Kale is a leafy green vegetable that is packed with beneficial nutrients. It’s versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes. However, kale has a slightly bitter flavor that some people may not enjoy, but there are many ways to prepare kale so that it is delicious and enjoyable to eat. In this article, I will share some of the best kale recipes that will make you rethink your opinion of this vegetable. I hope you find these recipes as delicious as I do!
What is Kale?
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that is part of the cabbage family.
It is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet and is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Kale can be eaten raw, cooked, or juiced. It has a slightly bitter taste but can be made palatable with the addition of other ingredients.
Kale is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as manganese, copper, and calcium.
Incredible Health Benefits of Kale
1. It’s rich in antioxidants like kaempferol and quercetin
The antioxidants found in kale, kaempferol, and quercetin are believed to offer a variety of health benefits. These nutrients are thought to protect cells from damage, reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system. Additionally, some studies have shown that these antioxidants may also lower the risk of certain chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.
2. It’s a good source of folate
Folate is a water-soluble vitamin mainly found in leafy green vegetables, and kale is a good source. Folate is especially important for pregnant women, as it prevents neural tube defects in unborn babies. It’s also important for everyone because it helps make DNA and other genetic material.
3. Can lower cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your blood. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly, but too much can lead to heart disease.
Eating foods that lower cholesterol can help prevent heart disease and improve your overall health. Kale is one such food.
Studies have shown that kale can lower cholesterol levels by up to 10 percent. This is likely due to the high fiber and antioxidants in kale. These nutrients work together to reduce cholesterol absorption in the gut and remove it from the body.
Additionally, the antioxidant prevents cholesterol oxidation within the arteries which may lead to plaque formation and atherosclerosis.
4. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C
Kale is rich in vitamin C, with one cup providing over 100% of the recommended daily value.
This vital nutrient is important for maintaining a healthy immune system and can also help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
Vitamin C is also involved in the production of collagen, which is necessary for healthy skin and connective tissue.
5. It’s one of the best sources of vitamin k
Vitamin K is an important nutrient that plays a role in blood clotting, bone health, and heart health.
Kale is one of the best sources of vitamin K, with one cup providing over 100% of the Daily Value (DV) for this nutrient.
Vitamin K is also found in other dark leafy greens such as spinach and Swiss chard.
6. Promotes healthy digestion
Like most leafy greens, kale contains a good amount of fiber, which is essential for proper digestion. In addition to promoting regularity, fiber also helps keep the digestive tract clean and free of toxins.
Fiber-rich foods like kale also reduce the risk of various digestive disorders, including colon cancer.
In addition to fiber, kale contains several other nutrients that promote healthy digestion. For example, kale is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, all of which are necessary for proper gut health. Vitamin A promotes the production of mucus, which protects the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Vitamins C and K help to protect against inflammation in the gut.
7. High in beta carotene
beta carotene is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. It also helps the body to produce vitamin A, which is essential for good vision, healthy skin, and a strong immune system. Beta carotene can also be found in many fruits and vegetables, including carrots, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.
8. in lutein and zeaxanthin
Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoid antioxidants that play an important role in eye health, including protecting against ultraviolet light. They also help filter out blue light, which can be harmful to the retina.
These nutrients also help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in older adults.
9. It can boost weight loss
If you’re trying to lose weight, you might want to add kale to your menu. This nutrient-rich leafy green has several properties that can help you slim down.
For one, kale is low in calories but high in fiber, which helps keep you feeling full and satisfied after eating.
It’s also packed with nutrients like vitamins A and C, which can boost your metabolism and help your body burn more fat.
Finally, kale is rich in antioxidants, which have been shown to promote fat burning and reduce inflammation. Inflammation can lead to weight gain, so reducing it can help you lose weight. See more Kale Benefits.
10. Promotes detoxification and healthy liver functions
Kale is a great food to incorporate into your diet when it comes to detoxifying the body and promoting healthy liver function. Kale is rich in chlorophyll, which helps cleanse the blood and remove toxins from the body.
Furthermore, the quercetin and vitamin C in kale are essential for neutralizing free radicles in the liver, thus protecting it from damage. Quercetin also helps increase glutathione levels, which further promotes liver health.
So if you’re looking for a food that can help detoxify your body and promote healthy liver function, be sure to add kale to your diet!
11. Promotes healthy skin
Kale is not only good for your health but can also give you healthy skin.
It’s full of antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and K, which are all important for maintaining healthy skin. Antioxidants help to protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals, while vitamins A and C help to keep your skin looking young and healthy.
Vitamin K, on the other hand, is important for helping heal wounds and keep your skin looking its best.
Delicious Kale Recipes
Looking for some delicious kale recipes to add to your repertoire? Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Kale and Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Pecans
- 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
- 1 bunch of kale, stemmed and chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
- 1/4 cup vegan feta cheese
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, kale, cranberries, pecans, and feta cheese.
In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, lemon, maple syrup, and garlic. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for later.
2. Kale and Quinoa stuffed peppers
Kale and quinoa make great stuffing for peppers. For this recipe, you will need:
- 4 large peppers (any color)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 bunch of kale, finely chopped
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup vegan cheese, shredded
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until softened. Add kale and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and stir in cooked quinoa, vegan cheese, salt, and pepper.
Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove the seeds. Stuff each pepper with the quinoa mixture and place it in a baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the peppers are tender. Serve immediately
3. Creamy kale pasta
This kale pasta recipe is the perfect way to get your greens in while still enjoying a delicious and comforting dish. The creamy sauce is made with a blend of olive oil, garlic, and vegan Parmesan cheese and tossed with hearty whole-grain gluten-free pasta. Add in some sautéed kale, and you’ve got a well-rounded meal that’s healthy and satisfying.
4. Kale and roasted sweet potato salad with crispy onions
This kale and roasted sweet potato salad is the perfect healthy and hearty dish for colder weather. It’s packed with nutrients and flavor and is sure to keep you satisfied.
The base of this salad is hearty kale, which is massaged with a bit of olive oil to soften it up. Then, roasted sweet potatoes are added for sweetness and substance, while red onions add a bit of zing.
For the dressing, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, minced garlic, and salt to taste. Drizzle it over the salad and enjoy!
5. 6. Sautéed kale with garlic and lemon
This sautéed kale recipe is a simple and flavorful way to enjoy this healthy vegetable.
Plus, sautéing kale helps to bring out its natural sweetness, while the garlic and lemon add a nice zesty flavor.
First, wash the kale, remove the tough stems, and then chop into bite-sized pieces.
Next, heat some olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two until fragrant. Then, add the kale and toss to coat with the oil. Cook the kale for 3-5 minutes until it is wilted and tender.
Finish off the dish by squeezing fresh lemon juice over the top. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
7. Kale and bean soup
This hearty and healthy kale and bean soup is the perfect meal for a chilly winter day. It’s packed with nutritious kale, fiber-rich beans, and flavorful spices. And it’s so easy to make!
To cook the soup, simmer precooked beans and kale in water or broth until tender, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve it with some crusty bread for dipping, and you’ve got a complete meal that will warm you from the inside out.
8. Kale smoothie
When it comes to kale smoothies, the sky is the limit. There are so many ways to make a kale smoothie, and each one is just as delicious as the next. Whether you’re looking for a healthy breakfast option or a tasty snack, a kale smoothie is a great choice.
One of my favorite kale smoothie recipe includes frozen banana, almond milk, spinach, and kale. It’s simple to make and super refreshing.
If you’re looking for something a little bit different, try adding some avocado or mango to your smoothie. Both of these fruits add a creamy texture and sweetness that takes the edge off of the kale flavor.
And if you want to make it even more nutrient-dense, add in some chia seeds or flaxseed meal.
9. Baked kale chips
Kale chips are a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional potato chips. They are easy to make and can be enjoyed as a snack or side dish.
To make baked kale chips, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, wash and dry a bunch of kale leaves and remove the tough stems. Next, tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces and toss with olive oil and sea salt.
Spread the kale onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes or until crisp. Enjoy!
10. Massaged kale salad
This massaged kale salad is the perfect way to show off the versatility of kale. By massaging the kale, you soften it and make it more palatable while maintaining its nutrient-rich properties.
In a large bowl, massage the kale with olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper until it’s wilted and soft.
Add lemon juice, avocado, and sunflower seeds and toss to combine. Serve immediately!
Kale is a delicious and nutritious vegetable that can be enjoyed in many different ways, from breakfast smoothies to hearty soups.
Whether you’re looking for a healthy way to start your day or a filling meal to warm you up on a cold night, kale is the perfect ingredient. Give these recipes a try and let me know what you think in the comments below!
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