How to Make Kale Taste Good

Most of my work involves helping people eat and enjoy vegetables more often. After all, we all know vegetables and leafy greens are good for us, and yet most of us don't eat them nearly enough. Usually, that's because we don't really know how to prepare the vegetables in a way that we'll find tasty.

Today's post is specifically about kale — one of the vegetable kingdom's overachievers — and how to make it taste good. But first, some caveats:

Fact #1

Kale isn't going to taste good if you're used to eating processed foods (i.e. fast food, frozen entrees, chips, candy, soda, etc.). But don't let that stop you… keep reading!

Fact #2

The good news: even if you're used to eating processed foods, your taste buds can change over time. In other words, the more healthy foods you eat — and the more frequently you eat them — the more you will start liking them, and even crave them!

Leafy greens — and kale, in particular — are an important part of a healthy diet. The many benefits of eating dark green leafy vegetables like kale include:

  • Rich in antioxidants that help the body resist disease, including cancer, cognitive decline, and high blood pressure, and heart disease.
  • High in fiber: this is important for healthy digestion and moving toxins out of the body.
  • Rich in nutrients that support healthy skin.
  • Good source of calcium, magnesium, and folate.

So now that we've revisited the “why” to eat your greens, here's the how:

1. Start small

Don't order a super-sized kale salad if you're unaccustomed to eating dark leafy greens; chances are, you'll hate the salad and swear off kale forever. Instead, start incorporating small amounts of kale into your meals and dishes. For example, you might slice some thinly, and add to your favorite salad, or add a couple of leaves into your morning smoothie.

2. Add fruit

There's a reason kale smoothies are so popular — fruit! People like knowing that they're benefiting from the kale, and they also like the fact that their smoothies taste like banana instead of kale. One of my favorite ways to incorporate kale into the diet is to add a couple of leaves to a smoothie, or to use it in a salad and add some fruit to provide a sweet counterbalance to the bitter greens. For example, try garnishing a kale salad with fresh berries, chopped dates, raisins, currants or fresh sliced stone fruit. Delicious!

3. Use lemon

A squeeze of lemon can help smooth out the intense “green” taste when using kale in fresh juices, smoothies or salads.

4. Dress appropriately

The key to a delicious kale salad is to make sure the greens are adequately dressed, and I find the best way to do this is by getting hands-on. To dress your kale salad, add shredded kale to a mixing bowl. Add some dressing, and use clean hands to “massage” the dressing onto the greens, making sure the dressing is incorporated equally onto the greens. Keep massaging lightly until the greens become ever-so-slightly “wilted” — this helps break down the leaves and make them more palatable.

5. Keep trying

If at first you don't fall in love with kale (it would be incredible if you did, but it's unlikely) keep trying. Remember, leafy greens can be an acquired taste in our drive-through, over-salted, cheese-puff culture. Keep trying kale in different ways and preparations, and eventually your taste buds will catch up with your heart's desire to eat more healthfully.

Need some more ideas and recipes?

Just follow the link below, and you’ll get instant access to 3 of my most popular kale recipes:

  • The Easy-on-the-Green Smoothie (low “green” intensity)
  • Nacho Cheese Kale Chips (medium intensity)
  • Massaged Kale Salad (high — for kale lovers)

The recipes offer a variety of kale “intensity” — a tasty smoothie for beginners, kale chips for intermediate veggie eaters, and a kale salad for the advanced veggie eaters. Enjoy!

Click Here to Get Recipes

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