like rocket. It passed with 98% of them eating rocket and loving it!!! So now it's time for the Kale Challenge.

The students are growing different types of curly kale (in the picture above). Amazing, aren't they?

Tuscan Nero Kale
Compared to the Tuscan Nero variety (non-curling but distinct), Curly Kale is delightfully sweeter, so they are excellent for kids.

Kale is a member of the brassica family of vegetables which also includes broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprouts.

How to use Kale

All kales can be either served as a steamed veg or added to soups, stews and casseroles.
When stewing, add closer to end of the cooking time to preserve their colour and vitamin value.

Kale can be used just like spinach or even in place of spinach.
Remove the stem and central vein before cooking.
Simply slice thinly for all recipes.

How to store Kale

Once harvested, store in a plastic bag with as much air removed as possible.
Do not wash prior to storing as it leads to faster spoilage.
Rinse leaves prior to use.
Store in crisper drawer of the fridge.
Can be frozen for use at a later date.

What's so good about Kale?

Kale is hailed as a member of the super foods.

  • Antioxidant related health benefits
  • Anti-inflammatory health benefits
  • Glucosinolates and Cancer-preventative benefits
  • Cardiovascular support

Nutritional Facts about Kale

Low in calories: 100g is only 49 Calories
Kale is a rich source of Vitamins K, A & C and magnesium

Baked Kale Chips


1 bunch of Kale (140g-200g)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt for sprinkling

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
  2. Line a tray with baking paper.
  3. Remove the the stems and central vein of the kale leaves. Keep the leaves whole for best results.
  4. Place Kale evenly (not over lapping) onto tray and drizzle with oil, massaging the oil in lightly for an even coverage.
  5. Sprinkle with salt.
  6. Bake for approximately 10 minutes until leaves are crisp (not burnt on edges).

Soy and Sesame Kale Chips


1 bunch Tuscan Kale (140g-200g)
1½ Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds


As above.

Braised Kale with Bacon and Cider
Don't be worried about adding Cider as the alcohol will cook off and leave a lovely flavour.


2 Bacon slices, chopped
1 ¼ cups Onion, thinly sliced
450g Kale, chopped
80ml Apple Cider
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1½ cups (280g) Granny Smith Apples, diced
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

  1. In a fry pan cook bacon and onion until tender for 5 minutes.
  2. Add kale; cook for a further 5 minutes or until wilted, stirring frequently.
  3. Add cider and vinegar.
  4. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add apple, salt and pepper; cook for another 5 minutes until apple is tender.
  6. Stir occasionally.
  7. Serve immediately.

Want more recipes?

For more great Kale recipes click on the links below (external sites)

The Garden of Eating: 14 Unbeatable Kale Recipes
Cooking Light: 15 Kale Recipes


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