Kale is a green leafy vegetable that is getting a lot of press these days, and for good reason.  Kale is often called a “nutrient dense” food, meaning for the small amount of calories it contains, kale also contains many nutrients.  This makes it a great food to snack on or add to your favorite dishes to pump up the nutrition value without adding a ton of calories.

There are so many ways to add this healthy superfood to your daily dishes.  These healthy kale cooking ideas are sure to satisfy all in the family.  You will be shocked to see all the different ways you can begin to include kale in your daily routine!

KALE CHIPS

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Kale chips are one of the easiest and tastiest ways to consume kale.  All you need is a bunch of kale, oil in a misting can (cooking spray will also work), and your favorite seasonings.  Be sure to pick an oil with a high cooking temperature like avocado or grapeseed oil (to avoid burning the chips in the oven).  My favorite seasonings to use include a little sea salt & pepper, garlic powder, or parmesan cheese.  Feel free to get creative with the seasonings!

Try different combinations of nearly any of the seasoning in your cabinet and find what you and your family like best.  Once you’ve gathered all your ingredients, here are the steps to making your own kale chips at home:

1, Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2, Wash your kale and let it dry thoroughly (any moisture left on the kale before baking will lead to soggy kale, not crispy kale).
3, Cut the leaves of the kale into bit-size chunks.
4, Lightly spray the kale with the oil or cooking spray.
5, Lightly season the kale with your seasoning of choice.
6, Place the kale on a single layer on a baking sheet (you can spray the sheet as well to prevent sticking) and bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping the kale over about half way through.  Oven times to vary, so be sure to watch your chips closely during the baking time.  If you take them out too early they won’t crisp up.  The chips also tend to burn quickly, so watch them closely for the last few minutes!
7, Allow the chips to cool slightly then enjoy!  These kale chips make for an excellent snack between meals!

10-day green smoothie cleanse

KALE SMOOTHIES

Kale also makes a great addition to your morning smoothie.  If you have a favorite smoothie recipe, you can add kale directly to it before turning on the blender.  Pick your favorite fruit combinations and adding kale will add to the nutrient value of your smoothie.  Here’s a great summer kale smoothie recipe:

1, Add ½ cup almond milk to your blender
2, Add a handful of strawberries, 1 kiwi, and ¼ cup pineapple chunks to the blender (using frozen fruits here works really well).
3, Add a small handful of kale.
4, Blend until smooth.

You may notice this smoothie has a green hue—that’s the kale!  Don’t let the color make you shy to try this fabulous summer drink!  You can also add a scoop of your favorite vanilla protein powder to this before you blend for a meal replacement.

SAUTEED KALE

Kale also makes a great addition to sautéed meals or pastas or as a side dish all its own!  A little olive oil, kale, some salt and pepper make a great and filling side dish to your meal. Again, you can be creative with your seasonings here!  Garlic, parmesan cheese, feta cheese, and Cajun spices all make for great seasonings to sautéed kale.  Here is an easy and quick side dish to add to your next meal.

1, Heat a little olive oil in a sauté pan
2, Wash and dry your kale.
3, Cut the kale into bit size pieces or small strips.
4, Place the kale pieces into the sauté pan and begin to sauté.
5, Add parmesan cheese (or your other favorite seasoning) to taste and continue to sauté until the kale begins to soften.
6, Serve warm on the side of your favorite lean protein!

I also love to use sautéed kale in place of (or in addition to!) spinach in recipes. Adding some sautéed kale to your next lasagna will really pump up the nutrient value and give some more color to your plate!

KALE AND EGGS SCRAMBLE

Another way I love to cook with kale is as part of a breakfast scramble.  It really helps to energize and fill you up for the day.   This dish is very versatile—you can add whatever additional mix-ins you choose!  My favorite mix-ins are kale, turkey sausage, diced red peppers, and a little Monterey Jack cheese, but feel free to experiment here!  Make it your own so you can enjoy it the most!  Here are the steps to making your own kale and eggs scramble.

1, Preheat a pan on the stove at medium heat.  Spray some cooking spray in the pan to prevent sticking.
2, Place 1 oz of turkey sausage in the pan and cook the sausage until cooked through.
3, As the sausage is cooking, prepare your mix-ins.  Wash and dry 1-2 leaves of kale and ¼ of a red pepper.
4, Chop your vegetables into small pieces.  Place vegetables in pan as well and cook with the sausage.
5, Whisk one egg, 1-2 egg whites, and 1 tablespoon milk in a bowl.
6, Pour whisked eggs over vegetables and sausage.  Cook through, stirring as the eggs cook to scramble them.
7, Just before the eggs finish cooking, add ½ oz of Monterey Jack cheese and let it melt.
8, Serve hot and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy these healthy kale cooking ideas!  As you can see, you can easily make kale a part of your breakfast, lunch, dinner and even your snacks throughout the day!  There’s a reason why this superfood is getting so much attention!  Don’t be afraid to be creative in the kitchen—try different spices and seasonings to fit your taste and the meals you are serving. The possibilities are endless!

I would love to hear which of these recipes you’ve tried and which ones are your favorites!  Leave a comment below with your favorite ones!

Also check out a 4-week Balanced vegetarian diet plan for more healthy meal ideas!

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