What is a bunch of kale? Read on to get the lowdown on the average weight of a bunch of kale. Then, continue as I describe all the varieties of kale, it’s nutritional value, and how to grow and preserve it!
How much is in a bunch of kale?
So, you have a recipe in front of you and its main ingredient is a bunch of kale.
And, you think, how in the world do I know if I have the right size bunch of kale?
Or, you are a gardener and you have no idea how to harvest ‘a bunch of kale’. Heck, in a good year, one harvest of kale can be several pounds!
For the record, a bunch of kale, on average, is 7 ounces…stems and all.
So, now that we have that burning issue solved, let’s dig into all things kale, shall we?
All about 1 bunch of kale
I offered a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and vegetables at farmers markets for about 8 years from my farm in Harpers Ferry, WV. When I first began growing for market, I quickly came to learn that kale is a thing.
Like, kale is a REAL THING.
People obsess about kale. I’m convinced they dream about it!
Unless you are Jim Gaffigan…
There’s a reason for all this kale madness. Read on for the facts.
Do it, and you’ll be saying OH, KALE YES! by the end of the post.
This post has affiliate links to products I use and recommend for creating a seasonal life. I hope you find them useful.
What is kale anyway? All the varieties explained.
Kale is a member of the brassica family of vegetables. This family includes many cool weather crops like cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and mustard. As a matter of fact, this family is commonly referred to as The Mustards.
There are endless varieties of kale available to the kitchen gardener. The list below is of the primary varieties from which seed suppliers create a multitude of unique selections to choose from.
Curly kale grows to maturity with 10-inch leaves that can range anywhere from bright green to blue-green. We will discuss the red variety separately in a minute.
Curly kale is winter hardy. I find it is sweeter in cool weather and can become quite bitter when the temperatures rise mid-spring. I enjoy cooking with it because it has mass, it has some substance when wilted into stir-fries, or braised.
Lacinato (Dinosaur/Tuscan) Kale
Lacinato has to be the most popular kale I offered during my growing for market years. Customers reported a sweeter, nuttier flavor that worked well cooked and in raw salads. Lacinato has a long history in Italian cooking and is a standard ingredient in minestrone. That’s why one of its nicknames is Tuscan kale.
I find this kale variety grows well in both cool and warm weather. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a hot weather kale variety, though.
This kale is a miracle. One year I planted it in early October and continued to harvest it through late June. Incredibly cold hardy, it is very sweet when harvested in winter. As a matter of fact, you can harvest redbor kale (and some other kale varieties) when the leaves are frozen. Simply leave them on the kitchen counter to thaw. They will be firm and easy to work within the kitchen in about 5 minutes.
Not only is it extremely cold hardy and versatile, but it is also absolutely beautiful. The leaves are more magenta than red. It works well in a kale salad with mixed kale varieties.
Red Russian Kale
This is a very popular kale for the kitchen garden and edible landscaping. Red Russian kale maintains its sweet flavor from the harvest of baby leaves straight through maturity. Its stems are a reddish-purple and the toothed leaves a blue-green. It’s beautiful and tasty. Because of its reliable sweetness, I find it my go-to for kale salads.
Here is why kale is cool…it is called one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world. It’s a main ingredient in many a seasonal kitchen!
Just a few highlights of why this tasty and versatile leafy green deserves its accolades:
- 100 grams of raw kale has 9% of the daily requirement of protein. Kale is a staple of the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle.
- This 100 grams of kale also offers 200% of the daily requirement for both Vitamins A and C.
- 881% of the daily recommended value for Vitamin K.
- Kale is rich in minerals like Calcium (15%) and Iron (8%), Copper (75%), and Manganese (33%).
Here is the nutritional breakdown from nutritionalvalue.org (click the link for even more in-depth analysis of the nutritional value of kale):
Kale in the Kitchen Garden
Growing kale can be a year-long enterprise in the kitchen garden. I plant 2 successions: one in October for the cold months and one in April for the remainder of the year. Each planting needs specific care and attention.
Growing winter kale
For the winter kale crop, you’ll want to have floating row cover, also called agribon. Simply drape the protective fabric over the kale to get a little frost protection for the kale during the coldest months. The row cover also helps you easily harvest during snowstorms. Kale is sweeter when it has been frost kissed.
Growing warm-weather kale
In the spring, you’ll need that same fabric to protect your kale from the cabbage moth. The voracious caterpillar of this butterfly can leave you with leaf stripped stems in the blink of an eye.
The summer months can bring a variety of beetles eager to nibble on your kale. I often roll back the cloth after the cabbage moths have passed, but keep it easily accessible for when these hungry critters arrive in my kitchen garden.
If your soil temperature is well above 50 degrees, you can direct seed into your kitchen garden. However, I prefer to start my seeds indoors. This way I can get a few plants of several different varieties that do not need much thinning.
There are also excellent varieties of kale microgreen seeds. I prefer using Johnny’s Seed because they are reliable and trustworthy. If you want to learn how to grow microgreens, including kale, be sure to sign up for the Growing Indoor Greens eCourse. It’s free and easy!
Preserving Kale Harvests
I put out an all-call in our Facebook Community, asking for ways that members preserve their kale harvests. Here’s what the community recommends:
- Blanch (quick boil) and drain. Then squeeze out all the remaining moisture. Finally, make into balls and freeze. These balls can be tossed into soups in a minutes notice.
- Ferment it by making kale kimchi.
- I braise it with bacon and freeze it in meal-size portions.
- Make kale chips. I have a 50-50 success rate with this. If you have a fail-proof method, please leave it in the comments.
Also, if you have a novel idea for preserving kale, please leave it in the comments!
A kale green smoothie!
Seasonal eating is never easier than when making fresh green smoothies in the seasonal kitchen! Click here for a basic green smoothie recipe that tastes great with a cup of chopped fresh kale.
The 5-Day FREE Food Preservation Bootcamp
Cultivating a kitchen garden includes the joys of kitchen work. By preserving warm-weather harvests, we can enjoy the food from our land every month of the year. Food preservation isn’t difficult. There is a shortlist of basic skills that will help you preserve most any crop.
I’m inviting you to take the FREE 5-Day Food Preservation eCourse. There are a series of 5 emails that will detail a specific food preservation method. Simply save the emails in a folder and refer to them as you harvest from your kitchen garden.
Kale is perfect for the fall and winter garden
Check out these other resources that highlight kale, growing it and eating it!
A bunch of kale, on average, weighs 7 ounces. That’s stems and all!
At the farmers market or grocery store, a bunch of kale will be a pre-bundled collection of kale leaves. There is no standard size of the bunch, but on average a bunch of kale is 7 ounces.
Kale is a cool-weather crop that is most readily available in local markets during the spring and fall months.
Most farmers market vendors will charge $3 for a bunch of kale.
Quick Guide to 6 End-of-Summer Food Preservation Techniques
The Quick Guide to 6 End of Summer Food Preservation Techniques with Recipes from Lorrie Season and Stony Ridge Farm is a 14 page eBook with 6 DIY kitchen projects to preserve the best of summer flavors for winter meals. It is a seasonal living must-have resource.
The Quick Guide to End of Summer Food Preservation includes 6 recipes using each of the basic techniques described The Traditional Methods of Food Preservation post. Lorrie Season is a learn-by-doing resource. The best way to practice traditional food preservation is to begin using the techniques at the end of summer when food is so plentiful and affordable using these safe and simple techniques. Get the eBook and use the recipes to learn how to:
- Acidify with Vinegar
- Use Oil
- Make Alcoholic Cordials
You’ve worked hard all summer in your garden, with your farm share, and managing all those farmers market hauls! Now, make sure you get to enjoy the results with these simple and safe food preservation techniques!
Come Join the Party!
There’s a vibrant and growing community of gardeners and cooks eager to help you create your seasonal life! And, they are simply a click away…