Kale is having an unprecedented run right now. Finally, I say. Kale is a superfood and full of health benefits! Packed with antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins, and even anti-viral properties, kale may be one of the best vegetables out there. We all know that kale is a superfood, but do we actually eat it? Studies show that the average American eats 2-3 cups of kale, one of the healthiest foods on Earth, per year.
Not all veggies are created equal. Kale is a vitamin powerhouse! A one- cup serving of kale provides 206% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A. Kale contains high amounts of vitamins B6, C, and K. It’s also high in folate, or folic acid. Folic acid is incredibly important for women that are or may become pregnant, as it may prevent neural tube defects in unborn babies. Kale has an incredibly impression nutritional profile.
Is kale a leafy green you should think about planting? Absolutely! In fact, it’s super easy to grow kale. You can plant kale at any time of the year. Plant kale seeds about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep into the soil. Some good vegetable companions are beets, celery, cucumbers, and garlic. Kale continues to grow even in the fall and winter, and the frost actually makes kale sweeter. Kale is usually ready to be harvested when the leaves are about the size of your hand.
Are there several types of kale? Yes, quite a bit of different types actually! Some of the most common types of kale you can find at a supermarket are curly kale, Lacinato kale (or dinosaur kale), premier kale, redbor kale, Siberian kale, and red Russian kale. If you’ve tried kale, then you probably know that most types of kale are pretty tough and usually bitter. But not to worry! You can tenderize kale, and you can also add a bunch of flavor to it! Let’s get right into it! Here are 10 yummy ways to eat more kale!
1. Crispy Kale Chips
Healthy homemade veggie chips? Sign me up! Here’s what you need:
You can use any kind of kale leaves for this simple recipe. Preheat your oven to 350 F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Separate the ribs from the leaves using a knife or kitchen scissors. Cut the kale into bite sized pieces, and toss with olive oil and sea salt. Bake for about 5-10 minutes and enjoy this tasty healthy treat.
2. Healthy Kale And Mango Green Smoothie
Smoothies are awesome! They’re a quick, low calorie breakfast option, a great to-go lunch when you’re in a time crunch, or a nutritious post workout meal replacement. Incorporating kale into a green smoothie is smart. Here’s what you need to make a yummy kale smoothie:
2 mangos cut into 1 inch cubes
2 Tbsp raw honey
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 cups almond milk
Just toss ingredients into a blender, and you have a yummy green smoothie.
3. Kale Pesto Angel Hair Pasta
Think kale too healthy and can’t be incorporated into a comfort food? Think again! Here’s what you need to make a creamy healthy kale pesto angel hair pasta:
Angel hair pasta
1 cup kale leaves (stems removed)
1/3 cup olive Oil
5 garlic cloves
1 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup cherry tomatoes
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of black pepper
Boil water in a large saucepan, and add angel hair pasta once water comes to a boil. Meanwhile, in a food processor, add garlic and pulse. Then add the kale leaves, basil leaves, sea salt, black pepper, parmesan cheese, and toasted walnuts. Drizzle in the olive oil while the food processor is on and get pesto to desired consistency. Drain the angel hair pasta when it is al dente, and add pesto. Top the pasta with cherry tomatoes that are cut in half, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Yum!
4. Creamy Kale Soup
Since kale is readily available (and sweeter!) in the winter, you can always incorporate kale into a creamy soup when it’s cold out and you need something warm and homey to warm you up. What you’ll need:
1 cup chopped kale leaves (stem removed)
2 Tbsp butter
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup cubed red potatoes
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Vegeta seasoning (to taste)
Warm the butter in a hot saucepan and sauté the leek until tender. Add the kale leaves and sausage and sauté until sausage is almost cooked through. Pour in vegetable broth, and add remaining ingredients: salt, pepper, Vegetables seasoning, and cubed potatoes. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 15 minutes. Top with a bit of butter and serve hot. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve with warm bread. What could be better on a chilly day?
5. Kale And Chicken Meatballs
Meatballs are so versatile! You can add almost anything to them, and use almost any kind of ground meat including combinations. Here’s a recipe for succulent kale and chicken meatballs:
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 lb Ground chicken
3 cups kale leaves (chopped)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper (to taste)
Melt butter and oil in hot pan. The butter adds a delicious flavor and helps the meatballs become nice and golden brown. Combine all other ingredients together and form 1 inch meatballs. Add meatballs to pan. Sear on both sides for about 5 minutes. Make sure chicken is cooked through with a meat thermometer. Serve with ranch or marinara sauce alongside angel hair pasta or basmati rice.
6. Greek Kale Salad
Whoever says kale doesn’t taste good raw has never tried a proper Greek and kale salad. The trick to getting the kale leaves tender is to rub and massage them for a few minutes prior to tossing into the salad. Make sure the leaves are de-ribbed. The perfect Greek and kale salad contains:
Kale leaves (tenderized and chopped)
Red pepper (chopped)
Red onion (thinly sliced)
Feta cheese crumbles
Extra virgin olive oil
Combine all ingredients together and toss! Easy as that! Enjoy!
7. Kale Flatbread Pizza
Are you eating healthy lately but pizza has been calling your name? Try a healthy alternative, like a flatbread pizza with kale. Here’s what you need:
1 Stonefire authentic naan flatbread
Feta cheese crumbles
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Cherry tomatoes sliced
Green pepper sliced
Red onions sliced
Salt & Pepper
Preheat your oven to 375 F and start prepping your pizza. Brush flatbread with olive oil and then begin adding your ingredients. Top with salt and pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. If you’d like an extra touch of freshness, squeeze a fresh lemon onto your flatbread pizza when it comes out of the oven. Bon Apetit!
8. Steamed Kale (As A Side)
Steamed kale is a delicious side dish to any entree and it’s so quick and easy to whip up! Here’s a yummy recipe for steamed kale:
1 cup chopped kale
3 garlic cloves
Sea salt & Black pepper
Discard ribs and stem from kale leaves and chop. Chop garlic. Sauté kale and garlic in oil in a saucepan. Add 1/3 cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for about 20 minutes.
9. Kale Hummus With Warm Pita Bread
We’re super excited to give hummus a little kick of bitter kale. Here’s the recipe!
1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1 cup kale (stems discarded)
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup tahini
Salt & pepper
Pulse all ingredients in a food processor. If mixture is too thick, add water / oil to desired consistency. Warm some pita triangles in the oven, and dip into this healthy goodness!
10. Eggs Benedict Topped With Sautéed Kale (A Little Naughty)
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as eggs benedict for breakfast. This recipe is a bit of a mix between eggs benedict and eggs florentine, except we’re not using spinach. We’ll substitute the spinach with kale and top our eggs benedict with it. Here’s a list of the ingredients you’ll need:
1 English muffin
2 egg yolks
1 cup kale (de-stemmed and chopped)
The eggs benedict is an open faced sandwich, so you only need one English muffin halved. First toast your English muffin halves. Next poach 2 eggs. Sauté the ham, bacon and kale until kale is wilted, and ham is golden brown. It’s time to start building your sandwich. Top the English muffin with the ham and bacon, wilted kale, and poached egg.
Now we’ll need to smother this delicious sandwich in hollandaise sauce. It can sometimes be tricky, but here’s a foolproof way to make it. Whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice in a stainless steel bowl until it doubles in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing simmering water. The bowl should not touch the water. Slowly drizzle in melted butter and whisk. Remove from heat and whisk in salt. Pour generously over your sandwich! Now, this isn’t the healthiest recipe on our list that includes kale, but it’s ok to be naughty every once in a while!