Kale is having a moment in the spot light.
It is appearing in restaurants, salad bars, and articles.
And rightfully so.
Kale, a dark green leafy vegetable, belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, they are known for their cancer prevention qualities.
Kale is a POWERHOUSE of nutrients.
It is high in calcium, vitamins A, C and K, many important antioxidants and is packed with fiber.
There are quite a few varieties of kale, curly kale, lacinato kale, purple kale and red Russian kale, and more.
Kale has a slightly bitter taste, and it is delicious and be incorporated into many dishes and recipes. If you don’t like the bitter taste, blanch it first, by dropping washed and chopped kale into a pot of boiling water. Put a pinch of salt in the water first, it will help nutrients stay in the kale.
So if you haven’t jumped on the kale wagon yet – hop along!
And if you are already eating kale, here are a few ways to add variety!
Many of those recipes can be made with other leafy greens as well, so rotate your greens for variety of flavors and nutrients.
1. STEAMED KALE
Simple and delicious.
Put washed and chopped kale in a steaming basket and steam for 5-7 minutes. You can also skip the steaming basket, fill a pot with a little water, add kale and steam.
Serve with sauce or dressing.
I love steamed kale with tahini sauce.
2. SAUTED KALE
Popular and easy.
Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan.
Chop up some garlic and sauté until golden.
Add chopped and washed kale, salt, pepper, and sauté for 5-7 minutes.
3. KALE WITH BEANS
Use any beans, makes a high protein, hearty meal.
Sauté kale as above, and add 1 cup of cooked or canned beans.
Add a little broth, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes.
Serve with fresh chopped parsley and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
4. LENTIL SOUP WITH KALE
This is a staple in my house. So yum!
Sauté a large onion in a little olive oil.
Add diced carrots and celery. You can also add winter squash or sweet potato.
Add one cup of rinsed lentils. Red, brown or French.
Fill with broth or water.
Flavor with salt, pepper, cumin and paprika.
Cover and cook on low flame until the lentils are soft, 30-40 minutes.
Add washed and chopped kale, and cook for 5 more minutes.
Serve with a splash of vinegar and fresh cilantro.
5. KALE SALAD
Switch your salad greens with kale.
Raw kale can be a little hard to digest because it is very fibrous. Try the following methods to make it more digestible.
Use baby kale, it is tender and easier to digest.
Or blanch your kale first.
Or very thinly slice your kale, sprinkle it with a little salt and “massage” it for a couple of minutes until it softens.
Add any other vegetables/fruit and your favorite salad dressing.
I often make a blanched kale salad with sliced strawberries, sliced oranges, drizzled with balsamic reduction.
6. KALE SMOOTHIE
Drink the kale goodness.
Put kale in the blender with a banana and some berries.
Add water, ice and blend until smooth.
It is very important to use a high power blender for a smooth smoothie.
If you never had a green smoothie, start with a small handful of kale and increase gradually.
You can add other vegetables and fruit.
The possibilities are endless.
I post my green smoothie recipes on my FB page often, so make sure to join my FB tribe at www.facebook.com/healthnutgirl
7. KALE CHIPS (pictured)
A crunchy and delicious alternative to potato chips.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Single layer chopped kale.
Make sure the kale is completely dry.
Drizzle with olive oil or use oil spray.
Add curry, salt and garlic powder.
Or any spices you like.
Bake at 350 F, 175 C for about 10 minutes, until kale is crispy.
Watch it! It can burn quickly.