Everyone is talking about kale, right? But why? And what kind of kale recipes can actually use this green leafy vegetable? While often the butt of jokes, the nutrients packed into this little leafy vegetable are amazing for our health. Kale is a significant source of folate, zinc, calcium, magnesium, beta carotene, vitamin C and fiber. It’s also loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which protect our vision.
Buy organic for your kale recipes
Pesticide contamination is a problem with kale. For this reason, I advise buying the organic version. The Environmental Working Group, a health watchdog group, published its latest “Dirty Dozen” list of pesticide contaminated fruits and vegetables, and kale was noted. Buying organic is the “work around” to the pesticide problem. Once you have your organic kale, you are ready to make some super nutritious kale recipes! Here are three nontraditional ways to add kale to your diet without a salad. But, if interested in kale salad, here’s a great recipe as well.
Superfood kale chip recipes
This concept is so easy there’s no need for an elaborate printed recipe. For some, maybe a bit scary too! In fact, I remember the first time I made this recipe for my family, they were scared to eat it! Then, before I knew it, my 5 year old grandson had eaten the whole recipe!
Speaking of recipes, there is not much to this at all! Basically, start out with a bunch of organic leaf kale. Wash it up. Cut leaves away from the stem. Next, put the leaves into a bowl and coat with a little oil of your choice. Then lay the oil coated leaves out on a wax or parchment paper lined baking pan. Want to skip the oil? It’s not a problem. Just lay the washed leaves on the wax paper and bake sans oil. Tastes about the same and now you have one less dirty pan to clean!
Bake the leaves for about 10-15 minutes in a 350 º. Be sure not to burn the leaves! After they are baked, lightly salt. Then, enjoy those nutritious chips. Maybe next round, you’ll start with two bunches of kale because it does not go very far!
Potato and kale soup recipe
Move over pea soup, there’s another green soup around. In fact, this soup almost reminds me of pea soup. I can see adding a bit of ham or even diced chicken to this recipe in the future. If made as is, it’s both gluten and dairy free. If you prefer a vegan kale soup, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
- Pressure cooker
- 4 baking potatoes (medium to large)
- 7 leaves kale
- 1 whole onion, chopped
- 5 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 whole carrot, chopped
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp oil
- Saute onion in 1 Tbsp oil in the pressure cooker or instant pot.
- Peel and cut potatoes into one inch pieces. Layer on top ot the sauteed onions.
- Chop a peeled carrot and add to the pot.
- Layer about 7 leaves (including the stems) on top of the other ingredients.
- Add the Italian seasonings and the broth. The broth will not be covering all of the kale leaves.
- Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. After cooking, use a quick release.
- Let the soup cool before the next step which is putting through a blender or a food processor.
- After cooking, all the ingredients should be blending together to have the consistency of a thick soup (will look like pea soup). Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
Kale smoothie recipes
This one everyone knows about, but often has trouble visualizing. You can take any fruit smoothie recipe, and just toss in the washed kale. I think the trick here is not to use too much kale. I’ve done this in the past, and it was overpowering to the smoothie. My suggestion would be to add only 1 cup loosely packed kale. This amount of kale won’t overpower the fruit taste. As you can see from the photo above, my kale recipe wasn’t green! When opting for lighter colored fruits such as mangoes or pineapple, your kale smoothie will end up being green. The above smoothie was made with darker mixed berries.
Here’s how to toss your first smoothie together! And, I recommend drinking with a straw as it’s a little thick, just like a milkshake. This recipe is loaded with potassium which most people don’t really get enough of. In addition to all that potassium, it’s also loaded with fiber. If you’d like to make it a bit sweeter, add your favorite sweetener to the recipe. I frequently use a bit of Stevia. In the posted photo below, I used kefir milk in order to get a dose of probiotics.
Kale fruit smoothie
- blender, food processor
- 1 whole banana
- 1 cup any frozen berries, slightly thawed
- 1 cup nonfat milk of choice or fat-free kefir
- 1 cup loosely packed kale leaves (organic)
- Put your frozen fruit (any type) into your blender or food processor. I usually let it thaw for a few minutes.
- Add the banana, milk, and kale. Mix up in the blender/food processor until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
- Enjoy this healthy drink in a large glass with a straw.
Adding kale to diet without kale recipes
If you have soup or sauce recipes calling for parsley or oregano, consider adding in some kale. Chopped up kale looks a lot like both parsley and oregano, especially when mixed into a recipe. In addition to soups and sauces, chopped kale is a perfect ingredient to mix into a stir-fry recipe. Lastly, don’t forget to add kale to your favorite omelette or quiche recipe. This ingredient is nutrient packed. And, finally, with a little creativity, kale is a very versatile recipe ingredient.