Kale 101 + Easy Recipes

Kale chips, kale salad, kale smoothies. You’ve probably heard and seen it all by now. So what’s the hype with this scary looking leafy green? Did you know that kale has more iron than beef, more calcium than milk (per calorie), and that’s just the beginning! Kale is also high in fiber, antioxidants and vitamins. Per cup, Kale contains 206% of the daily value of vitamin A, and 134% the daily value of vitamin C.  This Superfood is known to help lower cholesterol, fight against arthritis and asthma, and is also great for your skin. Consuming this cruciferous vegetable 2-3x/week will get you all the nutritional benefits kale has to offer.

Kale can be finely chopped and added to pasta sauces, casseroles or any vegetable dish. And unlike lettuce, kale can be steamed, fried, roasted and grilled. A lot of people don’t realize this powerhouse comes in several varieties and can be found at most major super markets. Curly leaf kale is the most popular form of kale. When shopping for kale, look for course-deep green leaves with hardy stems.  Kale is best kept in refrigerator, unwashed, until ready to use. And, it’s best to store this green giant in an airtight plastic bag.

If you haven’t tried it and are a little scared, I am going to ask you like I ask my girls;  take one ‘no thank you bite’ before you judge. Kale can be used to replace lettuce in most salads and is a perfect addition to soups and stews. Still not there yet? Try adding kale to your favorite smoothie…you probably won’t even know it’s in there!

I would love to hear if you have tried any of the recipes listed or if you have a recipe to share.




Photo Credit: www.healthyherliving.com

Source: Healthy Her Living

Curly Leaf: Most commonly found in grocers.

Dino Leaf: Easily distinguished, more sweet than most Kales.

Premier: Best on salads, tender and easy going.

Redbor: Thick, robust. Best cooked.

Siberian: Strong a versatile, grown in winters.


Recipes for the Kale Newbie:

True Food Tuscan Kale Salad


TF Kale Salad½ cup EVOO

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 garlic cloves

½ teaspoon salt

Pinch of red pepper flakes

2 bunches of kale (approx. 14 ounces) ribs removed

and leaves sliced into ¼ inch shreds

½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

2 tablespoons toasted bread crumbs


  1. In a salad bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon, garlic salt and red pepper flakes. Add the kale and toss well to coat. Let the salad sit at room temperature for 10-30 minutes. Add the grated cheese and bread crumbs and toss again.
  2. Garnish with cheese shavings before serving.


Kale-Apple Smoothie

Photo credit:insonnetskitchen.com

Photo credit:insonnetskitchen.com


8 ounces of water, almond milk or coconut milk

½ green apple

½ banana

1 cup of kale


Optional- 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder


  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.


Kale Chips


Photo Credit: Pinterest

Photo Credit: Pinterest

1 bunch of Lacinato kale

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½-1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, depending on how spicy you want your kale.


  1. Wash and thoroughly dry the kale.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Remove the ribs from the kale and discard.
  4. Toss the kale with the olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl then lay flat on the prepared baking sheets so that the leaves aren’t overlapping.
  5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.


For more kale recipes please visit Pinterest.


About Sonia:

Sonia is a Fountain Hills resident that is on a mission to empower our community to live happy-healthy lives through nutrition and fitness education. Her passions for both show through her love for exercise and helping people in the community make healthier choices. Recently, Sonia partnered with the Town of Fountain Hills to put on the 2014 Wellness & Safety Fair this past April to bring awareness to our town and help promote local fitness and wellness businesses. Sonia is a Certified Nutrition Coach, Amenzone Fitness Trainer and Amenzone Foundation Trainer. If you have any questions for Sonia, please email or call.



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