Kale: 5 ways to use (and love it!) from a Chiropractor in Cary

Kale: 5 ways to use (and love it!) from a Chiropractor in Cary

Kale in Cary NC

Here at Legacy Chiropractic, we are always advocating for a healthy diet, filled with fresh fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, and quality meats. One of the vegetables we frequently talk about is kale, due to its extremely high vitamin content. We hear many people say they tried kale and didn’t like it, or don’t know how to use it. In the Ballam household, we eat kale on a weekly basis, and personally love it, but it can take some creative ideas to use it well!

There are two types of kale: lacinato (also called dinosaur kale), which is blue-green, fairly flat, and looks a bit leathery, and curly, which has tight, ruffled leaves and a slightly more bitter flavor (which cooks out). They can usually be used interchangeably, but there are some cases where one type is better than another, as mentioned below.

1. Green Smoothies

This is the number one way we tend to use kale in our household. Back before green smoothies were a “thing,” Dr. Ballam started to mix kale into fruit smoothies. We don’t typically use a recipe–we just throw the fruit and veggies together in the blender–but a few tips can go a long way to making green smoothies taste good!

Bananas, pineapple, and mango are three fruits that “cover” the vegetable flavor well, and leave you with a delicious, tropical smoothie.
Lightly steaming the kale can help cut out some of the bitter flavor, and help you to absorb the nutrients better.
In addition to kale, carrots, cucumber, and celery are three veggies that we have found incorporate well into the smoothie.
Smoothies are a great place to get your omega-3’s as well–toss in some raw flax seeds or a scoop of coconut oil–you won’t taste it but your body will love it!
For added protein, you can add a scoop of almond butter, yogurt, or coconut milk.

2. Sauteed Kale

Sauteed kale is another of the ways that we use kale on a regular basis. If you are prone to kidney stones, it’s better to eat kale cooked, as it is very high in oxalates. We love kale prepared this way, and we think you will too!

Chop a few cloves of garlic and sautee in olive oil or coconut oil (coconut oil is better in high heat, but we understand that not everyone loves it!) Remove the stem from the kale, and chop the remaining leaf. Make sure there is adequate oil in the pan, then add the kale. Cover and sautee for just a few minutes. The kale will turn darker green and will wilt quickly. Toss with a sprinkle of salt and serve. You can also add a splash of soy sauce or some bacon pieces, but it is delicious all on its own. We eat sauteed kale for breakfast topped with a fried egg, mixed into a stir fry, atop a baked sweet potato with bacon, or just as a side dish. Enjoy!

3. Kale Chips
Kale chips are very easy to make, and absolutely delicious to eat. It’s best to use the curly kale rather than the dinosaur kale when making chips.

You need: 1 bunch kale, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. With a knife, remove the stems from the leaves and tear the leaves into bite sized pieces. Toss kale with olive oil until coated, then sprinkle with salt. Bake until the edges are brown, but not burnt–about 10-15 minutes.

4. Soups
One of the easiest ways to use kale is just to add it to a homemade soup. Personally, we like to make sausage, potato, and kale soup.

5. Salads
Here’s where kale can go very wrong if used incorrectly. You don’t want to just toss chopped kale into a salad and start to eat it, as it will be tough, chewy, and bitter. Kale likes to have a little massage first (don’t we all?). After removing the stem and tearing the leaves into smaller pieces, toss it in a bowl with 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Then massage the leaves until they are soft and silky. They will also reduce about 1/3 in size and turn a bit darker green. Then just add whatever toppings and dressing you enjoy!

So when you’re shopping this weekend, pick up a great big bunch of those leafy greens, and give one or more of these recipes a try! To learn more contact Legacy Chiropractic in Cary NC for more information.


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Legacy Chiropractic
201 Davis Grove Circle #106
Cary, NC 27519
(919) 363-2277