Kale is all the rage these days, but for good reason as it is loaded with vitamins and minerals. This cruciferous vegetable is a great source cancer-fighting vitamins A (206% of daily recommended amount), C (134% of daily recommended amount) and K (684% of daily recommended amount!). Kale is also a good source of calcium (9% of your daily recommended amount) and iron (6% of daily recommended amount). Like many vegetables, it also has a lot of fiber, which aids in digestion while keeping you satiated.
Having trouble working kale into your food on a daily basis? Here are some simple tips to help:
1. Drink your kale!
Sometimes people are turned off by kale because it can be tough to eat raw due to its rough texture. I find that kale is much easier digested when pureed in a smoothie, which I drink every morning. Surprisingly, kale tastes great in a smoothie with almost anything. Pair it with tropical fruits if you want something on the sweeter side, or for more of a green smoothie, use other green fruits (apple, kiwi, etc.) and veggies (cucumber, celery, etc.). If you’re on a detox diet, blend it up with apple, ginger and lemon. If you want to convert a kale hater, make them my current favorite, the Blueberry Pie Smoothie from The Chalkboard Mag blog and I bet they won’t even notice that there’s kale in it.
2. Add kale to savory dishes
Many people shy away from kale at first, but it is actually very versatile in the kitchen! Sauteed kale is a quick and easy side dish, and because the kale cooks down you can use quite a bit to pack in more nutrition. I recently made this Sauteed Kale Recipe from Bobby Flay as a side dish to grilled salmon and it was a simple and tasty weeknight dinner. This hearty Savory Oat Groats and Kale Recipe is great for cold fall days, and you can replace the oat groats with barley if you can’t find them at the health food store. I love making pizza at home because it’s often healthier than what you would get at a restaurant, it’s fun to make, and you can put a modern twist on it. This Autumn Pizza from Mind Body Green satisfies my pizza cravings and is great if you’re having a few friends over for dinner as you can make it ahead of time.
3. Use kale in your salad
Bored with your regular spring mix, tomato, and balsamic vinaigrette? This Kale Waldorf Salad is refreshing, delicious, and packed with nutrient-dense ingredients. For a balanced and satisfying lunch, use some leftover cooked quinoa to make this Quinoa & Kale Salad from the Pepper My Salt blog. Another tasty and healthy salad is the Shaved Carrot Salad with Baked Tofu from Whole Living. When I use raw kale in a salad, I like to leave the dressing on it for a bit so the leaves marinate and soften making them easier to eat.
Why do YOU love kale? What are some of your favorite recipes? Let us know in the comments section!