All hail, kale! From smoothies to chips—plus the ubiquitous kale salad available on restaurant menus across America—kale has been a healthy diet darling for years. (They even figured out how to grow it in Paris!) This green is here to stay, so if you’re not already riding the kale train, here’s everything you need to know to hop on board, plus kale recipes galore.
Kale is a dark, leafy vegetable that’s part of the cabbage family. Shades of green are most common, but it also grows in purple, white, and even pink! It’s a sturdy veg that can grow in a variety of climates, especially since its fibrous stalks are good at withstanding cold temps. It’s believed kale was brought to the U.S. by European settlers in the 17th century, adding another nutritious option to the garden.
We don’t want you to overthink this, but a great kale dish starts with choosing the best bunch and treating it right. Here are some tips!
No matter how you’re craving it, kale can be enjoyed raw or cooked, and the microwave can help, too.
Get your greens on! From dairy-free Caesar to a colorful plate with sweet potatoes and cranberries, these kale salad recipes satisfy.
Ditch dairy, but still enjoy a creamy, savory Caesar dressing. Secret weapon? The umami flavor of nutritional yeast! Don’t forget to massage the kale with a little oil and salt! It helps tenderize the leaves so they’re easier (and more enjoyable) to chew.
You’ll taste the rainbow when you fill up on this colorful salad! Green kale, ruby dried cranberries, and golden sweet potato cubes unite. Crunchy toppings like roasted almonds and pumpkin seeds make this recipe a winner.
Got the munchies? These wholesome options will fill you up—with nutrients, that is.
There’s nothing wrong with a bowlful of kale chips, but everything bagel-inspired toppings take them to the next level. The homemade spice mix couldn’t be simpler thanks to sesame seeds, garlic powder, and poppy seeds.
Vegan can be vibrant, and here’s proof. Tender kale leaves are dressed in a vegan “queso” made with turmeric, mustard, apple cider vinegar, and soaked cashews for extra creaminess. It’s sure to hit the spot.
Because there’s more than one way to do kale chips, spice ‘em up with spicy sriracha! Coconut oil, sesame oil, and coconut aminos add a savory, Asian-inspired note. The best part? This snack is ready in 20 minutes!
Adding greens to smoothies will boost any morning meal. You only need a handful to sip all the goodness.
You’re five ingredients away from a wholesome start to the day. Just blend kale, coconut water, pineapple, banana, and coconut oil.
This drink combines a trio of green things—kale, avocado, and spinach—with loads of fresh fruit for a thick and creamy finish. Add vegan protein with hemp milk and seeds.
When dinner calls, kale has the answer. Whip up dishes from pesto to polenta that’ll become new fave recipes.
Bye, bye, basil! This mild pesto is ideal for everything from your favorite pasta to roasted veggies. Eating vegan? Just swap out the Parmesan and use nutritional yeast instead.
Kale and pasta are a match made in gluten-free dinner heaven. GF noodles made with chickpea flour pack a protein punch, and shiitake mushrooms, baby kale, and salty Parmesan make it a hearty meal.
Cozy up to creamy polenta seasoned with salty Parmesan cheese. Juicy tomatoes and sautéed kale top it off.
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