What Is Ornamental Kale and What Is It Good For?

Some of the kale varieties out there are beautiful and full of color. Farmers would try to sell these varieties, however they could only sell them for what regular kale would go for, which was about $2 a head. Soon, farmers found that if they put them in a pot and sold them they could get anywhere from $6 to $16 just by calling them ornamental kale. This not only increased the price and the viability of buying them, but it made it so that you couldn’t find them at a local farm.

Some of these ornamental kale plants are not meant to be eaten. It depends on where you source them from. Check the plant when purchasing them. If it says “may cause cancer or reproductive harm” do not eat them. They put an additive into the soil that is a systemic pesticide. What we mean by systemic pesticide is that it is a pesticide that gets drawn up through the root of the plants and it goes into every cell of the plant so that when a caterpillar or other bug will die from eating the leaf of the plant. So if it is killing a bug, it certainly isn’t going to be anything good for your system. It may cause some significant harm.

You can plant them yourself from seed so you know they are safe to eat. Ornamental kale is some of our favorite varieties to make kale chips. If you have had kale chips before you know they are brittle and break easy. You can’t really use it like you would any other chips that you might pull up a dip with. However, with the ornamental kale, because of how thick they typically are on the onset when you bake them you can use them with a dip. We like to spritz them with a bit of olive oil and some seasoning like paprika and sea salt then bake them at about 250 degrees in the oven. After that they are still solid and crispiness with structure so that you can hold a dip on many of them.

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