I know how you all think this is going to go. I’m going to tell you all about the great health benefits of kale, but you’re still going to continue eating your iceberg salads and Tostito’s chips. As a notoriously picky eater, I am a firm believer in avoiding any and all new delicacies. However, one day last year I tried kale and I will never be the same. While I began to indulge in kale salads, kale juices and kale chips in my native, ever-so-trendy state of New York, I thought there was no way I could enjoy my favorite healthy leaf in Tennessee. Upon my arrival in the city of pulled pork and fried chicken, however,  I was pleasantly surprised to find that Nashville has an abundance of kale-related foods.

It is never too late to join in on the kale craze, so here are three yummy ways to do so.

1. Toss it up

First, let us discuss the plethora of kale salads in this lovely city. Tavern’s tuscan kale and parmesan salad is always a fan favorite and I suggest this simple lemon-parmesan-currants-almond combination for all the kale newbies out there. (Hint: ask for a side order of grilled chicken skewers or sesame crusted tuna to add on top). Once you taste this classic, you’ll be ordering kale salads at all of your favorite Nashville hot spots, including Burger Up, Adele’s and even Vanderbilt’s very own Iris Café in Peabody Library.


Photo from www.nashvillescene.com

2. Snacks galore

There are so many great kale snacks out there that serve as a great  substitute for your typical pretzels and potato chips. For beginners, I suggest Supereats’ kale+chia chips. These are more similar to a potato chip and come in flavors such as sea salt and chili lime. Next, you can move on to a more leafy consistency. My personal favorites are Brad’s Raw and Queen of Kale. You can order these online or pick them up at Whole Foods. If you are feeling ambitious, you can even cook them up yourself with a little olive oil and salt. It may take some getting used to, but once you get over the green leaves in your teeth, you’ll be discarding your Ruffles and Lays for good.


Photo by Ari Richman

3. Juice it or lose it

Now, while the thought of actually drinking something green may seem repulsive to some, don’t knock it until you try it. It may be best to start off with a sweeter combination, such as Sweet Cece’s Sweet Dreams, which includes pear, green apple, pineapple, kale and cucumber. Once you try it and love it, I suggest graduating to more earthy combinations such as kale, spinach and cucumber or kale, apple and celery. You can order these combos at Jamba Juice or Smoothie King right on campus.


Photo by Kate Bentsen

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