In the past it was just a garnish for a plate or at the buffet, but now it is considered a trendy "superfood".
I am addicted to greens, but I come across people all the time who say they “hate kale.” What???? My theory is that they just haven’t had it cooked the right way. I don’t know, but I do know this: when my son was 18-month olds, he would say “mmmm ” whenever I gave him some cooked kale. It's also one of my 11 year-old's favorite vegetables. It is one of the healthiest foods that you can eat, hence the DARK green hue. There are different varieties, but if you are apprehensive, start with baby kale, because it is tender, milder in flavor, and similar to spinach. Kale doesn't have to be cooked to death to tenderize it - in fact, if you cook it too long in a pot, it will turn to mush, and you will boil out some of the valuable nutrient content. One cup of raw kale has over 100% DV of Vitamins A, C, and K and has a whopping 2.2gm protein! (Source: nutritiondata.self.com). Kale also has a little bit of iron in it, which is good for those of us who aren't big "meat eaters."
These are my top 10 suggestions for how to use this versatile green:
- Scrambled in eggs or an omelette
- Blended into a smoothie (you don’t even taste it, but it will turn the smoothie a lovely shade of green)
- Chopped and added to a soup or chili
- On a sandwich or wrap, substituted for lettuce - REALLY great in a grilled cheese sandwich
- Stir-fried or sautéed with seasonings such as turkey bacon, lemon juice, onions or shallots, garlic
- Boiled in chicken or vegetable broth, then tossed with a lemon vinaigrette
- Chopped finely and added to salads or as the main salad green - goes nicely with craisins, pears or apples, shredded carrots and walnuts
- Mix wilted baby kale in quinoa, polenta, or rice. Add tomatoes, olives, roasted red peppers, parmesan or feta cheese for yum factor.
- Swap kale for spinach in recipes such as spinach dip, spinach florentine, spinach-stuffed chicken breasts.
- Kale chips ……….I put these last because they are expensive, but tasty, and the ones you make at home are not comparable to the ones you buy, unless you own a dehydrator.
For some Kale recipes, see my Pinterest page!
If you have picky eaters in the house, you can buy kale powder to add to recipes. It is dehydrated and finely ground and a little bit goes a LONG way.