Ways to cook kale without losing nutrients

Kale, also known as kale, has always been an underrated vegetable until the last decade. It is a very nutritious leafy staple that can be enjoyed raw or cooked.

The truth is that the cooking depends on each person, but kale can be made in many ways. Some methods require more time and preparation, while others can be done quickly. For example, the microwave can be used to make amazing dishes in a few minutes.

Before kale was among the top health foodies, it was most commonly used as a garnish in restaurants. But as more people realized its nutritional benefits and versatility, the vegetable gained popularity in every kitchen.

Nutrition facts for kale

This is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, so it belongs in the same range as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. It is a rich source of vitamins K, C, and B6, as well as folate, manganese, and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. All of these nutrients make kale a great protector against cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Also, it is low in calories. In just one cup of loose kale we get:

  • 6 calories
  • 0.2 g fat
  • 0.7 g carbohydrates
  • 0.7 g of fiber
  • 0.2g sugar
  • 8.5 mg sodium
  • 41 mg calcium

This makes it a recommended food in diets to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Green leafy vegetables should not be lacking in any diet, since the micronutrients and the fiber obtained improve intestinal transit.

Kale Cooking Methods

There are several different techniques for cooking this vegetable. You can cook red cabbage in the same way that we would cook green kale, so there is no problem in using these techniques in its different varieties.

How to cook kale in the microwave

Cooking vegetables in the microwave is a fairly simple preparation method that doesn’t remove too many nutrients. Typically, vegetables that are cooked in the microwave result in less loss of vitamin K compared to other vegetables that are cooked in the microwave.

For example, cooking broccoli in the microwave means that its nutritional characteristics are not adversely affected. So since kale is a direct family of kale, it reacts similarly in this appliance and does not lose any of its nutritional integrity when cooked correctly.

To heat this vegetable in the microwave, it can be done in several ways. If we just want mushy, wilted kale , similar to how it would get steamed or sautéed, place it in a microwave-safe container with 1 teaspoon of water, cover, and microwave for two minutes every 2 cups of kale. . Then it can be drained and served.

However, you can cook more than wilted kale in the microwave. We can make kale chips by mixing chopped cabbage with oil and salt, then separated by placing the leaves around the edges and the base of a microwave-safe bowl or plate. Now we would have to heat the dish in the microwave at high temperature for three minutes and check that it is crisp. If the leaves still need a little more cooking, put them back in for another three minutes.

mujer cogiendo col rizada

How to steam kale

This steamed vegetable is a great way to prepare the leafy greens; it will be smoother and easier to chew while lending itself to many different flavors. To do it correctly you must follow the following steps:

  • Steam the cabbage by filling the bottom of a pot with salted water.
  • Place a steamer basket in the pot, making sure the water doesn’t spill out of the bottom of the basket. Bring the water to a boil and add the cabbage to the basket. Cover the pot and steam the kale for 5 minutes or until tender but still slightly crisp.

Cabbage responds well to steam, as it softens the leaves without compromising the color or flavor of the vegetable. You can also use purple kale just like you would regular kale in your favorite recipes.

How to sauté cabbage leaves

Sauteed kale tastes great. It can be mixed with other vegetables and proteins for a nutrient-dense stir fry. We ensure that the options are endless.

To sauté the cabbage, it is recommended to add it to a pan covered with olive oil and bring it just to a bright point over medium-high heat. You can add onions and garlic for a little extra flavor and season the kale with sea salt, pepper, and herbs of your choice. Cook the kale for 10-15 minutes or until cooked to your preferred level of tenderness.

How to make kale chips

This is possibly the best type of cooking. Or at least the best to have as a snack. If you feel like eating something crunchy, kale chips are the best option for it. To do them you must follow the following steps:

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  • Make cabbage chips by cutting the leaf into small pieces or using small whole leaves.
  • Lay the leaves on a baking sheet in a single layer with a little space between each sheet. Sprinkle the cabbage with olive oil, pepper and sea salt and bake for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the tray over and cook the other part of the leaves for another 3 minutes, or until crisp. Carefully remove them from the hot tray immediately so they don’t continue to cook.
  • Mix the kale chips with thin sweet potato chips for a colorful and healthy snack.

How to cook frozen kale

Cabbage is usually most available fresh in the spring and fall, but frozen kale is available year-round. Having a bag or two in the freezer ensures that we will always have it available when a recipe calls for this vegetable.

To cook frozen cabbage, put 1 cup of water in the pot for every 2 cups of frozen vegetables. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in each cup of water. Then cover the pot with a lid and heat the water over medium high heat until it boils quickly. Dip the kale in the boiling water, cover the pot, and bring the water back to a boil.

Boil the cabbage for eight to 12 minutes, or until it is completely hot and tender, but bright green. Drain the kale in a colander at the end of the cooking time. Avoid leaving it in the hot water as it continues to cook and can become overcooked if it is not drained quickly.

hojas de kale en el horno

How to massage kale?

If you’ve never heard of massaging cabbage, this technique may sound a bit confusing and is normal. Massaging the cabbage is an important step if you want to eat the vegetables raw. This massage will break down the cell structure so that the cabbage has a slightly smoother texture and is easier to chew.

To do so, you must follow the following steps:

  • Wash and remove the stems from a bunch of cabbage and cut or chop the leaves into bite-size pieces. You can discard or compost the kale stalks, or save them to make vegetable broth.
  • Place the kale in a bowl and add a quarter teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
  • Massage with your hands for about 3 to 5 minutes until the leaves are sweet and tender.

Now you can add any other salad ingredient you want. The massaged kale will keep in the fridge for a few days, so it can work well with the batch cooking technique.