If you want to eat local foods in the winter then you better figure out how to eat some big leafy greens like kale. Not to mention kale is packed with all sorts of good stuff for your body so if you can learn to enjoy this veggie then it’s a win-win for everyone. :) Also just like apples, wheat and other whole foods there are many different varieties – and therefore flavors – of kale available. We recently picked up some “dinosaur kale” at our farmers’ market because with a name like that who wouldn’t want to at least try it?
It’s taken me a while, but I’ve finally figured out a few ways that our family can easily “eat more kale”….
Puree kale into an egg dish like scrambled eggs, mini egg casseroles, quiche or egg soufflé. You could also use sautéed kale instead of a layer of meat on your Eggs Benedict this weekend. My husband says he might even like eggs better with kale than without. I am not sure I exactly agree with him on that, but the kale/egg combo is surprisingly good.
Green Eggs Recipe
I actually need to thank some of my blog readers for telling me that you could just eat kale raw in a salad. For a while I had the impression that kale had to be cooked. I will say though if you’re somewhat new to kale it could be overkill to just sit down to a big bowl of it so we started out by just mixing in a little bit of kale with our regular salad greens. The first night we tried this my husband declared, “The kids are NOT going to like this” but I said, “Just don’t say anything and see what happens.” Sure enough they ate it without even noticing the new, darker greens in the mix. (FYI – My kids did not always eat salad…it took a lot of repeated exposure before our 4-year-old learned it would be a “dinner norm” around here.) And I am also not a huge salad person myself so adding just a little bit to our standard lettuce was a good compromise for everyone.
Hint: Remove the center ribs from the kale before eating it raw.
I don’t know about you, but our family LOVES some pesto. It’s great on everything from pasta to pizza to caprese salad to panini sandwiches. I’ve discovered that if you replace half the basil with kale in your pesto recipe that you can hardly even tell the difference!
I’ve been adding a handful of spinach to our smoothies for a while, which doesn’t necessarily turn our smoothies “green” but instead just adds a veggie without altering the flavor very much. So I finally took the plunge and added a handful of kale instead, and I have to say…not bad. Now I actually kind of like raw spinach so I can’t say I like our smoothies with the kale just as much, but almost as much.
- Kale Chips.
Most of you have probably heard of these by now, but if you haven’t you are missing out. If you can manage to cook them just right this is another tasty way to “enjoy” kale!
Kale Chips Recipe
Please share how you like to eat Kale (and what varieties you prefer) in the comments below!
113 thoughts on “Real Food Tips: 5 Ways to (Easily) Eat More Kale”
I use greens like spinach, bok choy, and kale in my stir fry. Just add at the end because it doesn’t need to cook long.
I use kale in place of spinach all the time. It’s amazing in spanakopita, purÃ©ed with spices in an Indian curry, and chopped up in winter soups.
It used to be kale chips, but hands down my husband and son gobble up Kale-Potato Tacos! I dice red potatoes and cook in a bit of olive oil until almost done then add the kale and let it get a little crispy. (Sometimes I will also include carrots and/or celery. What ever is available.) The kale only takes about a minute or so (it’s chopped) then I put the tortillas on top to slightly steam the kale then fill. Sometimes add cheese, or sometimes go vegan. Top with tomatoes if available or not. It really does stand up all by itself, but suite your tastes with cilantro dressing or not. I find you don’t need to add much other than a quick grind of salt and pepper to taste. Best part – It’s super quick and one pan to clean!
My kids are of the “if we grow it, we will eat it” variety. They didn’t used to like kale, but the minute it came up in the garden my 5 year old son was asking me if he was “allowed” to pick some leaves to much on! Same has been true for my daughter with tomatoes. We chop kale pretty fine and mix with black beans, sweet potatoes, red peppers for enchiladas, burritos, etc. PS- This summer we discovered that broccoli leaves make excellent chips just like kale chips.
I sautÃ© a handful of baby kale in olive oil til wilted & add 2 beaten eggs & then some cheese (goat cheese in delicious with the kale) for a delicious omelet.
One of our favorite family salads is a kale salad with cashews, raisins, sunflower seeds, edamame, grated carrots, blueberries, and onions. I use a vinegar and oil dressing sweetened with honey. I am always asked for the recipe.
Could you please share your recipe? I would love to try it.
I use kale as a substitute for broccoli in Asian and other dishes. You can use the stems, just chop up the whole thing into little pieces. We can’t tell the difference in taste, it just looks different than broccoli and holds its flavor better. Since we eat a lot of Asian food we eat a lot of Kale this way. I also love the kale chips; my favorite way to do them is with coconut oil. Can’t imagine liking kale and eggs as much as eggs with other types of veggies and mushrooms, but the kale soup (done like cream of broccoli) seems like a top idea. I’ll try that for sure. Yumm!!
Cracker Barrel has a really good kale and brussel sprout salad now. I’m sure it’s full of unhealthy things in the light dressing. Does anyone have a copycat healthy version?
I have a Black & Decker “Cyclone” blender. I use it to make smoothies all the time, and I haven’t found anything it won’t completely puree! :) It’s just a cheaper option for those that can’t afford the more expensive versions! I think it cost about $30.
We enjoy raw “cooked” kale salad. Massage kale about 2 minutes in bowl with olive oil ( or other oil you enjoy) and lemon juice to your liking and it softens easily for a tasty salad. I usually then add nuts and fruit. But anything would work!
My twin boys love cream of broccoli soup made with organic chicken broth, celery and onions. Today I threw two big handfuls of kale. You let it simmer and then blend. Add a little half and half and cheese. They loved it and the kale just blended in.
Also; cooked kale in lasagna is awesome!
Kale Slaw with Sprouted Hummus & Sunflower Sprouts
Kale, cabbage, peppers, carrots, all cut small or julienne.
Our fav hummus recipe; we sprout chick peas 3-4 days, rinsing frequently. Parch, then cuise w/ aminos, garlic, lemon & oil. We like the hummus runny so it pours over kale & sprouts. This combo was first fed to me by Kindness KafÃ© & Karma Karavan. Yuumm!
I discovered a quick and easy chicken and kale dish that my mom concocted a couple of weeks ago. I recreated it tonight and we loved it! Melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter (olive oil would probably work fine) in a 12″ stainless steel skillet. Add about 1/2 onion sliced in rings. Add as much washed, torn kale leaves as you can fit on top of the onions and cover. Turn heat down to medium. Then place 4-5 thin/small raw chicken breasts on top of kale (I sliced my giant chicken breats horizontally). Sprinkle with your favorite chicken seasonings (eg, garlic salt, onion powder, whatever). Cover entire dish and let simmer for as long as you can, but at least and hour. In the end you have delicious kale and tender, moist chicken.
Just ate chorizo kale soup from paleopot! So delicious!
I made scrambled eggs tonight and decided to throw some kale in to try. I ended up putting a lot of kale and the mixture was really green but I decided to cook it and try it like that. I was delicious! It had such a subtle flavor that I wouldn’t have even known the difference if I didn’t put the kale in myself! I’m going to try these other tips too!
Regarding the small bits in the smoothies: We used to use a Ninja blender which is great for most things, but not when adding greens. Recently we purchased a Nutribullet and we will never go back! It literally liquifies anything you put in there! Even nuts. We’ve never had larger pieces of greens since. We purchased the larger one, not the little mini. (Not sure how that would work.)
I find the baby kale (bag or box of organic) easier to eat in salad / drink in smoothies. It is less stringy than the large, curly kale. Favorite “super food” salad is baby kale, chard, chopped Brussels sprouts (yes, raw), dried cranberries and pepitos (shelled raw pumpkin seeds) with Amy’s organic poppy seed dressing — or homemade dressing is even better!