Like beets, kale is a super nutrient-dense food, but not always a kid favorite. It’s taken a good amount of recipe testing to come up with uses for kale that my family enjoys. My kids don’t much like kale in stir-fries or cooked dishes, but they really like this crispy kale chips recipe!
All About Kale
There’s a reason that kale is called a superfood and nutritional powerhouse. It’s loaded with vitamins A, C, D, and K. Kale is also one of the best food sources of calcium. It’s dark green color means it has a good amount of iron and the antioxidant quercetin too.
Most people have heard of kale’s amazing nutrient superpowers, but some still aren’t sure what to do with it. I mentioned earlier that you can toss it in a stir fry, but here are some other options:
Make a Salad
Kale is a leafy vegetable that looks like it should be tossed in a salad. If you’re not much of a kale eater though, you might be in for a shock if you try it that way. Kale is a little bit bitter and quite a bit tougher than your average salad lettuces.
The best way to soften kale leaves up a little is to slice them nice and thin and rub them with a vinaigrette. Yup, I said rub them. Most people enjoy a nice massage and apparently kale does too. Read more about it in this post for shaved apple and kale salad.
Put It in a Soup
Because kale is a little thicker and tougher, it holds up really well in soups. It becomes a little softer, but still has some nice bite to it. I freeze kale, onions, and carrots from the garden in the summer to make this chicken soup in the fall.
Put It in a Smoothie
Are you a fan of green smoothies? You could try replacing the spinach in this recipe with kale.
Make Crispy Kale Chips
Kale chips are, in my opinion, the most kid-friendly way to serve kale, especially if it is a new veggie at your house. It’s also one of the simplest recipes for it. Just rub each dry leaf with oil, sprinkle them with salt, and bake them in the oven until they’re crispy. Mmm. So easy and so tasty. You can be adventurous and try other seasonings too, like cumin, Parmesan, or lemon zest. This fun recipe adds sriracha and coconut chips!
One note on kale in case you don’t already know it: Cut out the center rib of each leaf. It’s really tough and chewy!
Kale Chips Recipe
- Preheat to oven to 370°F.
- Make sure kale leaves are washed and dried well.
- Remove stems. This is optional. We actually often leave them in and just eat the leaves off of the stems.
- Brush or rub the leaves with olive oil until well coated and sprinkle with sea salt to taste.
- Place the leaves in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
- Place in the preheated oven for 5-10 minutes or less. You will need to watch them closely and remove them as soon as they are crispy and barely browning.
- Serve immediately or leave uncovered on the counter on a plate for up to 3 days.
- Flavor variations: try adding spices like cumin and chili powder or ginger and garlic for a different taste.
- If your leftover kale chips get soggy, toss them back in the oven for a few minutes to re-crisp them.
Ever made kale chips? What is your favorite way to prepare kale?