Did You Know Kale Flowers Are Edible? Here's How to Use Them

Those tiny yellow flower buds that appear on your kale plants at the end of the season don't necessarily mean the end of your crop.

In fact, just the opposite: the florets are a bonus crop you can eat, and they turn even sweeter if the plants have been through a hard frost.

Here's the lowdown on what to look for and how to harvest, prepare, and eat kale buds (kale flowers).

Harvesting and preparing kale florets is as easy as pinching off the stem (just below the bottom bud or flower) and giving the flowers a quick, light rinse in water. The stems are often soft enough to eat (even raw), so there’s no need to remove the flowers from the stem.

I like to cook the buds and flowers as a side dish, as they only need a simple dressing to bring out their flavor: some olive oil and garlic, sauteed with a squeeze of lemon.

Toss it with a warm brown rice salad and a handful of wilted greens, and you have an easy weeknight meal.

You can also add kale raab to a stir-fry or pasta dish, or roast it with leeks and root vegetables. It also makes a nice garnish when used raw.

I used to sigh when I looked out my window at the end of the season and faced a bed of flowering kale, but now all I see is a delicious new crop!

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