Things to do With All That Kale

I feel like I should have taken a poll from all of you before I wrote this post.

The things I need to know are:

  1. Do you like kale?
  2. Do you grow kale?
  3. Do you even care about kale?

Every year around this time, all I want to do is give you recipes using up all the awesome greens we have available…so, even though there was no poll to be had here, I’m going ahead and assume most of you will be happy with this!

This post will have everything you ever wanted to know about kale…the nutritional benefits of kale, types of kale, how to freeze kale and a bunch of yummy recipes!

Nutritional Profile of Kale:

One cup of raw kale is only 33 calories, 6 grams of carbs (2 of which are fiber), and 3 grams of protein. Because of its low calorie content, kale is among the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. It is a cruciferous vegetable and is amazing to add to your diet because it’s a great way to increase your daily vitamin and mineral count.

Types of Kale:

There are a few main types of kale you can find at the grocery store. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Tuscan kale has dark green, flat leaves and a mellow flavor. It’s also sometimes called Lacinato, cavolo nero or dinosaur kale. It’s very common in Italian dishes

Things to do With All That Kale

  • Curly kale is brighter green and very curly! Curly kale can be a bitter but most people are put off by the fact that it is not very tender if you eat it raw. If you’re eating it raw, make sure to massage it, which some people believe it removes the bitterness and gives it a sweeter flavor, but it definitely breaks down the fibres and makes it more tender!!.

kale

  • Baby kale is often included in leafy green mixes that are sold in those place containers in grocery stores. Baby kale has a super mild flavor and is much more tender. You can use baby kale in it’s original form (no cutting or chopping) since it’s already in small leaves and very tender.

Freezing Your Greens:

You can definitely freeze your greens (here’s a post on how to do it!)…last year I had 13 bags of kale in my freezer from my summer pickings…believe it or not, I used all of them!!)

What to Cook With Your Kale:

Adding kale to your mac and cheese is always a good idea (way to go Chef Alexander Small…you can find the recipe over at Food and Wine).

kale mac and cheese

Photo by Alexander Small via Food and Wine

Or how about this kale and pesto pizza over at Cookie and Kate?? Yum!!!

kale pesto pizza

Photo by Cookie and Kate

If you have lots of kale, you can always add them to these convenient smoothie packs with kale and a pile of other yummy things (you can see all the deets here).

smoothie pack

I know in our house, the tastiest way to deal with kale is to make this super quick Tuscan kale and white bean soup! You can find the recipe here!!

Super Quick Kale and White Bean Soup

Or how about this leek, potato and kale soup!? So delish!! If you want to try your hand at this, click here!

leek, potato and kale soup with bacon

Or how about saving some money and whipping up a batch of kale chips!? What would cost you $7.00 at the store will cost you $.50!! Find the recipe here!

The Crispiest (and Healthy) Kale Chips

And, this epic beef, cheese and kale stuffed pizza is the bomb!! You really need to try it! All the deets are here!!

how to make stuffed pizza

And if I have any morning smoothie fans, let’s not forget how to use it in your smoothie…but this way (in ice cube form) is way easier (and more digestible) than using it raw:

How to Not Hate Kale: Frozen Kale Cubes

And if you really don’t want to make anything with it, just use them as a floral arrangement ….yup, they’re that pretty!!!

Things to do With All That Kale

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