Don’t throw those kale stems away. Instead, get out your blender, toss them in, and make a creamy Vegan Kale Stem Pasta Sauce! The tough kale stems break down into a delicious sauce that great on pasta, veggies, and salads.
If you are looking to dabble in zero waste or at least keep your compost bin from overflowing, this is your recipe.
Try using this sauce on steamed veggies, as a dip, or anywhere you could use a little creamy boost.
Spring Veggies are Some of My Favorites!
Leftover Kale Stems
The more greens you eat, the more stems you have leftover. I know some of you cook the stems and eat them with the leaves, and I commend you. In my household, I take out the stems whenever I’m sautéing because Cheryl will pick them out.
Instead of throwing them out or composting them, I’ve been using them in sauces and pesto too.
Can I use other leftover steams besides kale?
You sure can. I’ve used stems from collards and you could use stems from Swiss chard, beet greens, turnips, greens, and more.
Do kale stems have any nutritional value?
They sure do and they contain lots of fiber. The same goes for other greens stems that you usually discard.
Are kale stems hard to digest?
If you are just starting a vegan or plant-based diet you may just be starting to add large amounts of fiber to your diet. This can take some time to build up a tolerance for some people.
If you are one of those people or you have an issue with fiber, you might want to start with kale leaves first. This Kale Stem Pasta Sauce is pureed in a high-speed blender and that would be a good place to start since it’s broken down more to begin with.
What do you do with kale stems?
I want you to tell me what you use your kale stems for in the comments. Do you just eat them with the leaves, make a fun sauce or spread them? Maybe yours go into the compost to grow some new kale next year!
I’ve been loving mine over pasta!
How do you prep kale?
I went ahead and prepped my greens once I got my CSA and had a huge bunch of green kale and a giant bunch of collards.
What that entails is rinsing any clumps of dirt off the whole leaves and tearing them off the stem into bite-sized pieces. Then I put them in a lettuce spinner, wash them more, and spin them dry.
I store them in a resealable container that I lined with clean paper towels. This helps keep them fresh longer.
Can I juice with kale stems?
You can and you don’t need to separate the leaf from the stem. Just add the whole thing to your juicer.
Do you need to remove stems from kale?
Sometimes you have to remove the stems when recipes ask you to, but even then they can be saved for other recipes.
I can eat most of my recipes with kale stems on, but I do remove them because as I said above, my household would prefer that. 😉
How do you destem kale?
Some recommend de-stemming kale by folding it lengthwise, then cutting along the thick center stalk with a knife.
Another way is to put a stalk through a pasta measurer or herb stripper. You should do this directly over a bowl or colander, then you can wash the leaves.
Are kale stems good for dogs?
Kale is high in fiber and low in calories, making it an ideal treat for dogs looking to shed some pounds. A single stem of kale contains only about 33 calories. This, together with the high fiber, vitamin, and mineral content, may make it a nutritious treat for your pet.
You can always puree with a little water in your blender and add to your favorite dog cookie recipe.
What is garlic powder?
It’s the fine powder version of granulated garlic. Both are dehydrated fresh garlic, that gets ground finer or courser.
Here’s how it’s made. Fresh garlic cloves are peeled and minced, and then placed in slow drying ovens. What comes out are your favorite garlic flakes.
These flakes, when ground, turn into granules and fine powder. The granules are what you’d call granulated garlic, while the fine powder is the granulated garlic powder, or simply, garlic powder.
Can granulated garlic be substituted for garlic powder?
Yes! To use granulated garlic for garlic powder in a recipe, just double the amount specified for garlic powder. To substitute garlic powder for granulated garlic, use half the amount specified for granulated garlic.
Are cashews good for you?
Cashews are high in fiber and low in sugar. They also contain lots of heart-healthy fats and protein, plus copper, magnesium, and manganese. These are all beneficial for energy production, brain function, immunity, and bone health, so I think cashews are pretty great for you.
Which cashew is best?
You’ve probably heard of white or scorched wholes, splits, and pieces—all these refer to different ‘grades’ of cashew kernels. I love all kinds though so I don’t think there’s just one “best.” Some I roast, some I make into cheeses and dips.
But to me, the best cashews for making sauces are the cheapest kind. Because you don’t want to pay a premium price for a nut that you are going to puree.
What are the benefits of rosemary?
Rosemary contains lots of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which may help strengthen your immune system and enhance blood circulation.
Rosemary stimulates the brain, so it may also boost memory and keep you alert and focused.
Can I eat the rosemary in my yard?
If it’s common rosemary, it’s edible.
But if you live in the North East US, Europe, or Asia it could be bog rosemary. If that’s the case don’t eat it, because it’s the one kind that’s poisonous. If ingested, it may cause diarrhea, dizziness, vomiting, and respiratory problems.
Always if you don’t know what kind it is don’t eat it! I would recommend planting a pot of the culinary kind because it’s beautiful and edible.
Ingredients for your Vegan Kale Stem Pasta Sauce
Many of these ingredients are already pantry favorites, so it should be easy to gather them up real quick.
- Kale stems – or other green stems
- Cashews – to make it creamy, you can use rolled oats instead if you are allergic to nuts
- Nutritional yeast – gives it a great umami flavor
- Granulated garlic
- Salt, optional or to taste
- Rosemary leaves (not sprigs – those we will compost because they are very woody!)
How to make Vegan Kale Stem Pasta Sauce
It’s super easy. All you need to do is add all the ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth. You may also throw in up to 1/4 cup extra unsweetened non-dairy milk to make your sauce smoother and creamier.
Serve over pasta, spread on sandwiches, or use as a salad dressing. Enjoy!
More kale recipes
Rejoice, kale lovers! I still have three more kale recipes for you to try. One is this Super Easy Tofu Stir-fry Using a Kale Salad Kit, and yup, it uses a salad kit but I didn’t have it on a salad (must be interesting to see).
And then there’s Air Fried Vegan Ranch Kale Chips—recipe’s not mine but I like it a lot and I thought you would too.
Finally, there’s Butternut Squash and Kale Lo Mein with Crispy Tofu. It’s sort of a ‘marriage’ between fall produce and Asian flavor. A must-try, I’d say.
- 1 1/2 cup kale stems
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional or to taste
- 10 rosemary leaves, not sprigs!
- Add everything into your blender and blend until smooth. Optional: You can add up to 1/4 cup extra unsweetened nondairy milk to make it smoother and creamier.
- Serve over pasta, spread on sandwiches or use as a salad dressing.
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Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 68Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 0mgSodium 226mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 3gSugar 1gProtein 4g
Nutrition information is provided from nutritionix.com as a close estimate. If you have specific health issues please put the recipe information, including the exact ingredients you use, into the nutritional calculator your Dr. recommends.