Kale is often touted by experts as one of the best foods for your health. Nutritionists, though, haven’t yet agreed upon an optimal preparation method for our bodies to maximize all of kale’s fantastic benefits. Switch up your routine with these 4 different and simple ways to enjoy kale, and ensure you make the most of this versatile vegetable.
1. Chips. Baking kale gives it a nice texture, akin to potato chips without the carbs. To make kale chips, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, wash and dry your kale leaves. Rip kale off of its stem into 1 inch pieces. Place kale pieces into a mixing bowl and toss with extra virgin olive oil and salt. Then, place kale onto baking sheet, taking care to evenly spread the pieces. Place tray into oven and let bake for 10-15 minutes. Kale chips are done when pieces are crisp. If you prefer your chips to be extra crispy, take the tray out of the oven, and flip each piece of kale over. Place tray back into oven, bake in oven for 10 minutes and remove.
2. Salad. You can never go wrong with a kale salad, and this one really lets the kale shine. First, wash and dry your kale leaves. Rip kale off from stem and shred very finely. Place finely shredded kale into salad bowl and toss with lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and red chili flakes for extra kick.
3. Steamed. Steaming kale makes the tough green softer and easier to digest. Steam also unlocks nutrients that are difficult for your body to benefit from when eating raw kale. To steam kale, first wash and dry your leaves. Rip kale into 1 inch pieces and depending on your preferences, leave stem attached, or discard. If you have a steamer, bring water in the pot to boil and place the kale pieces in the steamer basket. Close lid and let steam for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat. If you don’t have a steamer, no worries! Simply fill a pot with a few inches of water. Bring water to boil and place kale into pot. Cover with lid and let steam for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve steamed kale with crushed garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
4. Juice. Juicing vegetables is a growing trend among the health conscious. Juicing kale helps your body absorb nutrients that you might miss from chewing it. First, wash and dry your kale leaves. Another benefit of juicing is that juicers are able to handle both the tough stem and the leaves of kale, doubling the nutrition you gain. Combining greens with Vitamin C aids digestion, and I love to juice my kale with pineapple and carrots. Experiment with the proportions of your favorite fruits and vegetables with kale to make your favorite, customized juice!
By mixing up the way you use kale—eating it raw or cooked, and drinking it, you ensure that your body has plenty of opportunity to make the most of this green powerhouse. Preparing kale is easy in any form, tasty and offers many of the vitamins and minerals vital to your health.