Be it salads, casserole, pizza toppings, tamales, chicken stuffings, or grilled sides- kale fits into every recipe like the perfect piece of a puzzle. Due to its abundant nutrients and strong nutritional profile, it is one of the most preferred vegetables from the cabbage family.
However, sometimes it can be pretty challenging to find this vegetable at certain places, or you might just run out of it.
Irrespective of the situation, we shall help you find the ideal substitute for kales in the following article. For those who want a quick answer, our preferred substitutes are spinach, collard greens, and cabbage. But for those who want more, read along.
What is Kale?
Kale, like cauliflower, broccoli, collards, and Brussels sprouts, is a dark, leafy vegetable that falls into the cabbage family. Black Kale and curly Kale are the two most common edible forms of Kale among all variants. Depending on your preferences, it can be eaten raw or cooked.
It is high in vitamins K, C, A, B6, manganese, fiber, and folate, making it a popular vegetable for a healthy diet.
13 Best Substitutes for Kale
There are several substitutes for Kale that you can use when you run out of them. Take a peek at the best kale substitutes here. The majority of these selections are very nutritious and may be consumed uncooked.
Spinach is a green leafy vegetable that is abundant in nutrients.
Not only is it high in vitamins and minerals, but its soft and delicate leaves have a subtle flavor that enhances the flavor of your dishes.
Spinach can be used in soups, baked items, and salads. Even though spinach has a distinct flavor from Kale, it will contribute excellent greens to your cuisine.
2. Baby Spinach
If your recipe calls for baby kale or raw Kale, baby spinach is the most acceptable substitute. It’s also abundant in vitamin K and magnesium, both of which are essential for healthy bones.
The flat and spade-shaped baby spinach leaves have a mild and sweet flavor. They may be eaten raw and go great with various kale dishes.
3. Collard greens
Because of its similar texture and flavor, the next item on our list is one of the most fantastic kale alternatives. Collard greens have long been a popular substitute for Kale, and many people use them in place of Kale in meals that call for it.
Collard greens are versatile and may be used in salads or cooked recipes.
This vegetable has the same nutritional value as Kale. Thus it’s a suitable replacement for Kale.
Cabbage has a pleasant flavor and may be used in raw and cooked dishes. Cabbage can also be substituted for Kale, which comes in various kinds. If you can’t locate Kale in your local grocery, you might be able to find any of these cabbage varieties.
Cabbage is also abundant in vitamin A, which makes it highly nutritious. It may be used in place of several other green leafy vegetables.
5. Chinese Broccoli (Gai Ian)
Chinese Broccoli is a good substitute for Kale, despite its stem being thick and leaves being small. The availability of this nutrition-dense vegetable depends upon the place you live. They are widely available in Asian countries as compared to other places.
You can use this Chinese Broccoli in cooked meals as its thick stem makes it unsuitable for eating raw.
6. Mustard green
Mustard greens may also be used in place of Kale in practically any dish. Mustard greens are tasty and have a spicy taste. They are also effortless to locate and are loaded with nutrients.
Apart from its spicy flavor, mustard greens are pretty similar to Kale and are an excellent substitute for Kale if you love the peppy taste.
The chard family, like spinach, is excellent in cooked kale dishes. Because chard stems are thicker and more flavorful than kale stems, you may choose to discard them or use them in a different meal. Chard is also very easy to locate and roughly takes the same amount of time as spinach.
Chard comes in a variety of colors and has a milder and crisper appearance. As chad can be a bit bitter in taste, you can use it fresh or cooked in any way you choose.
Escarole is excellent for making sandwiches, baked goods, and salads. You can ingest it raw or cook it to make some good meals with great flavors, making it a good substitute for Kale in terms of both taste and flavor.
This vegetable will not significantly affect the flavor of your cuisine, making it even more versatile in a variety of dishes.
9. Savoy cabbage
Kale and Savoy cabbage are both members of the Brassica botanical family, which explains why they taste so similar. Savoy cabbage’s mild flavor and crinkled leaves make it an excellent substitute for Kale in many recipes.
Apart from its flavor and texture, Savoy cabbage is an excellent substitute for cabbage as it also provides the same nutritional advantages as Kale.
Arugula is a close relative of Kale, cabbage, and Broccoli, with a mild spicy flavor that complements almost any cuisine. Because of its peppery flavor, many people prefer this green over other options.
Arugula may be eaten raw or lightly cooked in a number of dishes.
However, be mindful that this green leafy vegetable has the potential to change the flavor of your food.
11. Iceberg lettuce
Iceberg lettuce can modify the texture of your entire dish. Its mild flavor gives you the liberty to add as many ingredients as you want to your dish to enhance its flavors. Hence, it can be used in place of Kale in most dishes.
So, if you don’t mind the difference in the look of your meal, iceberg lettuce might be a terrific substitute for Kale.
Tatsoi is a less known but equally delicious alternative to Kale. It is an Asian green vegetable with a crispy texture and a subtle taste. It is also rich in vitamins A, C, and K.
Compared to Kale, tatsoi is relatively simpler to digest and can be eaten raw or cooked, depending on your taste.
13. Brussels Sprouts
If you don’t have Kale on hand, brussels sprouts may be used to make a tasty meal. Even though they have a different flavor and look than Kale, they may still be utilized in a number of cuisines.
Brussel sprouts have a cabbage-like flavor, and while they don’t have a lot of nutritional value, they can be a great tasting alternative.
How to Store Kale?
If you do not want to work with any of the substitutes, you can buy kale in advance and store it properly to maintain the quality.
You can wrap the kale in a plastic bag or container and pop it in the fridge. This will help you retain its freshness for a week. If you do not have a plastic bag, you can wrap them in paper towels as well.
In case the leaves start to turn yellow, you can quickly remove them and consume the green ones.
FAQs on substitutes for Kale
Q.Which is the best substitute for Kale?
Of all the vegetables suggested here, spinach is the best contender for Kale. It contains vitamins A, C, and K. Though they have different tastes and textures, both of these are a powerhouse of nutrition.
Q. Do Kale and spinach taste the same?
No, Kale and spinach don’t taste the same. Even the texture of both of these green leafy vegetables is different. Spinach doesn’t have any strong flavor, while Kale tastes way more bitter than spinach.
Q. What does Kale taste like?
The sweetness, blandness, or bitterness of the Kale will vary depending on its maturity. Kale has a strong flavor accentuated by its crisp, rough leaves.
Even if each vegetable has its unique nutritional profile, it is not a good argument to abandon a meal just because you are out of it.
Your green leafy vegetables, like everything else, have an alternative.
Kale has a distinct texture and flavor, but numerous green vegetables on the market may be excellent substitutes for it and are more readily available. So, the next time you run out of Kale, read this article and create your own delicious and nutritious recipe.
Milburn Adler is a food enthusiast and connoisseur of wine. His area of expertise is food fusions and gourmet foods. He lives to experiment with new recipes every day and spends most of his day looking for fresh and exotic fruits and vegetables.