How Do You Get the Bitterness Out of Kale?

Reviewed on 2/26/2021
A serving of raw kale contains 33 calories.
A serving of raw kale contains 33 calories.

Below are a few ways to get the bitterness out of kale:

  • Massage kale by rubbing it with your hands until it looks a little wilted and darker. This quick process helps release the bitterness. Kale can be massaged with salad dressing for 10+ minutes. Massaged kale salads stay well overnight in the refrigerator, and there will likely be no hint of bitterness but all the same nutrients.
  • Kale leaves can also be massaged with a little olive oil. Adding salt and squeezing lemon make a big difference by removing bitterness.
  • Adding some spicy or sweet flavors may help tame the strong flavor of bitter kale. For example, tossing in some dried fruit helps balance the bitter with some sweet. If you eat meat, you can try adding in some sausage or bacon, perhaps to a soup or stew, to cut the bitterness. Minced garlic, olive oil, and salt are also simple ingredients that can transform the flavor of a bitter kale dish.
  • Cutting the stem of kale and marinating it with olive oil and salt can help reduce bitterness. Let it marinate in the fridge for at least 24 hours for better tenderness and less bitterness.
  • Boiled kale is quite delicious. It is just a matter of adding some seasoning to it such as salt, pepper, and some flavorful common medicinal herbs such as parsley, oregano, or garlic.

What are the health benefits of including kale in our diet?

A serving of raw kale contains 33 calories. To break it down, it has 6 g of carbohydrates, 3 g of protein, and 2 g of fiber. Below are common health benefits of including kale in our diet:

  • The nutritional profile of kale supports a strong immune system. The vitamin C content in kale protects our cells and helps them perform their vital functions. This vitamin also promotes collagen synthesis, a structural protein in the body that helps fight against aging.
  • Kale contains important nutrients such as zeaxanthin and lutein that help protect our eyes reducing eye problems. These carotenoid antioxidants keep us at low risk of eye conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
  • Munching on kale chips or other dishes in which kale is the main ingredient is a good option if you are trying to lose or maintain your weight. It is a weight loss/weight management–friendly vegetable because of its low-calorie content. Kale is packed with water and fiber, so it keeps us satiated longer.
  • According to studies, kale contains compounds designed to protect the body against cancer. One compound is sulforaphane, a material that helps fight cancer formation right from the start and at the molecular level. There are also other substances in kale that can potentially fight cancer such as the indole-3 carbinol.
  • The nutritional profile of kale is rich in vitamin A; to be more precise, beta carotene is abundant in kale. This is an antioxidant that turns into vitamin A in the body. Therefore, with a good amount of beta carotene in the body, more levels of vitamin A are stored, which is important in keeping the eyes healthy and slowing down the aging process.

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References
Masking Vegetable Bitterness to Improve Palatability Depends on Vegetable Type and Taste Phenotype: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3652488/

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