Preparing Kale: Recipes for the Winter Classic

Kale is very healthy and not only tastes classic as a hearty stew with sausage and Kasseler but also vegetarian. Delicious recipes with cabbage and tips for preparation.

Traditionally prepared with lots of meat and potatoes, kale is a classic of northern German winter cuisine. But the cabbage variety also tastes gently steamed and even raw in a salad or in a smoothie. If kale is not cooked too long, it is also very healthy because of its many valuable ingredients.

Kale needs refrigeration before harvest

In Northern Germany, the vegetable with large curly leaves is in season from October/November until March. The soil must be sufficiently cool because the kale can only develop its typical tart-sweet taste if it has been exposed to low temperatures for a long period of time before being harvested. However, ground frost is not necessary for this. The plant converts the starch into sugar – a process that only occurs in the living plant, but not afterward in the freezer. Kale harvested in milder weather tastes a bit tart.

Buy kale as fresh as possible

When purchased, the leaves should be dark green and squeak slightly when rubbed together. If they are already light gray or yellowish or if the stalk has dried out, the cabbage is too old. It is best for consumers to choose kale from organic farming. It usually contains less nitrate than conventionally grown ones. When calculating the amount, it should be remembered that the stalks and stalks are removed and the vegetables collapse a lot during cooking. For two servings you need about one kilogram of fresh kale.

Prepare kale properly – with delicious recipes

Before preparation, first, remove the curry leaves from the stalks and hard veins. Then wash thoroughly, because kale is often very sandy. Cut the leaves into strips or chop them up and process them further, for example, blanch them briefly in salted water or steam them in a pot with a little oil or lard, depending on your taste. In general, the vegetables should not be cooked for too long in order to preserve the valuable ingredients.

For a salad, sauté the washed and chopped kale very briefly and then simply mix it with olive oil, lemon juice, pepper, and salt and let it soak for a few minutes.

Jar, can, or freezer kale

Kale is available all year round as frozen goods, in jars or in cans. These variants save you the time-consuming cleaning and plucking of the cabbage but differ in taste from the fresh vegetables.

Goods from the glass in particular often taste a bit sour. The most vitamin-rich is frozen kale. You can also freeze fresh kale yourself: cut the washed cabbage into small pieces, blanch it briefly and then cool it down. After cooling down, it is best to freeze them in portions – this way the vegetables will keep for about eight to ten months.

Superfood: Why kale is so healthy

Especially in the USA, kale has been a so-called superfood for several years. The fashionable term describes foods that are said to have particularly health-promoting effects. In fact, vegetable has been shown to contain a number of healthy ingredients:

  • plenty of vitamins A and C and many important minerals such as iron, potassium, and magnesium, as well as fiber
  • Flavonoids can lower cholesterol levels
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin can stabilize the course of the disease in macular degeneration
  • Kale also contains a particularly large amount of cancer-preventing mustard oils (glucosinolates). The varieties Frostara, Neuefehn, and Rote Palme are particularly rich in mustard oils.

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