How to get your family to eat kale!
Kale has been hailed as a “super-food” – but that is not why I choose to eat it.
Many of my food choices are seasonal food choices and summer is the time when kale is fresh, plentiful and cheap! All ticks in my book! But one bunch of kale can often be too much and many times left to wilt at the bottom of the fridge.
I hate food wastage… almost as much as my kids (and husband) have hated kale… so to make the most of this fiber and nutrient rich food, here are some of my kale ideas… and there is not a green smoothie in sight! (I do love my green smoothies, but even I prefer the milder taste of baby spinach)
Prepare your kale!
Unless you buy organic and spray free produce, there is a good chance that your kale has extra stuff on it. So as soon as I get it home, I cut the leafy parts away from the stalk and leave the kale to soak.
I drain the water and put it into a clean tea-towel and hold it in a ball and then I take it outside and swing it about! It does not damage the leaves, but gravity does a great job of removing all the extra moisture. This is important because if I don’t use all of the kale on day of purchase, it goes in a plastic bag in vegetable crisper and is ready to go into meals later in the week (like stir-fry’s and casseroles).
However, here are some ideas on how to use your kale straight away!
These are ridiculously simple and easy to make!
Heat your oven to really hot (around 220°) and spread your freshly washed (and spun) kale out on baking paper.
Spray with oil. My favourite is Cobram Estate infused with garlic. Bake for about 10 mins – keep an eye on them!
When the kale chips come out of the oven, grind some of your favourite salt over and leave them for the kids to discover when they get home from school. My kids always groan “MUMMMM!!!!” and then proceed to eat them… all up! Hey, nothing beats crunch, salt and oil! Kale chips are strangely addictive!
The secret to kale in salads
Kale can be strong in flavour and extremely fibrous to chew through. So you absolutely must prepare your kale to be eaten raw! Squeeze the juice of a fresh lime or lemon into a bowl and add equal proportions of olive oil. For this salad, I used Leaping Goat Olive Oil – made by hand in the Mornington Peninsula… and it is to die for.
Pour this into your bowl of finely chopped kale, sprinkle with salt and massage. That’s right! The longer you lovingly fondle your kale, the softer it becomes and with this extra virgin olive oil, you will want to lick your fingers clean!
Then add your other favourite ingredients.
Here are some of my favourite salad ingredients:
- red cabbage – because it always looks amazing
- corn (microwave each corn cob for 3 minutes in the microwave with the green covering on. When cool to touch, strip away the husk, rub with olive oil and fry to get some blackened kernels. This also brings out the sweetness)
- fresh herbs. Any and all
- sprouted chickpeas and lentils. Easy to sprout at home. Even easier to buy from the supermarket
- roasted baby beetroot (scrub,wrap in tinfoil, doused with olive oil)
- roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds (cool before adding)
- roasted nuts
- pomegranate seeds
- roasted cauliflower sprayed with oil and sprinkled with smoked paprika
And the dressing is already taken care of!
Adding to soups
Pumpkin soup is a firm favourite in our house. I make the soup and puree it smooth (often ahead of time) and when heating it to serve, stir in crispy bacon bits and finely chopped kale.
The texture of the kale stays firm, but with the bacon bits, hardly noticed!
Summer also means lots of basil. I nearly always plump out my basil leaves with other greenery, namely spinach or kale. It does give a stronger flavour – but hardly noticed over pasta.
Are you a kale lover or kale hater?
I would love to know ways in which you use kale!
Or try some of these ideas and see if you can expand your vegetable repertoire!
If you like these recipe ideas… you might also like these – just click on image below: