Our taste buds can take us on a trip to flavor town or have us vividly recalling a food experience that once made us sick. The fact that our bodies can bring back these experiences as sharply as though they happened yesterday, is pretty amazing.
For a while, scientists believed that a particular taste could trigger your brain to recall the memory associated with that flavor. More recent studies indicate that it’s more about experiencing the flavor of the thing that made you sick, in the same setting. Your brain is less likely to respond with the same level of aversion if you try the food in a different place.1
That being said, if you’ve tried and hated kale, not only should you try one of these new preparations, maybe try tasting your creation someplace other than where you first tried it.
Why You Should Give Kale a Second Chance
It’s bitter, it’s tough, and its flavor is neither sweet nor desirable on its own. Why in the world should you bother trying it again? If your experience with kale sounds like that, it’s possible you’ve eaten it in its raw form, and raw kale can be very difficult to enjoy.
There are ways to prepare kale that take away or mask its unpleasant flavors, and you may want to consider giving these food prep ideas a try because the nutritional benefits of this green certainly outweigh the yuck-worthy flavors.
1. It’s Packed Full of Vitamins and Minerals including:
|2. It’s High in Antioxidants|
|3. It Can Help Lower Your Cholesterol|
4. Kale is Good for Your Eyes because it contains:
|5. It’s Low Calorie and High Water Content May Help You Lose Weight|
Ways to Prepare Kale That Actually Taste Good
1. Blanche It
Blanching is the process of briefly boiling your veggies and then dunking them in ice water. You’ll only be doing this for a couple of minutes, so you don’t have to worry about stripping the leaves of all that good nutrition.
Not only does blanching give the kale a more vibrant green color, it pulls out the bitterness and helps destroy bacteria that may cause your greens to spoil more quickly.2 This is an especially smart move if you plan to freeze or dehydrate and store your kale.
After a quick blanche, you can proceed to tossing it with a citrusy or creamy salad dressing or start the dehydration process (as you will see when we talk about baking it).
2. Bake It
Baking your kale is an easy way to make kale chips! Make sure you’ve blanched them first to help with the bitterness and to make sure your chips stay fresh longer. You can add a variety of tasty seasonings, just like you would do for potato chips. This is a good one to keep in mind when you’re craving a snackable crunch and don’t want the guilt of eating high calorie potato chips.
3. Blend It
Yumm, a kale smoothie. It actually tastes better than it sounds because you can add a lot of other flavorful ingredients. Blanching can help your process here as well and not just for the sake of flavor. If you have a basic blender, you may have trouble blending up the tough kale. A quick boil can help make the leaves tender enough to whip up. Another interesting tip comes from Healthy Food Tribe. They recommend frozen kale for your smoothie because it’s easier to blend than its fresh counterpart.
Try out one of these prep ideas and let us know what you made and how it tastes! For more food ideas, check out these tips for cooking with peanut butter. You can also read on how to cook up and serve up pomegranates, cranberries, and radishes before they go out of season! To access our monthly blog post highlights, subscribe to our newsletter today.
- Hatfield, Heather. “The Science Behind How We Taste.” WebMD, WebMD, 16 May 2005, https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/science-how-we-taste#4.
- Hendon, Louise. “Why Blanch Vegetables?” Paleo Flourish, 31 Oct. 2017, https://paleoflourish.com/why-blanch-vegetables/.