Fresh curly leaf kale

How to select

Choose dark-colored kale bunches with small to medium leaves. Avoid brown or yellow leaves.

How to prepare

  • Wash kale in a large bowl of water, moving it around to remove any dirt. 
  • Rinse under running water. 
  • Pat kale dry with a towel. 
  • Chop into 1" strips. 
  • Discard stem bottoms but don't remove ribs.

How to store

Store kale in a plastic bag in the coldest part of the fridge for 3-5 days.

Peak season

Spring, fall and winter

Ways to use

  • Add chopped fresh or frozen kale to vegetable or bean soups.
  • Add chopped kale to a stir-fry.
  • Stir raw kale into pasta or rice salads.
  • Substitute kale in recipes that use spinach or collard greens.
  • Add cooked to any pasta dish.

Fun facts

  • Kale is a member of the Brassicaceae family, also known as the cabbage family, along with broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kohlrabi.
  • It originated in the Mediterranean region and was brought to the United States from England in the 17th century.
  • Kale is a very hardy plant; it can withstand frosts and snowfall, making it an excellent staple food in the winter months.

Nutrition info and facts

Kale is an excellent source of vitamins A, K, and C. Kale helps with brain development in kids and is liked to lower odds of developing dementia in later life. Kale contains fiber, which helps manage blood sugar and makes you feel full longer.

1 cup kale = 9 calories, 52 mg calcium, 11 mg phosphorus, 72 mg potassium

Learn more

Growing collards and kale in the home garden (UMN Extension)


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FoodData Central. Kale, raw. April 1, 2019.

Elana's Pantry. How to prepare kale. August 28, 2020.