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Beyond Chips & Salads: Reinventing Kale

June 28, 2018

We’re huge fans of eating your greens. One of our favorite leafy green powerhouses? You guessed it: kale. Kale has been on everyone’s radar for a while now, but there are more ways to enjoy it besides making kale chips or using it as a salad base. With the right flavor pairings, you can create a mod green dish that doesn’t taste too green.

Pairings to Get You Started

Unless you’re making a salad with it, kale will most likely be a complementary ingredient rather than the main one. We encourage you to get creative with your kale dishes, but if you’re unsure where to start, here are some ingredients you wouldn’t think go hand-in-hand with kale, but make for delicious pairings.

  • Ginger + Kale: With a spicy-sweet flavor profile to balance the earthiness of kale, ginger paired with soy sauce, sesame oil, honey and garlic is a stir-fry combination that you can enjoy with tofu or chicken or mixed with noodles and other root vegetables. You can also create a lemon- or orange-ginger dressing using the same base ingredients to drizzle over a kale bowl of fresh ingredients reminiscent of a poke bowl: carrots, avocado, soy beans, cucumber and more.
  • Avocado + Kale: Buttery and mildly earthy avocado combines with crunchy and deeply earthy kale to create a seemingly unusual superfood duo that actually balances each other out. A great third wheel for these two is sweet potato. Make savory-sweet vegetarian breakfast tacos with a fried egg, kale, pureed sweet potato and a topping of sliced avocados. Transform that into a general morning hash with or without the egg or toss it all into a bowl and top it with a citrus dressing for nontraditional salad.
  • Citrus + Kale: There’s a reason citrus and kale are commonly paired together. Raw kale has a bitter flavor, and when it’s cooked, the heat softens its tough fibers, reducing its bitterness. The acidity of citrus does the same thing. While citrus elements are often to complement kale salads, try making kale the complement to your fruit salad instead. Gather citrus fruits like grapefruit, oranges and mandarins as well as some of your other favorites — like pineapple and mango. Slice them and place them on a plate. Create a citrus “dressing” with orange juice, lime juice, grated ginger and a little bit of olive oil, and drizzle it over the plate. Top it all off with goat cheese and almonds. Bright, tangy and refreshing, this creation is perfect for summer.

Why the Kale Kraze?

There’s a reason kale is called the “queen of greens.” Considered one of the healthiest foods in the world, it packs a ton of nutrients and vitamins that support the overall health of your body. It’s even more nutritious than its superfood cousin, spinach! Kale is high in fiber, which helps with digestion and supports a healthy heart. It’s also high in vitamin C, which promotes a strong immune system as well as healthy skin, hair and bones. But that just scratches the surface. Kale also contains high levels of iron, potassium, antioxidants that protect against disease, Vitamin A, calcium and more! Plus, you get all of these nutrients for very few calories.