Is your kale looking a little yellow? Find out what you can do and how to salvage it, so less goes into the trash. Is it safe to eat?
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Remember that bunch of kale you bought last week?
Take a moment to go check the fridge I can wait.
Alright how does it look? Maybe it's starting to turn a little yellow around the edges?
Now don't throw it out quite yet, it's still edible. Maybe we can still salvage the kale. That's what we are here for today. This will apply to any type of kale - green curly, red russian, lacinato kale, dinosaur kale, etc.
🟡 Why It Turned Yellow?
The reason why it turned yellow is the same reason the leaves of the trees turn color in the fall. Chlorophyll that gives the kale it's green color is starting to breakdown, making the kale appear yellow. This is a sign of age and a motivate to act fast.
👄 Can You Still Eat It?
Is it all over for your kale and does it still have some hope? I decided to test it out for myself. First I need to clarify that the kale turning yellow alone doesn't mean that it's bad to eat. If the kale is moldy, smiley, or smelly then toss it out.
The question I am looking to answer is all about taste. Does kale that has turned yellow taste so bad that I am unable to stomach it?
Kale is known for it's bitterness to start. It's why your kids probably aren't begging for kale every night and if they are someone needs to give you a parent of the year award.
I decided to test the kale I had that was turning yellow and make kale chips with it. Here is how the kale looked.
Not too yellow yet, but starting to turn yellow of the outer portion of some of the leves.
🌬️ Air Fryer Kale Chips
Having just gotten a brand, spanking new air fryer, I decided to test the kale chips in there.
The results. Perfection. Despite the yellow tips on the kale, I could not dedicate any noticeable difference in the flavor of the kale. I think kale chips are the perfect use for yellowing kale.
Recipe at the bottom of this post.
I do think the yellow kale is easier to work with than yellow broccoli, which I have a hard time finding any way to use that is palatable.
💡 Tip - If you have an air fryer that has a "bake" setting like the Ninji Foodi, then use that. The kale shouldn't blow around as much, which is often an issue as it becomes so light.
🥣 Other Uses for Yellow Kale
You could try using the kale in other recipes, however the bitterness might be more of an issue with something like salad or added to a soup. If yours is more yellow than mine it could be even more bitter. Proceed with caution.
I don't like serving yellowed kale in a salad raw. It doesn't look appealing. If you are going to use it in anything do something where it could hide more like in a soup.
💡 Tip - If you have baby kale that has turned yellow you can add it to a soup right when the soup is done cooking. Since it's small and tender enough it will cook enough to wilt just like spinach would.
🥀 What if it's Limp
If your kale is feeling kind of limp, you might be able to perk it up. When I worked at a grocery store we cut a little bit of the ends of the kale stem off and then dunked it into warm water.
The warm water opens up the pours of the kale more. After that it immediately when into a cold cooler. This made the kale nice and crisp. If your kale is too far gone this might not work. But you could still make kale chips 🙂
🚫 How to Keep It From Turning Yellow?
What can be done to keep the kale from turning yellow in the first place. You can start by storing in in the fridge as soon as you get it home. It will turn much faster at room temperature. The best place to store it is in the crispier drawer of your fridge.
If you want to get a long time out of your kale, you should use your technique above with warm water to perk it up. You can slice it up first, give it a dunk in the water, then take it for a spin in a salad spinner to dry it. Then place it in the plastic bag or better yet a reusable silicone bag. I once put fresh dill in one and it lasted for weeks.
➕ Other Posts You Should Check Out
If you liked this post, you should read these ones as well.
- Can You Eat Broccoli That Turned Yellow?
- How to Tell if Potatoes are Bad?
- Can You Eat the Green Parts of Leeks?
- How to Tell if Cauliflower is Bad?
Air Fryer Kale Chips
- air fryer
- 1 bundle green curly kale
- 1-2 tbsps olive oil
- fine sea salt to taste
- With your hands tear the leaves away from the stem. Toss or save the steams for another use.
- Rip the leaves into bite sized pieces, trying to get them uniform in size. Drizzle on the oil and mix to coat.
- Add half of the kale to the basket of your air fryer.
- Set to 375 degrees for 5 minutes. If your air fryer has a "bake" setting use that over the "air fry" setting. Otherwise just hit start. Check on them half way through to see how they are progressing.
- Shake and put basket back. Keep a close eye on them so not to burn them.
- Season with a fine salt as soon as they come out.
- Repeat with the second half of the kale. Enjoy!