Tuscan Kale Bites
Kale. Oh, how I love kale. Not because it was all trendy – I mean, I think you can buy kale chips at Wal-Mart now, a sure sign the trend has officially jumped the leafy green shark. But I love kale because it’s so sturdy and crunchy, a little bitter, and it just feels so healthy. Also it’s super easy to grow, so it always makes an appearance in our garden.
Kids, however, almost universally despise kale. And I can’t really blame them – it’s hard to chew, dark green (a sure sign of evil), and a little bitter. When we add sautéed kale to stir frys and things, I chop it up *really* small so it’s less noticeable, but we are still not one of those obnoxious families whose small children scarf down bowl fulls of raw kale with homemade sriracha and fermented garlicky beets.
Our kids love cheese. And clementines. And cookies. But mostly cheese.
So I invented these little cheesy kale bites to help introduce a less friendly vegetable to my little eaters. The cannellini beans give them some heft, protein, and help temper the bitterness of kale, the parmesan and mozzarella are just melty and good – I mean, cheese, right? – and the kale, although still the star of the show, is a little bit more approachable for little eaters. Let’s get started.
Yield: 15 "bites"
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: about 35 minutes
Tuscan Kale Bites for Little Eaters
Italian themed kale bites for little eaters
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed
2 c. kale, roughly chopped
2. c spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning*
1/2 c. freshly grated mozzarella
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Sauté your chopped kale in some olive oil until it's bright green and softer. Toss in the spinach until it's wilted.
- Purée the kale, spinach, parmesan, egg, and beans in a food processor or a good blender until they're nice and smooth. Add the seasoning, garlic, and a dash of salt and pepper.
- Stir in your bread crumbs and mozzarella.
- Scoop the "dough" out in heaping tablespoon fulls, pop them on a cookie sheet, and bake until the balls are set and golden brown - about 20 minutes.
- Serve warm, preferably with marinara sauce or salsa (or do what I do and eat them chilled out of a ziploc bag at the park).
*You just want herbs without added preservatives, salt, or anything else. I love Penzeys Italian Herb Mix.
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