If you were to ask any health guru today to make a list of greens that have become essential to diet in this day in age, kale would definitely make the top of the list. Although its bitter taste leaves much to be desired, its vitamin filled and cancer fighting properties have made this cruciferous vegetable a powerhouse in the health industry.
According to Self Nutrition Data, one cup serving offers more than the recommended daily value of Vitamin C (134%) and Vitamin A (206%). Both are necessary for proper bone growth, vision, and normal cell function.
Contains Flavonoids and corteroids that have been proven in studies to fight 5 different cancers (National Cancer Institute)
High in fiber, which aids in digestion
Contains seven times the daily value (684%) of Vitamin K and helps prevent cardiovascular disease (Huffingpost.com)
So here are 10 unique and very tasty recipes that pack a healthy punch while engaging your taste buds. You will never feel the same about Kale again.
Mango & Kale Smoothie
If you are in the mood for a quick, yet healthy frozen treat, this smoothie is sure to hit the spot. It’s very quick and easy to make. Compared to store made ones, this one is packed with all the right ingredients for a no-guilt splurge.
For a refreshing and savory appetizer, a salad is perfect. For the vegetarian, the salad is primal and must entice us. This salad contains diverse ingredients for full texture and taste. It is crisp to the palate and exceptionally healthy with the kale incorporated. Add the honey Dijon dressing for a special kick.
Pasta is definitely a food favorite that falls under the guilty pleasure category, but this recipe takes it to the next level by incorporating kale, veggies and nuts to the mix. Sprinkle a little pecorino cheese to it and you’ll be sure to feel like you’re in Italy. For those sensitive to gluten, you can replace the pasta with a gluten-free version for better digestion.
This is a personal family recipe that was handed down to me. I cannot express how hearty and flavor packed it is. It soothes the belly on a cold night with its tender veggies and gives kale a whole new taste. You can incorporate your favorite organic meat into it if you wish, but alone it stands in healthy and delicious perfection.
Ingredients (serves 4)
4 raw garlic cloves, diced thinly
1/2 an onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped into thirds
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp ground oregano
1 packet of chicken bouillon seasoning
1 zucchini, sliced
1 butternut squash, sliced (but any squash is optional)
5 stems of kale, keep whole and uncut
2 red potatoes, chopped into small squares
1 lb lentil beans bag
Rinse lentils thoroughly, place in large soup pot with chopped onions and garlic for about 5 minutes under medium heat, until onions and garlic are tender.
Fill up pot with water about 3/4 full. Add all powder seasonings and let boil for about 30-40 minutes until lentils are semi soft.
Add potatoes first let boil for 5 minutes, then add zucchini, squash, cilantro and celery, let it cook another 5 minutes.
Turn off heat and add kale, the kale will cook with just the heat of the soup and infuse with all the flavoring of the soup. Add any additional pinch of salt if needed.
Recipe courtesy of: Sanchez family
Kale and Artichoke Dip
Whether you are entertaining a group of friends or dining alone, this dip is sure to make the evening fun. Full of creamy and cheesy flavors, it can perfectly be paired with whole grain chips for a delicious yet healthy low fat snack. The kale definitely adds a special flavor to it. Apart from its delight, it is quick and easy to make.
Now, here is a recipe that can be an adventure to make. We’ve all heard of the conventional oven-made version, but this one starts on the skillet. It starts out with a lot of ingredients, but involves very little preparation and cooking time. The kale and baby arugula gives a healthy twist to an all-American favorite.
This is definitely a unique approach to stuffing, without all the breading and gluten. You replace it with another powerful protein grain: quinoa. The variety of textures coming from the nuts and feta cheese infuse extra flavor into the kale. A must-try for holiday dinner time. It’s sure to please your guests while staying mindful to their health.
Now I know what you are thinking, kale in muffins? Do not let the green color divert you from the actual sweet finish this baked good has. It is a fantastic way to get the kiddies to eat their healthy kale with a touch of fun. Sounds fascinating, and frankly, why not? It has been done before with other unusual vegetables successfully. Serve these in place of sugar filled and artificial colored muffins at the next function and they’re sure to be a hit. I must add it’s a vegan-friendly dessert too.
Now, if this recipe does not get your attention, I don’t know what will. Who can resist the most famous, decadent chocolate on earth? It’s no ordinary brownie, it’s moist and it’s made out of kale. Typical ingredients are replaced with coconut flour, applesauce and organic sugar. This cookie has been kicked up a notch into the healthier department. Not to mention the addition of the kale. This adds vitamins and benefits that one could not think was possible for a brownie recipe. Add it to the kids’ lunchbox and they won’t even know the difference.
There is nothing quicker or easier than making ice pops. With only 3 or 4 ingredients to it and 10 minute prep time, you can’t pass it up. You can add cocoa powder to it to make it chocolatier, but you won’t even notice the secret ingredient. That’s right, it’s kale! It’s full of antioxidants and perfect on a hot summer day.