Can Kale Go Bad? – How Long Does Kale Last and How to Tell If It’s Gone Bad?

Can Kale Go Bad?: Kale is a superfood that unfortunately not everyone likes. It is a deep, and verdant kind of green, packed with full of vitamins and minerals. It is a very healthy vegetable, and if you are looking to add this to your diet then you should even know, can kale go bad? or not, how to tell if it goes bad, and how to store it.

In our article, we are going to discuss the complete information about kale and we have provided answers to all the questions that you have. So, start reading to know!!

Can Kale Go Bad

Can Kale Go Bad?

Yes, Kale can go bad like all other perishable veggies. Mainly, when you do not store it properly it will go bad easily. The shelf life of kale depends upon its freshness of it when you buy them. Unlike many food items in the store, the bag of kale will not have any “best by date” and expiration date. Kale that was bought from the farmers market will likely last longer than the bag purchased in the supermarket.

How to Tell If Kale Has Gone Bad

When we buy kale from the garden, or even when we are picked up from the supermarket there will be a very different set of identifiers than when it’s going or gone bad. If you store it for a very long time kale will warn you that they are no longer its best. Look into the signs that tell you that kale has gone bad. Check them out.

Look into the Appearance

Kale that has been stored for several days will become damp. As the kale loses its water it will become saggy. Because of chlorophyll kale will be in dark or vibrant green. But, as kale ages, the chlorophyll that we have in kale will be reduced and the leaves will turn into pale green or yellow.

Check the Smell

If the kale is fresh it smells earthy and fresh, like a combination of broccoli and lawn clippings. But when kale goes bad the smell was very disgusting. you will get the smell of sulphur gases and more like rotten eggs. Depending on how long the kale is stored the smell will be mild and fully developed. If you feel that smell from your kale just get rid of it.


This is another sign that will tell you kale has gone bad. If you take out kale from the refrigerator,  the leaves are soft, sticky, and slippery. If a couple of leaves are slimy you can just remove them and you can use the remaining part. But if most of the leaves are slimy then it is better to throw them into the trash.

Mold Growth

If the kale has any black spots, black specs, mold growth, or any type of organic growth. Then it’s time to throw the kale.

Can Kale Go Bad

How Long Does Kale Last

Like most veggies, kale will not last that long. Kale that was obtained from the garden, will not last longer than the store-bought kale. By following some storage tips, you can extend the life of the kale. Do not leave your kale on your countertop unless you will use it within 3 hours. Because at room temperature kale will deteriorate faster. Let us look into the shelf life of the kale below.

 Types Fridge
Fresh kale 5 – 7 days
Bagged kale (opened) 5 days
Bagged kale (unopened) Printed date + 1 – 2 days
Cooked kale 3 – 4 days

Shelflife of kale

Why Does Kale Turns Yellow?

Kale will turn yellow because of its aging, illness, or incorrect storage. If it is becoming yellow it means that the chlorophyll in the kale leaves is decreasing. This is very natural and unavoidable. So no need to worry about it. By keeping them for too long, or by not storing them properly kale will turn yellow and spoil faster.

Is Yellow Kale Safe to Eat?

To tell whether yellow kale is safe to eat or not mainly depends on finding why kale turned yellow. If the leaves become yellow due to long storage, it is safe to eat as they will not have any signs of rotting or smell dirty. But it will be less flavorful compared with fresh leaves. Maybe you may feel bitter. So, despite being safe, it is not that enjoyable to eat. If the kale is turned yellow due to an infection or has the signs of rotting throw them away.

Because if you eat spoiled greens you may feel sick.

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How to Store Kale

With the proper storage and management of your fridge and freezer, we can increase the shelf life. You can store kale in several ways by following some small tricks. Let us look into those tips and tricks that maximize the shelf life and also prevent premature spoilage of kale.

Store in Plastic Bags

Before keeping the kale in the refrigerator, put the kale in a resealable plastic bag. Also, keep in mind that takes a large bad as all the leaves should stay relatively loose and they should not be packed too tight.

Don’t Wash Kale Until You Use Them

When you buy kale just right away bring it home and store it, do not wash it unitil right before consumption. If you wash kale before storing it that will get moisture into the storage bags and the kale will get spoiled easily.

Store Kale in Paper Towels

Before storing the kale in plastic bags, just place one or two paper towels inside the bags. So that if you have any moisture that will be absorbed by those paper towels. So that vegetable is fresh for longer. For best results, keep the paper towels from top to bottom and also squeeze as much air as you can from the bag before sealing.

Store In Crisper Drawer

The crisper drawer is the compartment in the refrigerator that was designed for vegetables. It will have lower humidity levels than the rest of the fridge, by keeping the kale in a crisper drawer, kale will not rotten quickly. If you don’t have the crisper drawer in the fridge keep the kale on the bottom of the shelve in the fridge.

Rehydrate If Needed

When you bring the kale from the market and if you feel that the kale was wilt and dried out. Before placing it into the plastic bag just place the kale in the freshwater for ten to fifteen minutes and use the kitchen roll or salad spinner for drying it off.

Can You Freeze Kale?

Yes, if you want to store kale for a long time, you can freeze kale. That would be the best option too. But if you keep the fresh kale in the freezer you can see the change in texture. Cooked kale is better to keep in the freezer than fresh ones as cooked kale will retain its texture.

Otherwise, you can cut its stem off branch the leaves, and then keep it in a ziplock bag and place it in a freezer. When you are ready to eat kale, let it thaw in the refrigerator. If you are making a smoothie or cooked dishes you do not need to keep it in the refrigerator. You can directly use it from the freezer.

Interesting Facts About Kale

Look into some of the interesting facts about kale that were provided below.

  • Kale is a good source of vitamin A, C, and K.
  • Kale will reduce the risk of a certain type of cancer.
  • Kale is a superfood that has been growing for 2000 years.
  • There are different types of kale that are marked by color and leaf shape.

FAQs on Does Kale Go Bad

1. What happens if you eat bad kale?

If the kale is very bad and the leaves are slimy and mold then eating that kale will lead you to food poisoning and you will face many digestive disorders like abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.

2. Is bagged kale healthy?

Bagged kale is not healthy as they appear they contain very little nutrition due to processing.

3. What does expired kale look like?

Expired kale will taste bitter and sour to eat.

Key Takeaways

Hope that the information that was provided above on can kale go bad? had shed some light on you.  As kale is a perishable food item it should be stored in the refrigerator at all times. Before consuming it always check for the signs of spoilage to avoid putting yourself in harm’s way. Still, if you are interested  to know about any other food articles like How long does cauliflower last, how long do radishes last and many more are provided on our website



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