October 2 is National Kale Day! Finally, your favorite cruciferous veggie has its own (for now, unofficial) holiday. Kale has risen to #1 on the (Vitamin) A-list of superfoods and is the most ubiquitous leafy green in American health food aisles today. Looking for ways to celebrate the Queen of Greens?
Here are 10 great ways to ring in National Kale Day wherever you are:
1. Turn your kitchen into a kale spa.
Put a handful of loosely torn kale in a bowl, pour some olive oil and lemon juice over it, sprinkle some Himalayan salt and cayenne pepper on top, then massage. Yes, you heard me: Give your salad a massage!
Then, give it some avocado and some seasonal veggies of your choice. Top it off with some nuts or seeds and ... voilà! Your kale is now relaxed, and hopefully you are, too!
2. Make a kale smoothie.
Not quite sure what to do with that HUGE bunch of kale in your fridge? When in doubt, blend, baby, blend! Kale is the perfect smoothie addition, especially in early Fall. It’s a hearty way to add more protein, fiber and nutrients to any shake.
Easy kale smoothie recipe:
- 1 to 2 handfuls of kale
- 1 cup of coconut water
- 1 banana
- Couple of tablespoons of almond butter
- Half an apple
- Half a pear
- Pinch of vanilla powder
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Fresh ginger (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon of mesquite powder
- Half to 1 tsp of matcha powder for a creamy and satisfying, but also healthy and energizing fall morning treat.
Blend everything (preferably in a Vitamix) and enjoy!
3. Make a kale juice.
Juice some kale with cucumber, celery, lemon, ginger and apple for a delicious cruciferous cocktail. It’s a great way to inject your body with a large dose of kale quickly.
4. Dress yourself in kale.
Green is the new black. Opt for a simple but elegant green shirt with a modest “Kale” written across the chest, or be daring with tees that say “Kale is the new beef,” or “Kale yeah!” or “Real men eat kale.” (They do.) Or get your style straight from the Paris runways with très chic trends from my friend Kristen Beddard's The Kale Project.
5. Start a kaleversation.
Join a series of Google+ hangouts featuring info on kale history and its amazing health benefits, hosted by Dr. Drew Ramsey and chef Jennifer Iserloh, the authors of must-read book 50 Shades of Kale, and featuring more exciting guests ... including, me! Come and hangout with us on Google+ for a "Good morning, National Kale Day!" breakfast chat at 8am. You can also declare your love for kale on Twitter or Facebook with hashtag #NationalKaleDay
6. Help a friend lose his or her kale virginity.
You always remember your first time eating kale. Sometimes the first time can be a bit awkward and strange, but you get used to it and soon even enjoy it as you mature. Be a friend and help your veggie-deprived friends fall in love with this sexy vegetable. Luckily, kale is a polygamous food. One minute it’s in bed with a raw, vegan meal and the next, wrapped around a meat or fish-filled entrée. If your friends aren't turned on by raw cruciferous veggies, try introducing them to some crunchy kale chips. Or turn up the heat on your stove and sautée some kale in coconut oil, garlic and onions for a simple side.
7. Get downward with your kale and do some yoga.
Make sure to feed your body and your mind on National Kale Day. Scarfing down a bowlful of kale on the run as you stress about your job and 451 different things on your to-do list isn’t the way to ring in this holiday. Kale consumption should be part of a healthy lifestyle all year long.
So, before you sit down for your kale-inspired meal, make sure to connect with yourself, connect with your body, and connect to the world around you. Breathe in, breathe out. Add some good karma to your kale.
8. Host a kale party.
Invite your friends over for a kalebration!
Start with kale-inspired mocktails. Juice some kale with lime, cilantro, cucumber and celery for a refreshing way to toast to your health.
Move on to appetizers. Think: kale chips, kale hummus, kale guacamole.
For the main event, enjoy kale in all of its splendor—massaged, sautéed, mixed with quinoa or lentils then stuffed into seasonal squash, grilled in a kale and millet burger or .... you choose—the possibilities are endless! Try my Kalearoni & Cheese recipe.
Finish off with a sweet kale-avocado chocolate mousse or kale cupcakes.
9. Spread the kale love.
Don't be shy. Express your love for kale any way you can. Belt out “Oh Say Kale you see…” with your hand over your heart. Write a kale-flavored poem. Or recite my ode to kale. Dance through your local supermarket aisle holding a bunch of kale.
10. Vote for kale!
Wishing you a happy, healthy holiday!