Veg intimidation: make kale taste delicious

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Last week we talked about artichokes. Today, let’s talk one of the world’s favorite (kinda stinky) greens:

KALE!

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Kale is a nutrient-packed powerhouse and yields some fantastic dietary benefits including iron, Vitamin K, calcium, and an antioxidant boost. It’s funny to think that something I wasn’t crazy about at first attempt is now one of my all-time favorite greens.

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The problem with my start with kale was that I really had no idea how to use it, so I blended it in a smoothie. (Word to the world: if it’s your first time enjoying kale, I don’t recommend the smoothie route. It can be a little… real. And by “real” I mean it tastes like gym feet.)

Simple kale prep:

All things kale

1) Wash and dry.

2) Remove the rib.

3) Chop.

Here are some of the best ways to enjoy kale:

1) Kale chips. These are so much easier to make than they seem, and much more cost effective. I’ve noticed that a bag of kale chips will average around $6 at the health food store, and you can make a giant batch for less than 5. 

Here’s a new kale chip recipe I came up with this week: JALAPEÑO SALSA KALE CHIPS (<– it needed to be screamed)

Jalapeno salsa kale chips

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Jalapeño Salsa Kale Chips

A delightfully spicy twist on the classic kale chips

  • Prep Time: 60
  • Total Time: 60

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of kale, washed, ribs removed and torn into chip-size pieces
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least one hour and rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, stem removed
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast + more for sprinkling
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. In a high-speed blender, blend the cashews, salsa, lime juice, jalapeño and nutritional yeast until you have a smooth and creamy mixture.
  2. Place the kale in a large bowl and pour the cashew mixture on top.
  3. Use your hands or a spoon to massage the coating onto the kale. (If you’re worried about the spiciness, wear gloves or use a spoon. Remember to wash your hands well after making this and don’t touch your eyes after handling anything spicy!)
  4. Place the coated kale onto a baking sheet or Teflexx-lined dehydrator sheets if you’ll be using the dehydrator.
  5. Sprinkle with extra nutritional yeast and a little sea salt.
  6. Dehydrate at 115 degrees overnight, until crispy and perfect. You can also cook these in the oven with the door ajar on the lowest setting.

2) Massage it. Turn the lights down low and put on a little John Legend while you’re at it.

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Here’s my favorite massaged kale recipe:

1/2 avocado on the bottom of a large bowl

Add a drizzle of olive oil

A drizzle of Nama Shoyu, soy sauce or tamari

A drizzle of honey

A sprinkle each of garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper

Use a fork to mash the avocado into the liquids and spices until you have a smooth, creamy dressing.

Add your kale (a bunch of kale, washed and ribs removed)

Massage the mixture to fully coat the kale, using both hands. By doing so, you’re helping to break down the kale which slightly wilts it and will make it easier to eat. It gives raw kale a “cooked” texture without heating.

3) Saute it. Add a little olive oil, butter or ghee to a pan on medium heat, your kale, and season well with garlic, sea salt, pepper and cayenne. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top and serve.

4) Use it as a wrapper for a sandwich or lettuce wraps.

5) Mix it with a starchy veggie, goat cheese, and dill or chives. Green sweet potatoes is a delicious side dish, even though I wouldn’t necessarily serve it to company ?

6) Juice it. A little goes a long way, and it’s a great way to add a green boost to fresh juices. Hint for juicing greens: “sandwich” them between something firmer, like a cucumber or apple. I’ll add a chunk of apple, some kale or spinach and another chunk of apple before pushing the entire thing through the juicer.

Kale: yay or nay?

Veggie you once hated but now love?

More of my favorite kale recipes:

Kale salad mountain

Cool ranch kale chips

Sour cream and onion kale chips

BBQ kale chips

Kale Caesar

Hope you have a lovely night!

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