Kale: not going to solve all of your problems or end war, but delicious and nutritious nonetheless. Kale is easily one of my favorite greens to consume and work with. Early on, however, I wasn’t entirely sure how to prep it for my salads or grain bowls. I’d underdress and under prepare, leaving the kale too dry, scratchy and difficult to digest. Over time, I discovered better ways to prep it for my salads and grain bowls allowing for a more desirable texture and easier digestion. I would’ve loved to know how to prep kale for my recipes when I first started using it, so today I’m sharing with you a few kale prepping tips as well as my favorite simple way to prep and dress kale.
Why Eat Kale?
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable from the powerful Brassica oleracea species meaning its closely related to and shares similar benefits as cabbage, bok choy, arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and more. What makes Kale (and many of these other vegetables) so nutritious? Kale has the ability to fight oxidative stress in the body with it’s vitamin C, beta-carotene, and glucosinolate content; possesses anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and has a high concentration of vitamins A and K. Additionally, Kale has a high folate content, making it a great choice for expectant mothers and gains it’s color from lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which protect from macular degeneration. Need I continue? I think not.
So now that you know why you should eat kale, lets go over how you should it eat.
How to Prep and Use Kale:
- Wash your kale leaves and pat dry, then gently wrap them in a damp cloth for storage in the fridge.
- For better texture, pull the leaves off from the stems before chopping, rather than eating the rough stems.
- Massaging the kale with an oil and an acid (vinegar or citrus) will soften the leaves and improve digestibility.
- Consuming kale with an oil or fat is essential to the absorption of the beneficial fat soluble vitamins A and K.
- Keep the kale leaves on the stems until ready to use to ensure maximum freshness.
- Add chopped kale to soups or stews just a few minutes before serving.
- Thinly slice kale and mix with red cabbage and dressing for an easy slaw.
Simple Dressed Kale
My favorite way to prep kale for adding to salads, grain bowls or other recipes.
- 1 cup kale chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil or other healthy oil
- 1-2 tsp lemon juice
- dash sea salt
- dash black pepper