The Do’s and Don’ts for Cooking Kale

red-kalePeople tell me that they’ve tried to like kale, but just never managed to make it taste good…. and many say that their kale chips just don’t turn out well or they don’t like the taste of raw kale.

In honor of National Kale Day tomorrow (October 1, 2014), here’s the Do’s and Don’ts of Kale Cookery so you can make totally tasty, crisp, sweet, or finger lickin’ good kale while avoiding cooking snafus.

Kale Do’s

  • blendtec-pestoCan’t get your kale chips right? Follow this easy kale chip recipe, for perfect chips every time. Remove the stem for the crispiest chips and reserve the stems to make you own homemade chicken broth. Do dry kale well after you wash it and leave enough space in between the leaves on the baking sheet to crisp well with no soggy spots.
  • If you’ve struggled with kale in the past, do start with an easy kale recipe, like this delicious kale pesto from “50 Shades of Kale”, that I made in my Blendtec blender: Take 1 cup fresh basil leaves, 2 cups kale leaves, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup walnuts and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth.
  • Do season kale chips and salads with other highly nutritious flavorings like lemon, Parmesan, pumpkin seeds, spices, and fresh herbs like basil, thyme, and dill.
  • Do “sear” your kale in a hot skillet with high smoke point oil like canola, light olive oil, or coconut oil. Just heat a large skillet over high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil along with washed dry kale. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and press down with a lid or spatula. Cook 30 seconds and flip the kale. Cook another 30 seconds and serve.
  • blended-pestoDo thinly slice kale to add it into any comfort food recipe. Add the sliced/finely chopped kale during the last 5 minutes of cooking or to the casserole filling before you bake. Toss into fried rice, enchilada filling, taco meat, meatball mixtures, burger meat, and marinara sauce before you heat it.
  • Do store your kale in a loose plastic or paper bag in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer. Fresh farmer’s market kale will keep in your fridge for up to 3 weeks.


  • Do’s and Don’ts of kale cookery for tasty, crisp, sweet, or finger lickin’ good kale! — Click to tweet »
  • Follow this easy kale chip recipe for perfect chips every time: — Click to tweet »
  • Delicious kale pesto made in a #Blendtec: — Click to tweet »

Kale Don’ts

  • Don’t boil kale, is releases more of the strong smelling sulfur compounds and makes the leaves slimy while damaging most of the nutrients. To preserve nutrients, don’t cook kale for more than 10 minutes over high heat (in a skillet or oven at 400°F). Limit baking kale to 25 to 30 minutes at 350°F.
  • Don’t prewash kale before using, it can wilt the leaves quickly.
  • Don’t toss out wilted kale — simply slice it up, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Wilted kale makes a tasty tender salad compared to the crisper leaves. If you want to make a raw kale salad, thinly slice kale, toss with olive oil and salt, and store in the fridge over night to tenderize, then serve.
  • Don’t serve kale raw to kale newbies — instead, blend kale into smoothies, kale mayo, kale pestos, make kale chips or saute kale. Raw kale has a tough texture and doesn’t hold sauces well.

Looking For More Info On Kale?

Join National Kale Day, a movement to bring more awareness around this incredible superfood. Sign to petition to make October 2nd, a kale celebration across the US!

Check out other kale-centric posts, like Kale and Oxalates, 5 Ways to Get More Kale into Your Diet, and How to Make Kale Fudge Pops, Getting Kids to Eat Kale, or Kale and Other Diabetes Superfoods.


  • Don’t toss out wilted kale — simply slice it up, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper: — Click to tweet »
  • Don’t boil kale, it makes the leaves slimy while damaging most of the nutrients: — Click to tweet »
  • Don’t prewash kale – it can wilt the leaves quickly: — Click to tweet »

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