10 Ways to Enjoy Kale

Kale’s well-deserved popularity is due to a number of factors, including its versatility, vibrant green color, and rich nutrient content. Kale packs vitamins A, K and C, calcium, potassium, iron, fiber, beta-carotene and other antioxidants, making it a true nutritional powerhouse. At a mere 35 calories per cup, kale is a vegetable definitely worth getting to know.

Bake, steam, roast, or add kale to soups and stews—there is no wrong way to indulge in this yummy green leafy vegetable. Check out these tasty prep tips:


Go full steam!

Steaming is a great way to soften kale’s rough exterior. Simply cut the leaves into ½-inch slices and steam for 5 minutes. Top with garlic, lemon juice, a dash of olive oil, and voila, a delicious nutrient-packed side dish that’s ready in less than 10 minutes.

Roast with the most!

Roasting kale brings out its natural flavor and crunchy texture. After washing, chop the kale into large pieces. Drizzle with olive oil, add a clove of minced garlic, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in an oven heated to 375˚ for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Watch closely, and when the kale turns to a brighter green color with curled-over crisp edges, it is ready for serving fresh out of the oven. Super easy and 100 percent good-for-you delicious.

Move over potato chips


Sometimes you just need to nosh on something crunchy…and addictive. Instead of turning to greasy potato chips, choose a healthier bite: Light and crispy kale chips. To prepare, cut the leaves off stems, then tear or cut leaves into 2-inch pieces. Place a single layer on baking sheets, mist with oil spray, sprinkle on salt and bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes at 400˚. The result is a perfect batch of yumminess bursting with health benefits. Best part? No portion control needed.

Serve up a healthier slice.

Sure pizza is delicious (no one’s arguing that!), but it packs a ton of calories and is far from a health food. Fortunately, there is an easy way to fix the problem—spice up your slice by topping it with kale. Simply sauté kale with onions, and place on top of your cheesy pie before it bakes. You’ll get a big blast of vitamins and minerals with every amazing bite. To up the health factor, consider using part-skim mozzarella cheese, a whole-grain crust and whatever veggies you have on hand.

Shake up your salad.

Not all lettuces are created equal when it comes to nutrition. Generally, the darker the leaf, the more good stuff it contains, and the more health perks you’ll reap. For example, because kale is a darker green color than iceberg lettuce, it is also richer in nutrients. Try giving your next salad an extra boost by adding raw kale to the mix of lettuces—whether it’s romaine, mesclun, spinach, or all of them combined to make a perfect quartet of greens. Your salad will have a variety of textures and delicious flavors that are sure to excite your taste buds.

Get a fruit fix.

Kale’s earthy flavor pairs perfectly with omega-3 rich walnuts and sweet apples (or pears). Toss these three ingredients with balsamic vinaigrette, massaging some of the dressing into the kale to soften its texture. The result is a flavorful, nutrient-packed salad that will have you begging for more kale.

Be a SOUPerstar.

You can add almost any vegetable to soup, so why not try kale? Coarsely chop the kale, discarding the stems and ribs, and add it to any of your favorite simmering soups and stews. Kale’s rough texture will soften as it cooks, and will blend nicely with the other ingredients. Kale naturally pairs well with chicken-veggie stew and white bean soup, but virtually any combination will work, so get creative and get cooking! Try adding kale in place of spinach in this Hearty Lentil Vegetable Soup.

Pull a spinach switcheroo.

Spinach is another all-star green, but there’s no reason why spinach can’t share the spotlight with kale. Consider using kale as a stand-in for “florentine” dishes, or pair these two powerhouse greens together. Kale puts a new spin on classic recipes that everyone will love, like chicken florentine…or kale-artichoke dip. Give it a try!

Group it with grains.

Deciding what to add to your quinoa or brown rice bowls? Kale is the perfect vegetable to throw into the mix! Once your grain is cooked, steam the kale, then add fresh avocado, chopped red bell pepper, and a splash of lemon juice and olive oil. The end product is a delicious one-pot meal perfect for lunch or dinner. Try adding kale to my favorite quinoa recipe.


Slurp it up!

Start your day with a green juice smoothie or a fruit smoothie spiked with kale. If you’re a green smoothie novice, use sweet fruits like mango, berries or pineapple that complement kale’s bold flavor. Blend together a handful of kale, berries, a banana and almond milk. The result will be a vibrantly colored smoothie that will boost your energy…and your health. Cheers!