Learn to Love Kale! 3 Simple Steps

Farmer's Market Kale

Kale is growing in popularity in recent years, at least in the nutrition and culinary circles. But what about us, the simple folk with kids at home that will barely touch a lettuce and tomato salad? Not to mention a multitude of adults who admit that they have never tried kale before.

Kale, in its raw form, just isn’t pleasing to most people’s palate. There, we said it.

That’s a shame, because it’s probably the healthiest food known to man. One cup of kale contains just 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber (20% of your daily requirement). It has 15% of the daily requirement of calcium, 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and a whopping 1,000% (yes ONE THOUSAND percent) of vitamin K. Kale is packed with minerals such as copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

So here are three simple steps to get your kale on:

1. Kale chips. OK, these are more of a snack than real food, and they usually have many other ingredients added. But they can serve as a gateway food to get your palate and psyche ready for step 2.

2. Add kale to your smoothie or soup. Wash 3 to 5 stems and chop them up. Toss them into the blender with the rest of the ingredients you use in a smoothie, or dice them and add to most any soup you are preparing.

Ready for step 3?

3. Sauteed Kale. Wash an entire head of Kale and pat each of the stems dry. Chop or tear into 2 inch pieces. Heat a saucepan and add 1 TBSP of olive oil. When really hot (but not smoking), toss in the Kale. It may initially seem like too much kale, but the heat will soon lead to major shrinkage. Mix the kale well to get all the pieces near the heat. You want the kale to soften but not to totally wilt. The whole saute episode should last no more than 2-3 minutes. Remove the kale from the saucepan and salt. Enjoy!

Tell us, how do you incorporate kale into your diet?

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  • SeventhBrennan

    I regularly eat kale raw with a bit of sesame oil, Bragg Amino Acids and red pepper flakes. Yum!

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      Interesting

  • MrBillWest

    Roasted kale was an almost daily side dish last year. They are like the kale chips, just not 100% crispy. Some part are crunchy some are not. Oil, seasoning of choice, oven. Easy!

    Also, a kale plant will produce a large amount of leaves. They work well in a container and survive periods of freezing cold in the winter. We picked our plants from June to late November here in the upper Midwest.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      Thanks MrBillWest!

  • Catherine

    I love Kale! I roast it in the oven usually but definitely want to try the saute method.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      Do you add some oil before roasting?

  • http://www.facebook.com/maureen.wilson.3726 Maureen Wilson

    I beg to disagree-try a Tuscan Kale salad(recipe online). Lemon,olive oil dressing with garlic and Parmesan. You will be amazed!

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/maureen.wilson.3726 Maureen Wilson

    Did I forget to say how easy kale is to grow?

  • Alison

    Steam, chop into tiny bits, throw into soup/sauce/burrito filling/tuna salad…….

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      Thanks!

  • Leslie

    Try baby kale … it isn’t as tough or bitter, and they sell organic baby kale in large bags at Costco now … a little good olive oil and balsamic, dried herbs, salt & pepper is an awesome, sweet tasting salad (add grape tomatoes for extra sweetness, or even grapefruit chunks). With more mature kale, rub it with good olive oil and let it rest for a few minutes before adding other salad ingredients. Baked Kale chips are super easy to make, and you can put a variety of “flavors” on them, and even add nutritional yeast. Or chop it and add it to soups or pasta sauces. Kale is fabulous and easy!

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      Thanks Leslie!

  • Jessica

    I enjoy kale in soups and stews — I added it to a spicy chicken ramen dish and it was simply delicious. I also recommend keeping some sautéed or boiled (does that leech nutrients?) on stand by for those nights when you don’t want to make a full dinner but you want to include something green.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      How long does it keep before going bad?

  • keidy martinez

    What I do is. I cut the kale in small pieces, put them in a sauce pan put the lid on and let it cook until is soft, add some olive oil and some eggs depending on how much kale you have, add sal and pepper let it cook for 3 more minutes. Enjoy.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      sounds yummy!

  • maryclbc

    Is kale the same as curly leaf mustard?

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      Similar, but not the same. Curly leaf mustard has a more bitter/mustard-like flavor.

  • Meggers1306

    I’ve heard of people putting kale in smoothies but I have a hard time drinking things that are green and meant to be food. I do however love sautéed kale. With garlic and onions you can’t go wrong!

    • Green is good

      What’s wrong with green smoothies? Kale, kiwi, apple. All green things.

      The result looks like pond scum and tastes like apple and kiwi. Sweet, sugary, and good!

  • Staycreen

    I buy a bag of chopped kale, stick it in the freezer, and add it to my smoothie. My smoothies turn out pick due to the strawberries, and I can’t taste the kale- which is perfect for me and my picky kiddos!

    • Staycreen

      Pink, not pick

  • allison

    Chop and boil it right in with your pasta til both are cooked, then add whatever kind of sauce. Easy, and tastes like whatever sauce you use!

  • killerbabe89

    Go raw, it’s so much better plus we get all the benefits by eating foods in their natural state

  • Beth

    Our new thing is kale salad. I cut the kale up very small, along with tomatoes, onion, and any number of other items, ranging from cucumber or zucchini to pre-cooked bacon, depending on mood and what’s in the fridge. Part of the secret is how small you cut everything, because kale can be tough otherwise. Mix evoo with fresh squeezed lemon juice, perhaps some ground pepper or other spices, and maybe some grated parmesan cheese, stir, and pour over the top, followed by thinly sliced almonds. This packs nicely for lunches and quite filling as well as tasteful and healthy, and has a beautiful presentation. Today’s also had organic red bell pepper, so we ate a brilliantly colored red and green salad.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      Sounds delish!

  • AnnaCypris

    boil it for like 3 minutes with the lid off (until semi soft, it will continue to cook), drain it, lightly salt it. delic–!!!!

  • carolee1945

    Sorry, but Kale tastes Krappy.

  • Aemish Ko

    I love kale.. raw in salads and the flavored chips are awesome too

  • Kelli

    At home I love to add it to soups and stews because it’s so sturdy, it really holds up well. It’s also nice simply sauteed with a little garlic.

    At work they I’ve become addicted to their (cafeteria’s) kale and beet salad that’s got a light vinaigrette on it. They chop it very finely so it’s almost like a slaw. I feel like the vinegar cuts through some of the bitterness and makes it nice and bright.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      THanks Kelli

  • PJDavis

    Massage the kale. Seriously. I chop and tear into small pieces. Spray it with olive oil from my Misto. Then massage it. After that, season to taste. I like garlic salt, pepper and good balsamic vinegar. Yum

  • lilichandra

    Did you know that if you leave your garden kale until after the first frost, i takes on a milder, absolutely delicious flavor? I have never tried a short trip to the freezer of already picked(purchased) kale, but I will now that I think about it!

  • http://gigieatscelebrities.com/ GiGi Eats Celebrities

    Throw that scary looking green in a while bunch of olive oil and fry it up! AMAZING :)

  • Stacy @school-bites.com

    I add some to my family’s favorite spinach-walnut pesto: http://school-bites.com/quick-easy-dinner-for-kids-spinach-walnut-pesto/

  • Sage

    I bake it! Chop it, put in large zip lock bag, add LITTLE bit of olive oil and low sodium soy sauce. Bake at 350 for 10 min (keep an eye on it). My family loves it!

  • Moeatsgreens

    Baby and/or lacinto kale salad. Add chopped apples and optionally feta cheese. Make a light vinaigrette with evoo, lemon juice, finely minced shallot, salt and pepper. YUM!!!

  • Joanne holbrook

    I had to share, I found a way to make kale taste great. My 4 year old even asked for this for his birthday dinner.
    I chop kale up really small and put it in meatballs. I then cook it on the stove in a frying pan till brown in olive oil. Then add a whole lot of gravy and let it simmer till cooked through. The kale is so soft and it’s amazing to eat. I even make it for guests and they love them too!

  • oldhippiedude

    Steamed kale w/ Soy sauce

  • Sandra Goldstein

    Great information, but I would explore adding additional recipes and ways to improve the sometimes bitter taste that comes with kale. Most people are unaware of the benefits that you can get from eating kale. Chopping it up and mixing it into smoothies will add benefits to the fruits you are consuming. Most of it is just changing your mindset. Think about all the benefits and let your mind accept the positive attributes of eating kale. I love mixing kale in soups. It’s not overwhelming and blends into the soups or stews nicely. You can’t pass up the health benefits from eating this vegetable.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      Good ideas! Thanks for sharing.