Michigan Fresh: Using, Storing, and Preserving Kale (HNI120)
This fact sheet provides information for how to select, use and preserve fresh Michigan kale. Kale belongs to the Brassica family, which also includes cabbage, collards, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
Using, Storing and Preserving Kale
Kale belongs to the Brassica family, which also includes cabbage, collards, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
It is also known as borecole.
Curly, ornamental or dinosaur.
Storage and food safety
- Kale can be eaten raw or steamed to increase tenderness. Leaves vary from dark green to purple to deep red. Look for firm, deeply colored leaves with healthy stems. Small leaves will be more tender and have a milder flavor than large leaves. Store unwashed kale in an airtight plastic bag in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer, where it will keep up to five days. Wash leaves thoroughly before using. Kale tends to have dirt and grit on the leaves, so wash in several changes of cool water.
- To prevent cross-contamination, keep kale away from raw meat and meat juices.
- Wash hands before and after handling fresh produce.
- Kale is not recommended for canning, freezing or drying because of its high water content, which produces a low-quality product.
Ways to Prepare Kale
- Add to salads with red pepper, onion and raisins.
- Toss chopped kale with cooked whole-grain pasta, pine nuts, feta cheese and olive oil.
- Cook chopped kale with garlic and olive oil for 5 minutes; season with salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.
- Make kale chips by slicing kale into bite-sized pieces, tossing with olive oil and salt, and baking for 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
Andress, Elizabeth and Judy A. Harrison. So Easy to Preserve. Bulletin 989, 6th Edition. Cooperative Extension University of Georgia, 2014.
Prepared by: Joyce McGarry, Extension educator