Let’s face the facts; most of us know that there are amazing benefits to eating kale. 1 cup of raw kale only has 33 calories and yet it contains 684% of vitamin K, 134% of vitamin C, 206% of Vitamin A plus iron, folate, omega-3s, magnesium, calcium, iron, fiber and 2 grams of protein!
BUT, for most people, the bitterness of kale makes it more difficult to stomach. Even throwing it in a smoothie can result in forcing down your formerly delicious smoothie.
SO, here are some tips for making your kale a little more palatable:
Try Baby Kale
Smaller, softer, and tenderer, young kale is more expensive but it’s also a lot gentler. Baby kale might be a better fit if you’re trying to introduce a bit more kale into your diet but aren’t happy with the taste.
Freeze Your Greens
Even if it’s only half frozen, kale will be less pungent and taste less bitter when frozen. As an added bonus, it helps makes the smoothie colder and it lasts longer! You can de-rib it, rinse it, and throw it in the freezer, then grab as much as you need and throw it into the blender for a healthier morning power drink.
Steam or Blanch It
Lightly steaming or blanching your kale can break down the cellular structure, potentially increasing its digestibility and your ability to absorb some of the kale’s nutrients. Be sure you don’t overdo it though. Your greens should brighten and the colours will pop, that is when you need to stop cooking it. Once it starts losing colour, you’re losing nutrients. Some medical professionals are worried about raw greens negatively affecting people with thyroid conditions, and steaming may help reduce this problem.
If you’re just starting out with green smoothies, consider wading instead of diving right into the deep end; toss some romaine in your blender and get used to a more vegetal taste for a week or two first, and just add a little bit of kale at a time to your smoothies.
Mask the Flavor
When you’re first getting used to the kale, it’s ok to go heavy on the extra-sweet fruits, such as pineapple and strawberries, in order to cover up the flavor a little bit. Almond, cashew, or peanut butter can help mask the flavor while boosting protein too.
Here is a great recipe for a tropical kale smoothie too!