1 Barnes Jewissh Hospital Plaza

Health, Nutrition

How To Use Kale? Exploring Its Types!

Leafy greens such as cabbage, lettuce, and spinach have lost ground to kale recently. Kale has gained popularity due to its nutritional attributes and anti-inflammatory ...

by Samantha Grace

This article was created after thorough research and has been improved with the assistance of AI technology. Furthermore, our dedicated editorial team has meticulously fact-checked and polished its content for accuracy and clarity.

Leafy greens such as cabbage, lettuce, and spinach have lost ground to kale recently. Kale has gained popularity due to its nutritional attributes and anti-inflammatory properties. By including kale in soups, stews, and baked or sauteed vegetable chips, home cooks can take advantage of the vegetable’s potential health advantages. 

Although all varieties of kale are rich in vitamins and minerals, knowing the most appropriate type for a person will make it easier to incorporate it into their diet. This article will discuss the most common types of kale and the best way to prepare them. 

What Is a Kale?

Botanically related to cabbage, kale is a leafy vegetable from the Brassica family. This vegetable is high in fiber, low in carbs, and nutrient-dense. It is a great source of vitamin K, which is necessary for healthy blood clotting and bones; vitamin C, an antioxidant that boosts immunity; and vitamin A, which supports healthy vision.

Common Uses Of Kale (1)

The compounds responsible for the bitter flavor in cruciferous vegetables, called isothiocyanates, are found in kale. In conjunction with other phytonutrients like lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, to mention a few, these substances may aid in the prevention of chronic illnesses like cancer.

Common Uses Of Kale

  1. Salads: Use kale as a base for hearty salads.
  2. Smoothies: Add kale to smoothies for a nutritional boost.
  3. Soups and Stews: Enhance soups and stews with chopped kale.
  4. Sauteed or Stir-fried: Quickly cook kale with garlic for a tasty side dish.
  5. Kale Chips: Bake kale leaves for a crunchy, healthy snack.
  6. Pasta Dishes: Mix chopped kale into pasta dishes for added nutrients.
  7. Sandwiches and Wraps: Use kale leaves as a nutritious alternative to lettuce.
  8. Juicing: Juice kale with other fruits and veggies for a nutritious drink.
  9. Pesto: Make kale pesto for a flavorful sauce.
  10. Snacking: Enjoy raw kale as a crunchy, nutritious snack.

Nutritional Value Of Kale

The green leafy vegetable kale is loaded with protein, calcium, iron, fiber, vitamin A, and anti-cancer properties. It is packed with more vitamin C than any other leafy vegetable. One of the few leafy greens that doesn’t shrink much when cooked is kale, which tastes excellent baked, roasted, sautéed, and stewed.

Just watch out not to overcook it, since it will become more bitter than it was when it was raw. 

4 Different Types Of Kale

Apart from the wide range of kale available on the market, there are four major edible types of kale. 

1. Curly Kale

The most common variety of kale seen at supermarkets and grocery shops is curly kale. It is also known as Winterbor kale, Scottish kale, Blue Curled Scotch kale, Scarlet kale, and Redbor kale. The leaves of this variety of kale are oval or rectangular and have white veins. They are linked to long, robust, fibrous stalks and are meaty and waxy.  

Curly kale can be consumed raw in salads and smoothies and offers a rich, woody flavor. It can also be cooked, steamed, boiled, or microwaved. It can be added as an ingredient in soups or air-fried to make crispy chips. 

2. Italian Kale

While curly kale belongs to the sabelica variety, Italian kale is from the palmifolia variety. Similar to its curly kale, Italian kale goes by several names, such as Toscano, dinosaur, Lacinato, Cavolo nero, black, Tuscan, and palm kale. 

The stems of the Italian kale are woody and fibrous, whereas the leaves are sweeter and milder in flavor. Italian Kale is mainly used for salads, soups, and stir-frying. In addition, these kale leaves are a fantastic addition to pasta and grains. 

3. Chinese Kale

Chinese kale, also known as Chinese broccoli, is a variety found in the Asian market. The color of Chinese broccoli leaves can range from light green to dark green, depending on the variety. All varieties have delicate leaves that can be wrinkly or smooth. 

It is named Chinese broccoli because its flavor and texture are very similar to those of regular broccoli. Compared to other edible kale cultivars, the stalks are thicker, crunchier, and have a softer, sweeter flavor. 

With its thinner, softer, crunchier stems, the “baby” or younger variety is incredibly delectable. Larger, wider stalks with more fibrous, bitter leaves are characteristic of older Chinese kale. Chinese kale is best consumed prepared, such as stir-fried, sautéed, boiled, or steamed. This is in contrast to other kale kinds. 

4. Russian Kale

Russian kale belongs to the same species as canola and rapeseed. It is sometimes referred to as Siberian kale or Ragged Jack kale. These leaves are known by two names: red Russian and white Russian. The former has flat, blue-greenish leaves with stems that range from red to purple, while the latter has brighter green leaves with ruffled edges and white veins and stems. 

Russian kales are more tender, milder, and sweeter compared to other varieties, making them a good option for salads and soups. 


Kale is a leafy green that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and other health-promoting substances. It can be prepared differently to suit a wide range of palates and culinary tastes, from light salads to filling stews. Knowing the several varieties of kale, from the common curly kind to the unusual Russian kind, enables people to make the best choice for their cooking projects.

There is a type of kale to fit every taste and recipe, whether you prefer the strong flavor of curly kale, the sweetness of Italian kale, the crunchiness of Chinese kale, or the tenderness of Russian kale. Through a variety of cooking techniques and recipe ideas, we may harness the power of kale to improve our health and well-being.


Leave a Comment

Copyright ©2024 Higgins Medical.