Kale. You’ve heard of it, right? That dark green leafy vegetable that sort of looks like a cross between spinach and… seaweed. Incidentally, it’s not related to either but of the brassica family – its cousins include broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage. Unlike some other leaves you’ll find in the fruit and veg department however, kale is incredibly nutrient rich and has been shown to reduce the risk of five different kinds of cancer (namely bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate) as well as lowering cholesterol when steamed.
One cup of chopped kale contains: 206% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a massive 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of calcium as well as copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
But what do you do with it? Here are five ways some of our favourite food bloggers have been using it.
1. In a smoothie.
Get your greens in without even noticing.
Bon Appetit keeps it fresh and minty. They’ve also got 9 other great kale recipes.
Belle of the Kitchen makes her kale smoothie creamy with bananas.
2. As a side dish
A little boost for those at your table who desire it.
Ree Drummond keeps her kale dish super simple, fragrant and gluten free! We use this recipe with coconut oil instead.
Heather Christo keeps her kale simple, but with zest. As a side note, Heather has written many times that she used to hate kale until she tried it raw…
3. In a salad
Alright, so sometimes a salad is a side dish… but it can be at least a substantial side dish if not a meal.
If the kale itself wasn’t interesting enough, Lauren takes the quirk (and deliciousness) factor over the edge with this salad that combines strawberries, avocado and bacon. Vegetarian? We love Kinda Bacon. Yum.
If you’re into the whole sweet/savoury thing you’ll want to try this easy but impressive kale salad that also includes pomegranates.
4. In a main meal
Got a child or significant other that isn’t into their greens? Get smuggling.
This spaghetti with braised kale number probably isn’t smuggling so much as incorporating. With this much flavour though, we doubt anyone is worrying about the veggies.
Kale thrives in cooler temperatures so this quinoa and kale minestrone is perfect for winter. It’s vegan and gluten free, too!
It’s not a soup, it’s not a salad, it’s not a casserole… it’s a hybrid. One part hot salad to one part stir fry to one part awesome. We’re crazy about Lindsay’s wild rice and kale skillet.
5. In a condiment
When you have a bunch of kale on your hands that you need to use or you just can’t get it in another way…
This insanely easy and delicious kale pesto can be used on everything from sandwiches to pasta.
We’re rather fond of this kale, coriander (cilantro) and chimichurri sauce whipped up by Naturally Ella. (And those breakfast tacos look pretty incredible too). Looking for something with more bite? Try adding a green chilli to to the mix.