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How to De-Stem Kale

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Today I’ll share how to de-stem kale. I find it hard to believe I knew nothing about kale until a year and half ago. I never EVER looked at that part of the produce section, where the really good for you greens are housed. You know, kale, parsley, cilantro, collards, dandelion greens, swiss chard, bok choy, and even arugula. Guess what? I now love all of them!

Back to the kale. If you use it and love it, great! If you haven’t tried it, don’t fret. Change that by running out and grabbing some. A bunch is usually $1.50 or less and can yield more than 12 cups.

Quick rule with kale and the point of this post. In normal use leave out the stem, it can be juiced or composted. The stem is bitter and will detract from the other pleasant cruciferous tones present in the leaves.

How to de-stem kale

Below is a picture sequence showing how to remove the stem. You’ll need your kale and a big bowl. Grab a stalk of kale, holding it by the end with one hand while placing the index and middle fingers of your other hand around the stem just above the leaves. Pull your fingers along the stem, tearing the leaves off into the bowl. Once all the kale leaves have been removed from the stem, push them under the water and swish around, rinsing them well. Drain the water and refill, repeating the process two more times or until the drained water is clear of dirt and sand.

{Note: Now that this part is written, it seems easy, but it was not. At all! It reminded me of one particular customer service seminar I went to. We were focusing on communication and were asked to pair up with someone. The first person held a picture of a clown and without showing the second person, was asked to describe the picture in a way that the second person could then draw the image on a piece of paper in front of them. Try it – much harder than you think!}

What do I do with kale? My favorite noms to make are: smoothies, salads, raw soups, and as chips. I haven’t tried it in cooked soups, but I’ve heard a rumor that it’s delicious 😉

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