Raw kale on a cutting board
nutrition recipes

How to Prep Kale So It Actually Tastes Good

Superfoods are all the craze these days: quinoa, avocado, flax seeds, blueberries, kale…. You know what I’m talking about. And while some of these foods are naturally delicious (more avocado toast anyone?), some others (kale *cough cough*) are… not so delicious.

The first time I had kale, I wasn’t a huge fan. I eat plenty of leafy greens, but something about kale was just extra crunchy and a little bitter. Not my favorite thing.

It was only after finding a couple of great recipes and resources that I finally came to love kale. (Thank you Cookie and Kate and Naturally Ella!) Now, we regularly have garlicky kale pizza or kale salads on our menu. And if you follow these tips on kale prep, you too will come to love kale for the fantastic, satisfying superfood that it is.

Prepping Raw Kale

If you’re going to enjoy raw kale, like in a kale salad, you’ll need to do something to get rid of that nasty bitter taste and extra chewy crunch. Here are a few tips I learned from Cookie and Kate:

1. Cut out the ribs. Kale ribs are super crunchy, and not in a good way. So just cut them out! You’ll thank me later.

2. Chop it up. Because kale takes some tough chewing, cut those kale leafs up into reallllly small pieces. Nobody wants to choke on a big piece of kale, even if it is a superfood. 😉

3. Add some dressing and salt. Add a little acidic dressing and some salt to cut through that bitterness. Make sure your dressing has plenty of vinegar, lemon juice, or lime juice.

4. Massage! I was a little skeptical of this part at first, but here’s where the magic comes in. Massage the dressing and salt into the chopped kale really well. After a couple minutes, the texture of the kale will start to change and soften. Even though this takes some extra time/work, DON’T SKIP IT! This will make the difference between too-crunchy kale and getting the perfect texture.

Here are a couple ways I enjoy raw kale:

  • Chickpea cauliflower marinara bowls. This hearty and flavorful bowl is one of my own creations! With an easy homemade marinara, this tasty dish comes together quickly.
  • Burrito bowls. I love Cookie and Kate’s black bean avocado burrito bowl. The dressed kale adds a nice fresh touch that really balances out the rice, beans, tomato, and guac. You can eat this in a burrito or in a bowl, but either way it’s delicious!
  • Kale quinoa salad. Kale and quinoa are two superfoods that were meant to go together. Toss in some toasted almonds, cranberries, feta, and celery and combine with a delicious dressing, and you have a winner! Or add some sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes for a more Mediterranean flavor. You really can’t lose here.
chickpea cauliflower marinara bowl
Check out my cauliflower chickpea marinara bowls here!

Prepping Cooked Kale

When you cook kale, whether it’s sauteed or boiled in a soup, this naturally helps take care of the crunchiness. But there are still a few rules to prepping cooked kale that will help it really shine.

1. Cut out the ribs. Once again, cutting out those extra crunchy ribs will make chewing so. Much. Easier. Even when I’m going to cook kale, I still cut them out.

2. Salt the kale. Even cooked kale can be a little bitter. Make sure you sprinkle some salt on to cut through that icky edge.

Here are a couple ways I enjoy cooked kale:

  • Sauteed with garlic. We love garlicky kale on pizza, in a breakfast burrito, or in a quiche. The zing of the garlic just adds something special to this superfood.
  • Boiled in soups or curries. You can often substitute kale for spinach in a soup or curry recipe. While spinach gets a little slimy when boiled, kale still maintains a little more of its structure. (Plus kale has even more going for it nutritionally than spinach. No offense, spinach, I still love you too. 😉 )

Eat Up!

Who knew that kale could be as tasty as it is super? Hopefully now you can find a way to enjoy kale in all of its hearty, nutritious, crunchy glory. Move over, avocados. There’s a new superfood in town.

Just kidding. I will never give up my avocado toast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *