Veg intimidation: make kale taste delicious

Last week we talked about artichokes. Today, let’s talk one of the world’s favorite (kinda stinky) greens:


All things kale  1 of 1

Kale is a nutrient-packed powerhouse and yields some fantastic dietary benefits including iron, Vitamin K, calcium, and an antioxidant boost. It’s funny to think that something I wasn’t crazy about at first attempt is now one of my all-time favorite greens.

Jalapeno salsa kale chips  1 of 1 2

The problem with my start with kale was that I really had no idea how to use it, so I blended it in a smoothie. (Word to the world: if it’s your first time enjoying kale, I don’t recommend the smoothie route. It can be a little… real. And by “real” I mean it tastes like gym feet.)

Simple kale prep:

All things kale

1) Wash and dry.

2) Remove the rib.

3) Chop.

Here are some of the best ways to enjoy kale:

1) Kale chips. These are so much easier to make than they seem, and much more cost effective. I’ve noticed that a bag of kale chips will average around $6 at the health food store, and you can make a giant batch for less than 5. 

Here’s a new kale chip recipe I came up with this week: JALAPEÑO SALSA KALE CHIPS (<– it needed to be screamed)

Jalapeno salsa kale chips


Jalapeño Salsa Kale Chips

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A delightfully spicy twist on the classic kale chips

  • Prep Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour


  • 1 bunch of kale, washed, ribs removed and torn into chip-size pieces
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least one hour and rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, stem removed
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast + more for sprinkling
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Sea salt for sprinkling


  1. In a high-speed blender, blend the cashews, salsa, lime juice, jalapeño and nutritional yeast until you have a smooth and creamy mixture.
  2. Place the kale in a large bowl and pour the cashew mixture on top.
  3. Use your hands or a spoon to massage the coating onto the kale. (If you’re worried about the spiciness, wear gloves or use a spoon. Remember to wash your hands well after making this and don’t touch your eyes after handling anything spicy!)
  4. Place the coated kale onto a baking sheet or Teflexx-lined dehydrator sheets if you’ll be using the dehydrator.
  5. Sprinkle with extra nutritional yeast and a little sea salt.
  6. Dehydrate at 115 degrees overnight, until crispy and perfect. You can also cook these in the oven with the door ajar on the lowest setting.

2) Massage it. Turn the lights down low and put on a little John Legend while you’re at it.

Kale salad  1 of 1

Here’s my favorite massaged kale recipe:

1/2 avocado on the bottom of a large bowl

Add a drizzle of olive oil

A drizzle of Nama Shoyu, soy sauce or tamari

A drizzle of honey

A sprinkle each of garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper

Use a fork to mash the avocado into the liquids and spices until you have a smooth, creamy dressing.

Add your kale (a bunch of kale, washed and ribs removed)

Massage the mixture to fully coat the kale, using both hands. By doing so, you’re helping to break down the kale which slightly wilts it and will make it easier to eat. It gives raw kale a “cooked” texture without heating.

3) Saute it. Add a little olive oil, butter or ghee to a pan on medium heat, your kale, and season well with garlic, sea salt, pepper and cayenne. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top and serve.

4) Use it as a wrapper for a sandwich or lettuce wraps.

5) Mix it with a starchy veggie, goat cheese, and dill or chives. Green sweet potatoes is a delicious side dish, even though I wouldn’t necessarily serve it to company 😉

6) Juice it. A little goes a long way, and it’s a great way to add a green boost to fresh juices. Hint for juicing greens: “sandwich” them between something firmer, like a cucumber or apple. I’ll add a chunk of apple, some kale or spinach and another chunk of apple before pushing the entire thing through the juicer.

Kale: yay or nay?

Veggie you once hated but now love?

More of my favorite kale recipes:

Kale salad mountain

Cool ranch kale chips

Sour cream and onion kale chips

BBQ kale chips

Kale Caesar

Hope you have a lovely night!



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  1. Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl on April 22, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    I LOVE kale! Kale chips are one of my favorites and I recently started added it to my green smoothies and was amazed that you cannot even taste it in there!

  2. Jackie on April 22, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Yum! Gotta make those chips!

  3. Lauren on April 22, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Yay! My favorite easy dinner is kale, mushrooms, and a sliced link of Trader Joe’s chicken sausage sauteed together – sooo yummy and easy!

  4. Meg @ A Dash of Meg on April 22, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    ahhhhhh this post came to me at such a perfect time! thanks so much lovie!!!!!!! i have kale in the fridge and i have just been having it in salads over and over again so thanks for the ideas <3

  5. Hilary on April 22, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    I’m not a huge kale fan but I added it to my egg white scramble this week and it is so delicious! As long as it is cooked I am a fan haha

  6. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! on April 22, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    I ALWAYS think kale tastes delicious! 😉

  7. Leah O on April 22, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    I love me some kale. My favorite recipe is the kale salad recipe from Angela on ohsheglows. I think it’s called the best kale salad. Can’t wait to make the kale chips!!

  8. Courtney Bentley on April 22, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    I always show clients herbs and spices as my FIRST introduction, once you get that down you can make anything taste delish! I love your healthy spin on kale though YUM! Lots of love C

  9. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on April 22, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    I would put kale in the category of an “advanced green” for someone trying to eat healthy, i.e., it’s such a strange taste that it can easily turn someone off.

    I’ve loved kale for some time and use it in many ways. I saute it in coconut oil, salt and pepper to taste and put it on top of pasta. I also mix it into my green smoothies.

    One thing I haven’t done is massage it with dressing for a salad, so that’s up next.

    What do you think of mustard greens? I see those in the fresh greens section at the grocery store and haven’t tried them yet.

  10. char eats greens on April 22, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    I do love kale! Love it in smoothies, and lately, my fave is just sautéing in a pan with EVOO and pink sea salt until it’s crisped up. YUM!

  11. Megan @ The Skinny-Life on April 22, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    I love kale! It’s been making a more frequent appearance in my salads especially now that it’s so hot here. Brussels sprouts I used to hate but now I love them. They are like candy to me!

  12. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on April 22, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Your kale chips are the bomb dot com. I love them!!

  13. Crystal on April 22, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Kale is one of my favorite veggies! One tip for taking the stinky-ness out for smoothies: de-stem the kale and put it in a ziplock bag and freeze overnight. Then you can add it to your smoothie and there is no stinky feet taste. Also, you can keep it longer and preserve the nutrients by freezing. Perfect for those of us with an over abundance of kale from the garden!

  14. Amanda @ MoveLoveEat on April 22, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    I love the idea of Kale chips, I have only tried them once and I overcooked them a little so they weren’t so flash, I really should try again!

  15. Justina on April 23, 2014 at 12:05 am

    Ha ha ha, I love kale in my smoothies. I think the key is to only use one leaf and then the other fruit hides the taste.

  16. Laura B @ FitMamaLove on April 23, 2014 at 12:50 am

    I didn’t love kale until I learned the massaging technique from you! Now it’s my favorite! I love it massaged with olive oil, salt, garlic and lemon, topped with pecorino Romano. So good!

  17. Polly @ Tasty Food Project on April 23, 2014 at 1:47 am

    I haven’t made kale chips in a long time! Looks yummy! I usually put kale in my green smoothies to get my nutrients in the morning!

  18. Stephanie Clark on April 23, 2014 at 4:08 am

    Oh wow, I want to try ALL of these!!!!

  19. Tara | Treble in the Kitchen on April 23, 2014 at 4:59 am

    Great ideas!! Gonna have to try the kale chips…just getting into my first bag of nutritional yeast 🙂

  20. Runner Girl Eats on April 23, 2014 at 6:00 am

    I admit-while I love kale chips when other people make them…I am always hesitant to make it myself. Thanks for the tips and recipe ideas!

  21. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance on April 23, 2014 at 9:18 am

    I’m a huge kale fan but man does it smell sometimes!

  22. Kyra on April 23, 2014 at 9:39 am

    thanks for the juicing tip! I always try to put kale through by Breville and it seems to just disappear! Sandwiching it should help 🙂

  23. Becky @ Goodness Grapevine on April 23, 2014 at 10:35 am

    LOVE kale. Kale is a staple in our home. I probably make something with kale at least every other day… My husband is starting to wonder when we’ll be off the kale phase. 🙂 I say never.

  24. Ali on April 23, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Is the flavor between the dinosaur and the curly kale different? They only sell curly where I live but I love it. It goes in everything, but my favorite way to make it is with onions and mushrooms (sauté onions, mushrooms, and garlic, salt and pepper; add in kale; add veggie broth and let simmer until kale is cooked). Such a good and flavorful side dish.

    • Fitnessista on April 23, 2014 at 11:01 am

      i think the taste is very similar, just different textures.

  25. lucie on April 23, 2014 at 10:50 am

    I love Kale, but we can not get it here in Switzerland, so sad!! I ate it like crazy when I was in the US 🙂
    I used to hate Brussels Sprout and today I love them.

  26. Tracy on April 23, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    LOVE kale! Crave it on the regular. I definitely had a slow warm-up to kale and think it’s a bit of an acquired taste. Knowing how to prepare it is key! Thanks for all the great suggestions. I love to sauté it and scramble in some eggs. It’s funny…I don’t think I’d even heard of it 5 years ago!

  27. Britt on April 23, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Do you have any advice on how long to bake the kale for if I bake it in the oven?


    • Fitnessista on April 23, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      hmm, i would check it in 30 minutes and see how it’s doing. make sure to put it on the lowest setting and keep the door slightly ajar

      • Britt on April 23, 2014 at 7:10 pm

        Ok!!!!! Thank you !!!!

  28. Jessica H on April 23, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    I absolutely adore kale! My favorite way to eat it lately is a garlicky salad modeled after the dish on the Whole Foods bar. I found a great recipe for it ( and my husband actually likes it- in the past he has proclaimed that “No one really likes kale, they just eat it because it’s healthy.”

  29. Frank on April 26, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    I’m not a big fan of kale but I’m definitely going to have to try it this way, thanks for sharing.

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