09 August 2012

5 ways to use kale

Let's talk about every vegan's favorite super food: Kale. Rich in calcium, and high in vitamins K and C, as well as beta carotene and anti-cancer agents, you'll want to eat this leafy green as often as you can. For those who get bored with salads easily, here are some fun ways to incorporate kale into your diet.

1) Smoothies and Juices
Green monster smoothies have become increasingly popular for breakfast or afternoon pick me ups, especially thanks to the Green Monster Movement started by Angela of the popular vegan blog, Oh She Glows! And they should be popular. They're simple, delicious and nutritious. Combine kale with your choice of nondairy milk and a banana for a simple base. But really, the sky's the limit. Add in spinach or collards, chia or flax seeds, maybe even strawberries or pineapple. Check out the Green Monster Movement for endless combinations.

2) Kale Chips
This is how I introduced my family to kale. Massage broken kale leaves with olive oil and salt, and then bake in your oven at 350 for 10 minutes, keeping an eye out to make sure they don't burn. The crispy, salty crunch of a kale chip is enough to make anyone a believer. You can also skip the oven routine and dehydrate kale to make chips.

3) Old fashioned greens
Just like Grandma made it, but a little healthier. Saute kale in a little olive oil and garlic for simple side dish. Lightly steamed kale sprinkled with cayenne also packs a flavorful punch.

4) Kale Slaw
A twist on the classic summer side dish for those (including myself) who aren't fans of cabbage. Prepare your favorite slaw, but shred some calcium rich kale instead of cabbage, and mix together with your preferred dressing or vegan mayo.

5) Green Machine Pesto
Another twist on a classic. Prepare your basic basil pesto, but add kale and spinach to your food processor bump up the nutrients in an otherwise simple pasta dish.

And don't forget, you can always keep it simple and massage your kale with some olive oil for a salad!

Madeline Heising | Blog
Boston, MA Madeline is studying Communications and Public Advocacy at Northeastern University. Going vegan on a whim in 2011 changed her entire lifestyle for the better. Her course of study, health and career intentions now revolve around plant-based living. All it took was one question ‘Why would you care more about what goes on your body than what goes in it?’ When she’s not in classes she works at Teavana and keeps up her own recipe blog. The only thing that makes her happier than talking about food is traveling, but it’s a pretty close tie.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/photofarmer