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Are there any possible uses for kale stems other than compost?

asked by Felicia M about 2 years ago
17 answers 3293 views
9e008b4c 9d95 4ed0 affe d5b4abb344a0  fwe
added about 2 years ago

You could probably try a vegetable soup stock if you have any other vegetable lying around to add to it!

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added about 2 years ago

Wouldn't that make the soup base extremely kale-y though. I usually have tons of these stems lying around.

Df43343e db93 4fac a72d 68d05089a724  2013 09 09 13.45.37
added about 2 years ago

If you taste a raw stem, you'll notice it's pretty sweet. I hesitated before using any in a vegetable stock because we're told that members of brassica family are too assertive for such use. However, while I imagine broccoli, cauliflower or anything cabbagy would be unpleasant--sniff the air after over-cooking and you'll see why--kale does not overpower. I wouldn't use purple stems for a light-colored soup, but I was pleased with a stock made with tough kale stems tossed in with more typical fresh ingredients, and odds and ends I save in the freezer for this purpose.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 2 years ago

I do the above, as well as pickling them. You can also chop them up in a food processor to break up their tough fibers and ferment them in the style of kimchee.

4798a9c2 4c90 45e5 a5be 81bcb1f69c5c  junechamp
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 years ago

I'd think they could be successfully braised, the way the French to with Swiss Chard stems.

Df43343e db93 4fac a72d 68d05089a724  2013 09 09 13.45.37
added about 2 years ago

Chard stems resemble cardoons or limp celery; they are broad and not as dense. They soften as quickly as onion. Kale stems, not so much. Vitamix owners could follow Lindsay-Jean's recommendation easily.

Cfe06c3a 31ba 4cd7 a0b0 2d1e7eb98d8e  18930218514 6fcf35ff43 b
Lindsay-Jean Hard

Lindsay-Jean is a Contributing Writer & Editor at Food52.

added about 2 years ago

Pesto! http://www.loveandlemons...

8c8ff7b2 98ef 495e 807b e66827c2eae7  open uri20131029 15207 1uj2enm
added about 2 years ago

Is there a special trick to making it? I once tried to make soup purée with kale stems but it was just too fibrous to make it work. I was using an immersion blender though...

9e008b4c 9d95 4ed0 affe d5b4abb344a0  fwe
added about 2 years ago

If you add some other vegetables to the stock, I don't think kale stems would make the stock too Kale-y! I suppose it depends on your taste, I think it could make a really nice base for a lot of soup recipes!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
amy
added about 2 years ago

My wire fox eats them as snacks!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 2 years ago

Totally random, but the first answer that came to mind was to tie them together and use them as a whip. (sorry)

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added about 2 years ago

i add them to juice and smoothies.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 2 years ago

The Zuni Cafe Cookbook suggests turning chard stems into chard fries by dipping in egg, flour, egg, bread crumbs, refrigerating, and then frying at 365. Not sure if this would work for kale, but it might be worth a shot. Otherwise, I use them to make veggie stock.

8c8ff7b2 98ef 495e 807b e66827c2eae7  open uri20131029 15207 1uj2enm
added about 2 years ago

Chard stems are way softer than kale but it's an interesting suggestion. Thanks!

B89ae899 a914 4ac8 b478 a42e5057662b  2016 03 25 08 16 46
added about 2 years ago

You could always juice them or throw them into a smoothie! I also sometimes eat them dipped in humus like celery stalks but you probably have to be really into kale to enjoy that.

E0cc9d5c 6544 49fb b0e4 5c150d9ac0f7  imag0055
added about 2 years ago

Chickens would appreciate them.