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

  • 4533 views
  • 17 Comments

12 Comments

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
First We Eat
First We Eat March 26, 2014

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

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
Felicia M
Felicia M March 26, 2014

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

Eliz.
Eliz. March 27, 2014

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.

Voted the Best Reply!

Naomi
Naomi March 27, 2014

I like them. I cut them into small pieces, sauté them first (they take longer to cook) and then add the cut up leaves....then some freshly grated nutmeg, minced fresh garlic, salt and pepper at the end. Can't be better (or any easier)...

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
claire miller
claire miller March 27, 2014

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.

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
ChefJune
ChefJune March 27, 2014

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

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
Eliz.
Eliz. March 27, 2014

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.

Lindsay-Jean Hard
Lindsay-Jean Hard March 27, 2014

Pesto! http://www.loveandlemons.com/2013/10/21/kale-stem-pesto/

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
Felicia M
Felicia M March 27, 2014

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...

First We Eat
First We Eat March 27, 2014

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!

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
amy
amy March 27, 2014

My wire fox eats them as snacks!

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
Tomina
Tomina March 27, 2014

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

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
lisina
lisina March 28, 2014

i add them to juice and smoothies.

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
magpiebaker
magpiebaker March 28, 2014

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.

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
Felicia M
Felicia M March 28, 2014

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

MaddyBelle
MaddyBelle April 8, 2014

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.

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
mainecook61
mainecook61 April 12, 2014

Chickens would appreciate them.

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
Showing 12 out of 12 Comments Back to top
Recommended by Food52