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Prepping & Storing Kale (and other greens)

In preparation for writing this post, I Googled kale to find out where it fell in the list of top nutrient-packed vegetables and found a lot of different lists. So I’ll let you do your own searches. I did, however, find the following quote: “Of all the healthy leafy greens, kale is king.” That works for me. Eating a lot of kale just makes you feel like you are nourishing yourself. It’s also really crunchy and versatile; and may be available from your local farmers year-round. If you have a goal of eating more leafy greens and kale (good goal!), the best way to set yourself up for success is to wash it and prep it soon after you bring it home. That way it will be ready to throw in veggie wraps, sandwiches, salads, soups, sautees, stir fries, curries, frittatas, casseroles, nachos, smoothies … the list goes on!

 

Give kale a rinse and de-stem it

Run the kale under the faucet briefly, give it a shake and lay it out on a cutting board. Cut off the thickest part of the stems and set them aside. How much of the stem you leave on is personal preference, but in general, you’ll trim the stems off about halfway up the leaves.

 

Why have I told you to set aside the stems? Because they make great soup stock, of course! Throw them in a freezer bag along with other veggie scraps and make homemade veggie stock when the bag is full.

 

Wash kale in a salad spinner

 

Now that the leaves are a more manageable size, you can submerge them in water in your salad spinner, drain and give them several spins. 

 

Storage container options

It’s nice to wrap the washed kale (or other greens) in a lightweight cotton towel and store them in a way that allows the air to circulate underneath. You can buy a produce keeper like the one pictured below which fits nicely in the refrigerator. 

You can also make a DIY version with a good airtight container and a metal steamer basket which can often be found at thrift stores.

I have also used mason jar rings under the bundle of greens to give them that lift and keep the bottom from getting soggy.

 

Wrap washed kale in a towel

My favorite towels for this purpose are flour sack towels which you can cut and use in different ways to wrap veggies. Mine are heavily used and a little on the dingy side now, so I used a prettier towel for the photo. Just use your lightest weight cotton towel if you don’t have flour sacks. Put the basket in the container, then the towel, then a layer of kale.

 

 

Fold over the towel and do a second layer. If you end up doing a third layer and the top of the kale doesn’t have a towel on it, that’s fine. 

 

You can store lighter greens such as arugula the same way. Pictured below is washed mizuna ready to be thrown into a salad!

What is this vegetable and what do I do with it?!

 

Sometimes at the farmer’s market or in a CSA box you may come across a vegetable you’ve never seen before. Or perhaps you know the name of a vegetable but you’ve never cooked with it and aren’t sure what to do with it. That’s where our Veggie Gallery comes in handy! CLICK HERE to visit the gallery.

You’re Invited!

Since you found your way to this post, we think you should consider joining our Facebook group community. Members share tips & tricks, recipes, ideas and answer each other’s questions about making the most of what you have and, of course, eating lots of locally-grown veggies. Please join us!

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