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How to make kale taste “better”: Cooking tips & delicious recipes

A question we hear often is: how can I make kale taste better? We hear you! While kale has amazing health benefits and is absolutely delicious, for some the texture might take a bit of getting used to. So if you’ve tried kale and found it to be the opposite of delicious, we have a few cooking techniques we think will change your mind! 

Here’s a fun DIY cooking activity to experiment with kale:

This is an easy cooking technique that will help you pay attention to the differences in taste and texture of the kale depending on how it’s treated. Take note of the effects of the salt, acid, and fat on the kale and why. Take mental notes of the flavor and texture differences of the kale leaves themselves (not the ingredients that the kale was treated with). When it comes to kale, there are so many ways to create with it —so try to keep an open mind!

1. Get some fresh kale. We recommend either curly or red Russian —they’re usually readily available. And try to get younger varieties as they have a nicer texture. 

2. Clean, spin dry, or pat with a paper towel. Then, rip and divide the kale into two batches. We recommend holding onto the stem firmly with one hand and pulling the leaves off the stem with the other hand.

3. Taste a piece of raw kale.

4. Finally, prepare the kale using one of the two methods below: 

  • Massaged Kale

Mash a ripe avocado and add it to a bowl with clean, washed, dried, and de-stemmed kale leaves. Using your hands, gently massage the soft avocado into the leaves of kale for a few minutes. Don’t be shy! You are trying to break it down a bit.

  • Seasoned Kale

Chop or break the kale up into small pieces and add to a bowl. Drizzle very lightly with extra virgin olive oil, squeeze half a lemon, and add sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Toss the kale with all these ingredients, pressing slightly. Note: you can also try the techniques of “massaged kale” with “seasoned kale” (without the oil). It’s delicious.

5 plant-based kale recipes

  1. Kale, Avocado & Tempeh Salad

Kale Avocado Tempeh Salad recipe from Swich

Try the recipe: Kale, Avocado & Tempeh Salad.

2. Kale & Basil Pesto

Kale & Basil Pesto Recipe from Swich

Try the recipe: Kale & Basil Pesto.

3. Cheezy Cashew Kale Chips

Cheezy Cashew Kale Chips Recipe from Swich


Try the recipe: Cheezy Cashew Kale Chips.

4. Mushroom & Lentil Stew

Mushroom & Lentil Stew recipe from Swich

Try the recipe: Mushroom & Lentil Stew.

5. Kale Polenta

Kale Polenta recipe from Swich

Try the recipe: Kale Polenta.

Looking to add more plants to your diet? Check out these meal prep tips and a guide for how to cook dried beans.

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Tags: Cooking Tips Recipes Plant Based Cooking
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