Known as the “queen of greens,” kale is a super delicious and nutritious vegetable that is the perfect addition to your diet. If you’re worried about gaining the freshman 15 or even the upperclassman 15, incorporating this green into your diet can work wonders for your health. It contains vitamins A and C for a healthy immune system, vitamin K for cancer prevention, calcium for your teeth and bones and iron for overall health benefits and blood cell regulation. It’s also a great detox food because it keeps your liver healthy.
As collegiettes on the go, it’s important to have quick and easy recipes on hand that ensure proper nutrition to keep us healthy. Whip up some of these delicious and healthful recipes to make the most of kale.
1. Kale Smoothie With Pineapple and Banana
This energizing green smoothie from Real Simple is perfect for an easy breakfast. Bananas are a good source of vitamin B-6 and potassium, while pineapples contain vitamin C and manganese. If you’re skeptical about putting kale into your fruit smoothie, have no fear – the bitterness of the kale will be masked by the sweetness of the fruit. The recipe makes two smoothies, so you can share it with a friend or your roommate.
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups stemmed and chopped kale
- 1 ½ cups chopped pineapple
- 1 ripe banana, chopped
- In a blender, combine the coconut milk, water, kale, pineapple and banana and puree until smooth.
- The process takes about one minute, and you can add more water if needed to reach your desired consistency. This should take no longer than five minutes to prepare.
2. Kale Chips
This recipe is the crunchy and savory snack that food bloggers are always raving about. The light consistency of the chips combined with the nutritional benefits of kale make for a healthy snack to munch on during your favorite movie. This recipe from A Cozy Kitchen is simple and easy to make. The recipe makes about two servings.
- 1 bunch of kale, rinsed
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- Optional seasonings: cayenne pepper and garlic powder
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
- Lay your washed kale onto a baking sheet, drizzle with the oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then flip, then bake for another 10 minutes until the chips are crispy.
- Allow to cool before transferring into a bowl.
3. Massaged Kale Salad
One of the easiest ways to include kale in your diet is to incorporate it into a salad. The robust flavor and hearty texture of kale makes it a suitable substitute for the classic romaine or spinach salad base. This recipe from Food Network is the perfect choice, and it shouldn’t take you longer than 10 minutes to prepare. This recipe makes four servings.
- 1 bunch of kale, stalks removed, leaves thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 mango, diced small (about 1 cup)
- Small handful of toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds (about 2 rounded tablespoons full)
- In a large bowl, add the kale, half of the lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little salt. Mix together for two to three minutes, then set aside to make the dressing.
- In a small bowl, whisk the remaining lemon juice with the honey and lots of pepper. Combine with the ¼ cup of oil and whisk until a dressing forms.
- Pour the dressing over the kale, and add the mangoes and seeds, tossing prior to serving.
4. Sautéed Kale With Toast and Eggs
- 3 stemmed kale leaves
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pinch of minced garlic
- 1 slice of crusty bread
- 1 egg
- Slice the kale into ribbons, then heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
- Cook the garlic and kale together until tender, about two minutes.
- Spoon the finished product onto the crusty bread, and place a fried or poached egg on top.
5. Kale Flatbread
For a crispy and wholesome lunch, try this kale flatbread recipe fromBon Appétit. The recipe makes two to four servings.
- 1 bunch of kale, rinsed and thinly sliced
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- One 9-inch round of pizza dough
- Grated Parmesan, crumbled feta and shredded mozzarella cheeses, as desired
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the kale with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with the salt and pepper.
- Stretch out your pizza dough into a thin crust and brush with the remaining olive oil.
- Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, spread the kale across the crust and finish with a layer of the crumbled feta and shredded mozzarella.
- Bake your flatbread for about 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden.
6. Pasta with Kale, Bacon and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
This recipe from MyRecipes.com is for a delicious pasta dish that you can share with your roommates since it makes four servings (or keep the leftovers for yourself – we won’t judge). The best part is that it won’t take you longer than 20 minutes to prepare.
- 8 ounces uncooked orecchiette pasta
- 5 cups bagged pre-washed kale
- 2 slices of center-cut bacon
- ¼ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Cook the pasta for eight minutes or until almost tender. Add the kale and cook for two minutes, then drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
- While the pasta cooks, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat for four minutes or until crisp. After cooking, remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon, then crumble and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add the sun-dried tomatoes, crushed red pepper and garlic. Cook for one minute, stirring frequently.
- Add the pasta mixture, reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid, black pepper and salt to pasta; toss to combine.
- Top the pasta mixture evenly with the bacon and cheese; drizzle evenly with lemon juice.
7.Chocolate Kale Cake With Sea Salt
When you think of a delicious dessert, kale doesn’t always come to mind as an ingredient. But we’ve found the exception with this recipe from Foodie Underground. The touch of sea salt adds extra flavor to this treat. This recipe will make plenty to share with friends and roommates!
- ½ cup rice flour
- ¾ cup ground almonds or almond flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 3 large kale leaves
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- ¼ cup dark chocolate or chocolate chips
- Coarse sea salt
- Boil two cups of water. Remove from heat and place the kale leaves in the water. Cover and let sit for two minutes.
- Remove and drain the water, keeping about two tablespoons of water.
- Place the kale and the remaining water in a food processor, and mix until you obtain a puree consistency, making sure that the bits of kale are as small as possible.
- In a bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar and vanilla, mixing in the cocoa powder before adding the kale puree and olive oil.
- Mix in the flour, almonds and sea salt, stirring until well blended.
- Grease a circular cake pan and dust with ground almonds. Pour in the cake batter and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped chocolate. Turn off the oven and put the cake back in for a minute or two in order to melt the chocolate. Spread the chocolate evenly with a knife and sprinkle lightly with the sea salt.
The next time you’re looking for a few quick and easy ways to include more kale into your diet, give one of these delicious recipes a try. They’re sure to please your friends and roommates, and the health benefits are an additional bonus!