11 Ways to Eat Kale

| Food

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Kale is flexing its muscles, begging you to put its superfood nutrition into your daily routine. The benefits of this vegetable from the cabbage family are just too good to be ignored. Kale is packed with protein, fiber, essential vitamins, folate and omega-3. Despite its obvious strength, it might not be the first thing you reach for when you're putting together a delectable meal. Maybe you aren't a fan of the bitter, earthy flavor or you can't stand how long it takes to chew. Do not dismay! There are many ways to cook with kale that will soon make it the staple for your favorite dish. Better yet, the kids will gobble it up. Here are some ways you can eat kale that will help you get the undeniable benefits and enjoy it while you're at it.

Raw in a salad: Before you disregard the most obvious, potentially boring way to eat this leafy green, here's a secret tip: Give those tough leaves a nice rubdown with your hands and a little dressing to soften it up. This will make it easier to chew and still give you all the health benefits. Try a new, flavorful dressing to really enhance your salad.

>> Read more: 12 Mason Jar Salads That Will Kick Start Your Lunch Break

Kale chips: Put down the potato chips. Here is the perfect alternative snack to lose the guilt and lose the bloat. Look no further for a salty indulgence that is good for you. You might be surprised how popular they will become in your home. Kids love them too! Check out this recipe for kale chips.

Soup: Toss your new green friend into the pot with the rest of the fixins to amp up your soup choice. As it simmers, it will soften up and work like any of your favorite greens, but this time with a better punch of healthy. Try this soup recipe with kale from Post Punk Kitchen.

Smoothie: Here is your healthy go-to for your busy days that tastes just as good as it is for you. Just toss in your kale with a liquid base, ripe fruit and an extra superfood topping booster or two. Blend it all together and you're good to go. Check out this article on how to make the best green smoothies.

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>> Check out these recipes for 14 Fiber-Filled Fruity Smoothies

Burger: This variation of a veggie burger lets you get the nutritional value of kale in a familiar favorite with the toppings you love. Eat them plain or just like a traditional burger. Try this recipe from Skinny Ms.

Burrito shell: For this creative suggestion, use lacinato kale (or "dinosaur" kale). The leaves are flat and will wrap up your ingredients better. While kale might not be the biggest leaf, you can still create little burritos and use toothpicks to hold them together. This way you aren't indulging in tortillas and your substitute is far more nutritious.

Pizza: You don't have to give up your favorite meal in order to follow a healthy diet. Just change it up a bit. Serious Eats gives you valuable tips on how to make the best kale pizza.

>> Read more: A New Breed of Kale

Dip: It doesn't have to be served raw and whole. Blending kale into your favorite hummus dip gives you a subtle version of that kale flavor in a healthy snack. Oh My Veggies has an awesome roasted garlic and kale hummus that you can pair with your favorite low-cal cracker.

Pasta: Serve it in your kids' favorite macaroni and cheese or whip up this Gluten-Free Kale and Chicken Sausage Pasta for an Italian twist on your new favorite superfood.

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>> Check out this article about the sexy side of kale in 50 Shades of Kale Cookbook.

Steamed: This is likely one of the fastest and most popular ways to prepare kale. Steam chopped kale with garlic for great flavor and toss it with your favorite dressing. Do this while the kale is still hot for the best results.

Sauteed: Keep it simple. Add olive oil, garlic, a splash of lemon juice and your favorite fresh vegetables for a colorfully yummy dish for any meal. Chop up some cooked chicken for additional protein. Use this recipe from Eating Well for a starting point to your favorite sauteed kale recipe.

Be fearless with your kale concoctions in the kitchen. Alone, it might not be the first thing you grab, but spice things up with these different ways to cook with kale and you've got an essential element to your diet. You won't be sorry for trying to find a place for this superfood in your meals!

>> Check out more kid-approved veggie recipes here.