How To Properly Wash Kale

How to Clean Kale

Three Parts:

Kale is a healthy leafy green vegetable that can be used in salads and other recipes. If you want to use kale, it's important that you wash it first. To wash kale, you will need to remove the stems and submerge it in water. Then, rinse kale under tap water to remove any lingering dirt and debris. From there, store kale carefully until you need to use it.


Beginning the Washing Process

  1. Remove your kale to cut and wash it as soon as you buy it.You should actually wash kale right away instead of waiting until you're going to eat it. This will prevent any dirt or debris from becoming set on the kale.
  2. Remove the stems.While you can save the stems to use them for cooking later, it's generally easier to remove them prior to cleaning your kale as it's easier to get to the leaves. Use a knife to slice the leaves away from the kale's stem, getting as close to the stem as possible.
    • If you do decide to use the stems, dice them prior to cooking as they can be very rough.
  3. Fill a bowl with clean tap water.Take a bowl big enough to fully submerge all your kale. Fill it with clean tap water. Leave a little headspace on the top as the water will rise some when you add the kale.

Soaking Your Kale in Water

  1. Submerge your kale in the water.Dunk your kale in the water. Make sure the kale is fully submerged. No leaves should stick out above the water's surface.
  2. Swish your kale around.After submerging your kale, swish it around in the water slightly. This will dislodge obvious dirt and debris. Be gentle, however, to avoid breaking apart the leaves.
  3. Let the kale soak.Allow the kale to soak in the water for a few minutes. This will help soften any dirt stuck onto the kale in the crevices of the leaves.Five to 10 minutes is a good range of time to soak your kale.
  4. Drain the water.After five to 10 minutes have passed, pour the water into a colander or similar device over the sink.Shake the colander a few times to get all the water off the kale.
    • It's okay if not all the water is completely removed. You will be drying the kale further with paper towels later.
  5. Rinse the kale under running water.After removing the kale from the sink, give it one last rinse under running water. This should remove any dirt that was loosened during the soaking process.
    • Make sure to turn the kale as necessary to get every leaf adequately cleaned.
  6. Pat the kale dry with paper towels.Take some paper towels and lay the kale over them. Take some more paper towels and gently pat the kale. Get the kale as dry as you can before storing it.

Storing Your Kale After Washing

  1. Store you kale in an airtight container.Kale should be stored in an airtight container, such as a Tupperware container. You can also use a Ziploc bag with the air squeezed out.
  2. Keep kale in the coldest part of your fridge.Kale gets more bitter when exposed to room temperature. Store your kale in the coldest part of your fridge to keep it as fresh as possible.
  3. Discard kale after two weeks.Kale has a two week shelf life when stored properly. Date the container in your fridge that holds your kale. After two weeks have passed, discard your kale.

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Quick Summary

In order to clean kale, slice the leaves away from the stems as soon as you bring it home. Next, fill a large bowl with clean tap water and submerge the leaves in the water. Make sure the kale is fully submerged, and gently swish it around to loosen dirt and debris. Allow the kale to soak for 5 to 10 minutes, then drain the water and kale into a colander. Finally, rinse the kale under running water to remove any last bits of dirt, then pat the leaves dry with paper towels.

Video: Kale 101 | Clean & Delicious

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