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

asked by Felicia M almost 2 years ago
17 answers 3076 views
9e008b4c-9d95-4ed0-affe-d5b4abb344a0--fwe
added almost 2 years ago

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

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

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

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

My wire fox eats them as snacks!

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04--avatar
added almost 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)

B85e8fe2-3c70-459f-8b0d-a50a892c3af5--16334_177350088649_8076169_n
added almost 2 years ago

i add them to juice and smoothies.

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

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

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

Chickens would appreciate them.