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Today Is Your Day to Fall in Love with Kale {Recipes}

by Elise Museles

National Kale DayWednesday, October 7th is “officially” National Kale Day.

That’s right, National Kale Day is a designated day to celebrate the eating, growing and sharing of this cruciferous super-veggie.

As you know, kale is jam-packed with phytonutrients, antioxidants, and fiber. And whether you’re a green smoothie worshipper, plant-based lover, or just like to toss some extra leafies into your meals, I know you’re totally on board with the importance of infusing more dark, leafy greens into your life.

To me, celebrating this versatile, powerhouse of a vegetable means so much more than just appreciating food. Celebrating kale represents an inspiring movement.

Do you remember when kale was basically everyone’s leafy green nemesis? Casually mentioning kale recipes would cause a whole lot of eye rolling and an occasional gag reflex.

I was an early kale adopter, but I cringe to admit that I wasn’t exactly reveling in its flavor. Then, I didn’t care much about flavor at all. I was solely focused on measuring out my recommended daily dose of the latest superfood and robotically munching on its bitter, raw leaves because it was “good for me,” not because I actually got any enjoyment from it.

Fast forward to present day, and this story seems unreal. There are literally thousands of creative, exciting, and wildly delicious ways to enjoy this leafy green. Search #kale on social media and an entire array of mouthwatering dishes will instantly appear before your eyes. Sit down at any health-conscious restaurant and kale will most definitely be on the menu, oftentimes front and center.

Green Smoothie

And this brings me back to one of my favorite messages—pleasure. It took me a long time to realize that food is our friend, and having a healthy mindset & lifestyle is not about deprivation and eating boring foods (while doing punishing exercise). It seems that I, and many of you, have thrown that old mentality away. And while food’s primary function is to nourish our cells, it also gives us the opportunity to play with flavor and color, connect with people while savoring a meal, and even build new traditions to pass on where “health food” is innovative & enjoyable. (Yes, nutritious can be delicious!)

I think we can all agree that celebrating National Kale Day is not just about cheering for the vegetable. It’s really about cheering for and nourishing our own bodies in fascinating & appealing new ways.

In honor of National Kale Day, enjoy my all-time favorite kitchen creations starring our favorite leafy green.

An Ode to Kale Smoothies. Just because the green smoothie trend caused a lot of people to jump on the kale bandwagon, here are several kale smoothies that will not let you down. Try my Apple Pie Kale Smoothie or test out the Blueberry, Kale & Fig Oasis Smoothie from my soul sister, Ksenia, of Breakfast Criminals. Load up on nutritional boosts with toppings added to my signature green smoothie bowl or whip up the Kale & Chocolate Superfood Smoothie for total balance, of course!

Kale & Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash. If you like savory morning meals but crave just a little sweetness, then you’ll love this combination of kale and sweet potatoes with green apple thrown into the mix. Filled with antioxidants, fiber and good carbs, this powerhouse breakfast is an energizing way to start the day.

National Kale Day

Guac-Kale-Mole. How can you go wrong when you mix kale with avocado? This dish brings guacamole to a whole new level in taste & nutrition! It takes only minutes to make and will become one of your favorite go-to superfood snacks.

Kale Superfood Salad. Get creative in the kitchen and make {superfood} art with a vibrant & energizing kale salad. There are no rules. (Have you ever added cacao nibs to a salad?) Use kale as your canvas and splatter it with as many colors & textures as possible. Have fun!

Roasted Kale, Fig & Avocado Salad . This innovative salad is a nice break from the traditional raw salad, especially in cooler weather when your body naturally craves more cooked foods. Try using roasted kale as a base for other combinations of salad ingredients, too. It’s crunchy, hearty and delicious!

Now it’s your turn: Is there something healthy you love SO MUCH you want to make it a national holiday? Share it in the comments below!  I’ll start… National Turmeric Day. (Are you sipping on  Creamy Turmeric Lattes or sprinkling it on roasted veggies? Amazing!)

Happy National Kale Day!

8 Responses to Today Is Your Day to Fall in Love with Kale {Recipes}

  1. Dayna Shallenberger October 1, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    wow, quac-kale-mole! what a sweet name. that is a genius recipe that is going in my tummy asap.

    I wonder if there is a National Spinach Day? I eat and love spinach almost daily. Most Italian Americans have eaten spinach dishes from childhood and have traditional recipes. since I don’t eat wheat I don’t eat pasta anymore and even though I could use bean pasta or spaghetti squash I started using spinach as the sub for pasta and pizza.
    I could totes go on but you would probably celebrate Spinach Day with me, right?

    • Elise Museles October 1, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

      Dayna! We have a date to celebrate National Spinach Day:). I just looked it up. I love spinach, too, and actually like the way it tastes in smoothies a little more than kale. (Shhhh…don’t tell.) I am happy to hear you found healthy substitutions. Thanks for casting your leafy green vote.

  2. Stacey October 1, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

    Wow – I will have to try your guac using kale! And I saw your picture of the Tumeric latte and thought it looked absolutely divine! You have such interesting creations, Elise…as for me, I would love to have a National Cauliflower Day! I swear, I could eat cauliflower rice by the loads, and never get bored with it roasted. Has to be my absolute favorite and most versatile veggie 🙂

    • Elise Museles October 1, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

      Hi Stacey! I am so glad that you are going to try the Guac-Kale-Mole. It’s so funny that you mentioned cauliflower because I was thinking today about how that is one vegetable that can be used in a variety of ways. You could never get bored of it! Have you ever made cauliflower pizza crust??? You might have just sparked the next blog post. (Oh, and cauliflower roasted with turmeric and curry with a little olive oil and sea salt…my fave!)

  3. Monika October 1, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

    It’s great that a day like this one exists in the US, we need that too where I live. I can’t remember the last day I had kale, I think the only dish people use kale for is soup, but there are so much more possibilities. It’s a pity that it is so rarely served.
    But what many restaurants and a few people here celebrated is World-Vegetarian-day which also happens to be today.

    • Elise Museles October 1, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

      Monika!

      Happy World-Vegetarian Day! I love that it falls on our National Kale Day. I’m sorry that you do not have as much access to kale in your restaurants, but hopefully this post inspired you to use kale on your own in some creative ways. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Candace October 2, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    Hi Elise, love this article!!

    Especially need to try smooshing kale with avocado!

    Had my dose today. will go sort out the chocolate part now 🙂

    Happy Kale Day!

    • Elise Museles October 2, 2014 at 11:47 am #

      Definitely, Candace! Please don’t forget about the chocolate. Happy National Kale Day to you too.

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