How to Eat Raw Kale

How to eat raw kale

Since it’s the start of a new year, something that’s on my list of resolutions (and probably a few more out there as well) is to start eating healthier. One of the healthiest foods out there is kale. The problem with kale, especially if you’re not too familiar with it, is the question of what to do with it. Obviously it can be cooked in any way, but raw kale is a different story.

When I first starting buying kale, I expected to throw it into my salads like any other green. I’d seen and tried the “baby kale greens” at the grocery store which are tender and young, and naturally just figured that mature kale would be just as easy to work with. But if you’ve tried kale greens, you’ll know that if you eat one raw, you need to chew… and chew… and chew…

  How to eat raw kale

I wanted to find a way to get the texture and nutrition from kale without always having to cook with though. I tried adding lightly steamed and cooled kale at times, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. It wasn’t until one day, by accident; I came across the best way to eat kale! It takes very little prep work, and the kale lasts for well over a week. And it’s so easy!

Here’s how to eat raw kale:

Buy a head of kale. Bring it home, wash it, remove the stems and let it dry somewhat (it doesn’t need to be completely dried). Tear the head up into pieces (large, small – whatever you like) and put the kale into a bowl.

Grab a bottle of extra-virgin olive oil and drizzle a little bit over the kale, depending on how much kale you have. It doesn’t need to be saturated, so start light! With clean hands, mix the olive oil into the kale, coating all the leaves lightly. Again, you don’t have to be precise about it, just a basic mixing will do.

Take the bowl of kale, cover it, and put it in the refrigerator for several hours. I usually let it sit for a good day, sometimes two. When you unwrap the kale, it will be crispy and chewable – perfect for salads or eating raw.

  How to eat raw kale

One of the best things about this technique is that it livens up wilted kale pieces, too. And I’ve noticed that for me, at least, the kale lasts for up to two weeks without any noticeable change in texture.

I’ve been eating kale like crazy since I started doing this, and even my kids have been enjoying it. It will definitely be a part of our menu this new year!

~Mellie ★

Kale Soup for the Crockpot

Kale Soup for the Crockpot

Kale Soup for the Crockpot

Ah, kale.  When my sister and I first started bringing home bunches of kale to my mother, she was understandably perplexed.  My grandmother’s Slovak cooking taught her at least fifty different ways to cook a head of cabbage, but kale was a new one.  I remember how skeptical she was after she threw a handful of tough kale leaves into her salad and chewed, chewed, chewed

She’s come a long way since then, and kale has become a staple ingredient in our family get-togethers.  Last week, after we had been a little under the weather, she showed up at my door with a great big bowl of this kale vegetable soup.  It was so good.  Light, smooth, and healthy, it hit the spot.  And I was already on the phone calling her to get the recipe before I had finished the last bite.  I just had to make myself up a big batch.

This is her recipe for kale soup that I modified to make in the crockpot.  You can easily make it without the crockpot over the stove if you prefer.  Whenever given the choice, though, I always prefer the ease of the crockpot. This recipe is very forgiving as well.  You can alter the amounts of vegetables and kale, and you can cook it longer (I almost always cook my soups overnight) or eat it after a few hours.  Whatever you choose, it’s a delicious way to get your healthy greens in without sacrificing flavor.

Kale Soup for the Crockpot

 

Mother Blossom’s Kale Soup for the Crockpot

vegetarian * crockpot * 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 t olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (more or less, I opt for more garlic)
  • ¾ c chopped celery
  • 1-2 chopped carrots
  • salt and pepper
  • dash of thyme (optional)
  •  1 16-oz can petite diced tomatoes (or 1 ½ c skinned, chopped and seeded tomatoes with juices)
  • 1 can white beans (e.g. Cannellini), drained (or 1 ½ c of cooked white beans)
  • 12 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch curly green kale, stemmed and roughly chopped

Coat the bottom of the crockpot with oil.  Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots, stir.  Cover and cook on high for about a half hour.  Alternately, you can sauté these over the stovetop and place in the crockpot to save time.  Season with salt and pepper, and add a dash of thyme.

Add tomatoes (undrained), beans, and vegetable broth.  Add kale and stir gently.  Cover and cook on low for 4 hours up to 12 hours.  This soup tastes even better the next day.

Nutritional Facts per serving:
Calories: 96
Fat: 1.2 g
Cholesterol: 0
Sodium: 1272 mg
Potassium: 452 mg
Carbs: 18.4 g
Fiber: 4.3 g
Protein: 4.5 g
Iron: 11 %

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Now that the weather is officially cold, and the layer of snow that fell last week is not budging from the ground, I find myself putting soup on menus more and more.  What other meal is so warming to the soul on chilly days?  And I’m thinking that since now I have a huge pot of this kale soup in my refrigerator, I might return my mother’s favor and bring her over a big hot bowl today!

~ Mellie ★

 

A Kale Square for a Carrots Swap

Kale Crochet Square for Carrots Swap

Last week, I told you about the Carrots Swap that I joined over on Ravelry.  Today, I wanted to share with you the second square that I’m making – the Kale Square.

Kale Crochet Square for Carrots Swap

It’s a beautiful square isn’t it?  But oh my goodness, I didn’t know what I was in store for with all those bullions (roll stitches)!  This was my first time using a bullion stitch, and I’ll admit it took me a good few hours sitting around with my hook and youtube before finally feeling comfortable enough using the straw technique.  The video that I ended up using to help here is here.

Kale Crochet Square for Carrots Swap

The square took hours to complete – a *very* long time.  But you know, it was worth it, because it is such a beautiful square!  I did, however, start having some serious reservations thinking about whipping up another half dozen of these to send out for the swap, but maybe if I tackle a little here and a little there, I can get it done.

Kale Crochet Square for Carrots Swap

Upon reflection, mine doesn’t look so much like kale, but all those bullion rolls do kind of look like baby carrots to me!

The pattern is by Donna Kay Lacey, whose work I just love  You can find the Ravelry download for $1.99 here and my project here.