Home » Hate Kale? Read this.

Hate Kale? Read this.

I used to have a hard time with kale – eating and digesting it to be honest. The robust and sturdy deep green leaves are now famous for their vast nutritional benefits – calcium, iron, and vitamin K to name a few – but healthy as they are, these fibrous plants can be laborious to chew and upsetting to sensitive stomachs.

But fear not! I’ve discovered a method of preparing kale that not only makes it taste delicious, but it also softens the tough leaves, making them easy to eat without causing any digestive discomfort.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Massaging kale is key. It may sound absurd, but rubbing and squeezing the leaves between your hands with some sort of acid – lemon juice for example – is essential for breaking down the fibers. One or two minutes of massaging makes all the difference, so never skip this important step.
  2. Don’t eat the stem. At least not raw. I have heard from readers that finely chopping and sautéing the stems and then adding them to vegetable soups or stews, is a great way to prevent food waste. But if you’re making a salad, or have gut issues, I wouldn’t recommend eating the stem. Remove the woody stem – and the rib that runs all the way up the leaf – before chopping the leaves and you’ll majorly improve the taste and texture of your next kale salad.
  3. Acid, fat, salt, sweet, and crunchy. That’s the magic combo when it comes to dressing a kale salad. For me, a blend of fresh, tart lemon juice, with creamy tahini, and chunky sea salt provide the ideal flavor enhancers for a kale salad. I also like to add something sweet like dried cranberries and/or chopped apples because adding an element of something sweet makes each bite a little more interesting. Contrast is so important when developing flavor. Sweet and savory play well together, and combining textures, like creamy and crunchy, will make any dish about 100 times more enjoyable.

My last tip is to try this recipe. I call it My Favorite Kale Salad. It could also be called My Staple Kale Salad because it’s a staple meal prep recipe in my kitchen and I eat this salad very regularly – usually as a side dish, which I guess is another tip:

  • Eating a whole bowl of kale is a lot for my stomach, but having it prepped in the fridge as a quick side dish for weeknight meals is ideal and I still look forward to having this with dinner many nights a week.

There are many varieties of kale, and even more ways to prepare it, so if you haven’t had luck in the past, hopefully these tips will help you.

For those of you who are already fans of kale, I would love to hear about your favorite ways to prepare it so please share your recipes below in the comments so I can try them at home!


Nicole Vranjican

Hey! I’m Nicole and I make practical vegan recipes for REAL life. I cook with simple, easy to find ingredients and I’m passionate about creating delicious plant-based meals that everyone will love!

I hope you enjoy my recipes and videos :) Happy Cooking!

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