Currently I have orange zest, orange peel and vanilla extract simmering away on the stove top. Hunter is napping. I’m freshly showered, looking out the window at the beautiful sunny blue skies and munching on these crackers. A pretty nice Wednesday afternoon is in the works over here.
However, that’s not what today’s post is about. I’ve got something a little different planned for you all. It’s time for a new love it! post.
This time it’s about kale. And is there really a better way to continue on with good for you foods? [the answer is no]
Kale is a hearty dark leafy green in the same family as brussel sprouts, collar greens and cabbage. It’s widely available at almost any grocery store. You can find quite a few different varieties too. The four most common ones I see regularly are pictured above: dinosaur (lacinato or tuscan), curly, purple and red russian. Kale is part of the ‘dirty dozen plus‘, which means organic is the preferred choice over conventional. However, any kale is better than no kale if the price just looks too high for organic kale!
Why I love kale
I first fell in love with kale when I tried kale chips. In fact, I was infatuated. The crispy, slightly salty and charred taste was addictive. PLUS it was a healthy chip! Hunter’s favorite way to eat kale is in kale chips form as well. I love that he knows what kale is and loves eating it. We have lots of love for kale in our family. Even Jacob likes it!
Since kale is a heartier green, it lasts longer in the fridge. I don’t have to worry about it wilting quickly like I do with lettuces and spinach. I can add little bits to dishes throughout the week (more on that in the ‘why you should love kale’ section) to make any meal more nutritious.
Why the body loves kale*
- antioxidant related health benefits (kale is super high in carotenoids and flavonoids – both antioxidant groups help reduce oxidative stress and chronic inflammation)
- anti-inflammatory related health benefits (kale is high in vitamin K which helps regulate the body’s inflammatory process)
- cancer preventative benefits (helps reduce the risk of colon, breast, bladder, prostate and ovarian cancer)
- cardiovascular related support via kale’s cholesterol-lowering ability
- helps to detox the body
- lots of fiber – helps you poop!
Why you should love kale
If you’re new to eating kale, try the cooked varieties (especially kale chips as a first) before diving into raw kale. One super simple way to add kale into any pasta dish (like the one pictured above) is chopping the leaves up small and adding it to your sauce while it simmers. The kale softened and is such a simple way to bump up the nutrients.
Kale does have a much stronger taste than say spinach (when eaten raw), but once your taste buds warm up to it, I think you will love it! Plus it is sooooo good for you. But the best reason? People will think you are pretty cool for liking kale. True fact. 🙂
- oven baked kale chips
- panfried kale (this is how I typically make my kale chips, but I cook them until super crispy – longer than the recipes says)
- chocolate kale chips
- sun dried tomato cheezy kale chips
- bean and chicken sausage stew with kale
- kale and white bean soup
- crockpot chicken noodle and kale soup
- udon noodles with creamy tahini sauce, kale and tofu (I sub in peanut butter for the tahini)
- kale rice bowl
- one pot kale and quinoa pilaf comes highly recommended from Brittany)
- kale and onion pie
- grilled kale and sausage pizza
- protein packed caramelized onion and kale mac n cheese (sub kale for the collard greens listed)
keeping it raw
- kale market salad
- go-to kale salad
- kale apple smoothie
- strawberry pineapple kale smoothie
- back on track green smoothie
Do you LOVE kale? Or is it a completely new veggie to you? Do you have a unique recipe featuring kale you want to share? Share the link to it below in the comments!
Check out the previous love it! posts below: