To green juice drinkers, kale is a very familiar name. This member of the cabbage family is available in both edible and decorative versions. Being known for the distinctive ruffled leaves, kale is an excellent ingredient for vegetable curries as well.
But as a matter of fact, this famous vegetable is no longer as easy to find as it was before. With pest attacks in the U.S. kale crop a few years ago, farmers no longer think kale is a safe crop to cultivate.
On top of that, Bejo Seeds, one of the top global kale seeds providers got sold out.
All these means we are going towards a kale scarcity. It’s time we should seriously look into other vegetables that can work as kale substitutes. And we have a list for you that provides all possible alternatives to kale.
With these beautiful greenies, life after kale won’t be that tough.
1. Turnip Greens
While regular turnips can’t be considered as kale substitutes by any means, turnip greens are just as good. These greenies have a combination of spicy, bitter, and sweet taste, making them really tasty.
It is quite convenient to replace kale with turnip greens for the nutrients too. Being rich in vitamin K, turnip greens will give you many of the health benefits you used to receive from kale.
You can also use turnip greens as an alternative to kale in juice items.
Everyone remembers spinach from the famous cartoon series Popeye. Popeye does exaggerate the positive impacts of spinach quite a bit, but the health benefits of spinach are as extraordinary as kale.
Our parents scolded us for having spinach before dessert for good reasons. Including spinach in sauté, pie or soup exponentially enhances the nutrients in these foods. Cooked spinach is a great alternative to kale in most of the recipes.
3. Collard Greens
If you are from southern America by chance, then it’s very likely that collard greens are a staple of many of the food items prepared in your house. If you haven’t eaten collard greens with smoked pork hocks and bacon, don’t consider calling yourself a southern American.
These big green leaves are delicious in both raw and cooked forms. Collard greens are a perfect kale replacement for salads, fried food, and curries.
4. Mustard Greens
You should never consider eating raw mustard greens if you don’t want to feel like someone has punched you in the face. The dire flavor wipes out when cooked, and mustard greens become a delightful vegetable.
Like kale, mustard greens come in different variants like curly and flat, red and green, and a few others.
You should consider applying mustard greens mixed with other types of greens due to the peppery bite.
5. Swiss Chards
Swiss chards are considered as the most beautiful leafy greens out there. The colorful stalks holding the leaves can draw anyone’s attention. The tender, velvety leaves also compliment the stalks very well.
Swiss chards are not just about looks, as they are quite tasty and nutritious as well. If you are using Swiss chards as kale substitutes, then don’t cook them as long. Having high water content, these greenies get cooked faster.
The crunchy stems of Swiss chards are great ingredients for making pickles.
6. Broccoli Rabe
Widely known as Rapini, broccoli rabe is rich in different breeds of vitamin. It is also a very popular ingredient of many Italian dishes. Italian chefs love to pair broccoli rabe with garlic, chilies, and sausages.
Broccoli rabe also looks quite similar to kale and can replace the later in most of the cuisines. It is not recommended to use broccoli rabe instead of kale in juice items though.
The vitamins and fibers in kale can fight heart disease better than many other cruciferous vegetables, but eating raw kale can indeed harm your body. If you eat raw kale, you will risk suppressing the production of thyroid hormone.
It’s the responsibility of your thyroid hormone to regulate the metabolism of your body. With hormonal irregularities, you might suffer from blood sugar fluctuations, you might put your overall metabolic health at risk by eating raw kale.
If you are not planning on creating health issues like stomach pain, bloating, or constipation, then avoid eating raw kale by all means. Raw kale is not tasty as well. Why would you want to eat something that tastes bad and create problems in your metabolic health?
While cooking, if you fall short of kale, you can opt for any of the above-mentioned substitutes that come in handy. You can also go for these alternatives if you don’t like the taste of kale.