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15 Ways to Enjoy Kale

Updated on October 26, 2015
Fresh Uncooked Kale
Fresh Uncooked Kale | Source

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Kale is like lettuce's underrated sister. It contains more nutrition than lettuce, but due to its slight bitter taste and sinewy texture, kale has never been as popular. Ask random 100 people what their favorite vegetables are; I bet very few would say kale. What a pity to see such a wonderful veggie be so unappreciated! That's why I would love to promote this nutritious leafy green, and talk about different ways to cook it. Its bitterness can easily be toned down or eliminated completely. Its texture can also be softened or even crisped up to suit your liking. These kale cooking ideas might make kale haters start looking at this lovely vegetable in a whole different light.

Grilled Kale

Grilling gives kale such a nice, smoky aroma. If you season it well, it could be one of the best veggies to cook on a grill. Before grilling kale leaves, thoroughly toss them with some olive oil, salt, pepper, minced garlic and balsamic vinegar. Then grill for just about 1 - 2 minutes on each side. This should be a wonderful side dish that pairs well with a variety of main courses.

Kale Chips
Kale Chips | Source

Kale Chips

Looking for an easy and nutritious side dish? Try kale chips! You can make kale leaves super crispy without deep-frying. Simply remove the ribs, cut the leaves into small pieces of about 1 - 2 inches. Lightly toss with olive oil and salt. Arrange them on a baking sheet. Then bake in a preheated 275-degree F oven for about 20 minutes. (Remember to flip the leaves halfway through.)

Kale Fritters

Almost everything tastes better when it's turned into crispy deep-fried cakes. Kale is no different. If you enjoy apple, carrot or corn fritters, try adding chopped kale to your favorite fritter recipes. This might actually be a great way to convert kale haters into kale lovers.

Kale Juice

A juicer is a must-have kitchen gadget if you're into concocting your own healthy beverages. To make kale juice, remove the ribs from your kale leaves. Put the leaves into a juicer along with a few other fruits or vegetables in order to sweeten the juice or balance the bitterness of the kale. Some nice ingredients to juice with kale include cucumber, celery, apple, pineapple, mint and mango.

Chorizo and Kale Soup
Chorizo and Kale Soup | Source

Kale Soup

Kale can add an incredible umami flavor to any soup, let alone extra nutrition. You may use kale as an additional vegetable in your soup or let it shine as the main ingredient. It will be delicious either way.

How to Make Sausage and Kale Soup

Kale with Scrambled Eggs

Kale and eggs may sound like an odd couple, but they can, in fact, go together quite beautifully. Saute some chopped kale leaves until tender and set side. Then cook your scrambled eggs and add the sauteed kale in the last minute. Quickly stir them together in the skillet and serve.

Kale Quiche

If you love to put an array of vegetables into your quiche, don't forget to include kale on the list. It will add lovely color, texture, and of course, extra nutrients to the quiche. Plus, just like spinach, it goes quite wonderfully with cheese.

Green Smoothie
Green Smoothie | Source

Kale Smoothie

For those of you who don't really like to eat veggies on a plate, green smoothies can be a smart alternative. Pair kale with some sweet fruits (pineapple, mango, strawberries, etc) and a little bit of milk or yogurt. A few mint leaves can also be a refreshing addition. Process all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Enjoy!

Green Smoothie Recipe with Kale, Banana and Strawberry

Kale Wraps

Have you ever had lettuce wraps? Guess what? Kale wraps are just as delicious. However, raw kale may be too bitter and tough. What you can do is blanch kale leaves, then immerse them in an ice water bath for a few minutes. The kale leaves will be more tender and less bitter while maintaining their beautiful color.

Pickled Kale

When it comes to kale cooking, the tough ribs or stems are usually removed and discarded. If you don't want to waste those perfectly fine stems, pickling is an easy way to make use of them. To prepare a pickling liquid, boil some vinegar, sugar, salt, water and other spices of your choice together. Put chopped kale stems in a small jar, then fill the jar with the hot pickling liquid you have just made. Let them pickle for 3 days in a refrigerator before serving.

Grilled Pork Belly and Sauteed Kale
Grilled Pork Belly and Sauteed Kale | Source

Sauteed Kale

Sauteing is one of the most popular methods of cooking kale. To do it like a pro, start with heating some oil in a saucepan. Add chopped garlic and cook until tender. Then add chopped kale and some vegetable stock, just enough to cover it. Close the lid and allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes. Finally, remove the lid and keep sauteing until the liquid is reduced. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and spices of your choice.

Steamed Kale

Steaming is a healthy way to cook kale. Remove the ribs and chop kale leaves into 1-inch pieces. Cook the leaves in a heated steamer for about 5 - 10 minutes or until they're tender enough for your liking. Then transfer them to a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice (or vinegar). That's how easy it is!

How to Steam Kale

Garbanzo Soup Garnished With Kale Leaves
Garbanzo Soup Garnished With Kale Leaves | Source

Using Kale as an Edible Garnish

Kale leaves are dark green and frilly in appearance, which makes them a lovely garnish for a plain-looking dish like a pureed soup or a lackluster stew. Plus, once the kale leaves are stirred into the warm broth, they will become more tender and more palatable than when they were completely raw.

Using Kale in a Casserole

If you don't like kale enough to make it the star of your dish, simply use it as an additional ingredient in a baked casserole. Whether it be a sausage casserole or a lasagna, some chopped kale leaves would beautifully add texture, color and nutrition to it.

Kale Salad
Kale Salad | Source

Using Kale in a Salad

Eating raw kale could make you feel like chewing on a rose bush. It's just a little too tough and bitter. That doesn't mean you can't use it in a salad, though. Simply blanch some kale leaves (without the ribs), then chill them in a bowl of water and ice for a few minutes. This way, your kale will be more tender and slightly crispy like lettuce. Its bitterness will also be significantly toned down.


Submit a Comment
  • aesta1 profile image

    Mary Norton 

    5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Really useful to get different kinds of cooking this healthy vegetable. I haven't tried grilling it so I'll definitely do this.

  • Om Paramapoonya profile imageAUTHOR

    Om Paramapoonya 

    6 years ago

    @My Cook Book - Thanks a lot!

  • My Cook Book profile image

    Dil Vil 

    6 years ago from India

    Good hub, it is useful and interesting. Great work!

  • Om Paramapoonya profile imageAUTHOR

    Om Paramapoonya 

    6 years ago

    @akirchner - True, true! Kale in a soup is yum!!!

    @randomcreative - You're very welcome. So glad you stopped by :)

    @Kathryn Stratford - Thanks for dropping by, Kathryn. I hope you give kale a try soon and enjoy it!

  • Kathryn Stratford profile image


    6 years ago from Windsor, Connecticut

    I have always been curious about kale, but have never actually bought or eaten any. I don't know how it tastes, or how to prepare it. But after having read this, I think I will try it out. You have come up with a list of interesting ways to prepare it, and I look forward to trying this. Thanks.

  • randomcreative profile image

    Rose Clearfield 

    6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    I never cook with kale, but this may inspire me to give it a try! It's great to know that there are so many options for it. Thanks for putting together this awesome resource.

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 

    6 years ago from Washington

    I hear ya - that's why I chop it up so fine I can barely detect it~ To me it's like eating raw parsley because of the texture or something but it's so dang good for you....I especially love it in white bean soup....yum

  • Om Paramapoonya profile imageAUTHOR

    Om Paramapoonya 

    6 years ago

    @Paul Edmondson - Thanks, Paul. I agree kale has recently become a little more popular, especially among health-conscious consumers. Glad you enjoyed the hub!

    @chitrangadacharan - I hope you give some of these kale cooking methods a try soon, Chitra. Thanks for your kind words.

    @akirchner - Yeah, what the kale! LOL I like that. I personally can't stand completely raw kale. But once it's cooked, I LOVE it!

    @healingsword - Thanks, Ann. I rarely make kale smoothies but bake kale chips pretty often. It's my favorite way of cooking kale, actually!

    @livingsta - Thanks a lot for dropping by, livingsta :)

  • livingsta profile image


    6 years ago from United Kingdom

    This was interesting with variations in recipes that include kale. Thank you for this. Voted up, sharing and pinning!

  • healingsword profile image

    Ann Wehrman 

    6 years ago from California

    Hi Om, This is a beautiful, informative hub about one of my favorite veggies. I love to saute kale with protein foods, simmer it in soups, or shred it raw for salads. Kale smoothies and chips are dishes I hope to try still. Great job, clean and easy to read, with lovely pictures.

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 

    6 years ago from Washington

    All I can say is Om, what the kale? I love kale and I use it in salads though I chop it very, very fine--to me it's a little "dense" in the raw. I toss it in soups though and just about anything that you could use spinach in. It's a super food so the more the merrier unless I think if you're on Coumadin but I could be wrong...I love the idea of kale wraps~

  • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

    Chitrangada Sharan 

    6 years ago from New Delhi, India

    This is really very nice hub. I have not heard of Kale before, but it looks very nutritious and by your explanation, can be used in a variety of ways.

    I would try to find out, where we can get it here.

    Many thanks for sharing this useful hub!

  • Paul Edmondson profile image

    Paul Edmondson 

    6 years ago from Burlingame, CA

    Fantastic Hub. Kale has been under-appreciated, but it seems to be growing in popularity. I know in my house we've eaten more kale this year than I probably have in my lifetime.


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