9 ways to Enjoy Kale!

Kale is the boss! Hands down out of all of the super healthy greens, kale takes the crown. It’s one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet; it’s loaded with powerful antioxidants; it’s an EXCELLENT source of Vitamin C; it can help lower cholesterol, which may reduce the risk of heart disease; it’s packed with Vitamin K; and it’s full of minerals that MOST people don’t get enough of…

Yeah, Kale is the bomb. Nutrients in green leafy vegetables, like kale, have so many great health benefits yet, nearly 90% of Americans don’t eat the MINIMUM recommended daily amount of ANY vegetables (daily recommended amount is 3 cups of raw, cooked, blended, or juiced vegetables).

So, in case you fall into that 90% (no judgement here), I have included 9 super easy ways you can add (one of MY favorite vegetables) to your daily routine.

  1. Kale Smoothie – Start your day with a green smoothie, blended greens, or a good ol’ green juice. Smoothies and blended greens are loaded with fiber (get’s things moving) and are best for daily intake and long-term health maintenance.

Here’s a kale smoothie that I enjoy:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups lightly packed chopped kale leaves — stems removed
  •  3/4 cup unsweetened plant-based milk — I love oat milk
  • 1 frozen medium banana — cut into chunks
  •  1/4 cup Cocoyo living coconut yogurt — probiotics rock!
  •  1/4 cup frozen pineapple pieces
  •  2 tablespoons peanut butter — creamy or crunchy
  •  1 to 3 teaspoons agave or maple syrup — to taste (feel free to omit because we found that the bananas and pineapple is sweet enough…but do you boo!)

Instructions:

Place all ingredients (kale, almond milk, banana, yogurt, pineapple, peanut butter, and honey) in a blender in the order listed. Blend until smooth. Add more milk as needed to reach desired consistency. Enjoy immediately.

2. Kale Salad – I love a good kale salad with a variety of other dark leafy greens. Make your kale salad with the curly variety (or whatever kale you like), add some avocado (mash it into your greens to replace the dressing or slice it to place on top…MmmmMmmm), quinoa, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, maybe some sun-dried tomato… You’ve got yourself a nutrient packed salad!

3. Snack it Up: Kale Chips! These are my absolute favorite go-to snack. They are super easy to make and you can dress them up or down any way that you like. You can pop them in the oven (not too long or they will burn… no one wants burnt chips do they?!?!?!) or in the dehydrator (my favorite way). You can sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper, do a cashew/tahini sauce then bake/dehydrate, you can even do different flavor profiles (Chipotle, Curry, Greek, so many options)! Click here for a super easy recipe!

4. Sauté it Baby – Chop up some onion and garlic. Cook it up then add that kale (in bit sized pieces) and a little water. Top that pan with a lid and let the kale wilt a little (keep it green, you don’t want to lose too many nutrients). After about 5-7 minutes, you’ve got some sauteed kale. Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste. BAM! You’ve got a lovely side dish or snack.

5. Soup Time – You can make vegetable soup, but what’s vegetable soup without some greens? Chop up some kale leave and add them to any soup or stew you make. Treat these babies just as you would fresh cilantro, parsley, or basil…Add them near the end of cooking. Increase those nutrients in your dish!

6. Get Saucy – Kale pesto on pasta… or as a spread…or on fresh bread! Kale pesto is truly a treat. It goes a little beyond the traditional pesto recipe by adding in the nutrient dense properties of kale. Click here for a simple kale pesto recipe.

7. Wrap it up – Good ol’ Dino kale (Lacinato Kale…the dark green kind with the “bumps” on the leaves) is a great choice when making wraps. The leaves are flat so you can add other veggies, dips, or sauces to make a delicious snack!

8. Hold the Lettuce Please – No shade against lettuce, but have you ever tried kale on a sandwich? It just slaps a little different. Not to mention the nutritional benefits added to that sammie! Whew!

9. Burger time – Not quite like #8. I mean making a burger using kale as an ingredient. As a plant-based chef, I have gotten pretty inventive/creative in the kitchen. Burgers are always a crowd pleaser and adding kale kicks it up a notch. Check out this link for our Super Garlicky Kale Burger…It’s so delicious, but I’m sure it will keep the vampires away.

There you have it! Nine simple and easy ways to eat one of the most nutrient dense veggies on the planet: KALE (yeah)! Go ahead get more kale in your life. Your body and palate will love you for it!

Have a great week!

~ Chef Kay 🌱😘

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