Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Creamed Kale (Dairy-Free)

Do you need more ideas for using up all of that kale growing in your garden? We've been making green smoothies, raw kale salads, sautéed kale with garlic....and now creamed kale as well. This dairy-free version is very easy to make as long as you have a blender. Raw cashews and water make the cream-base, sautéed onions and garlic give it depth, and the jalapeño gives it flavor! Our three year old twins love this recipe, in fact, one of them had three servings tonight and the other one literally licked his bowl clean!

You've probably noticed my lack of blog posts lately. This is because we underwent a small but significant house remodel. We have only begun to make meals again in our new kitchen for the last week. It has taken me quite a bit of time to put the house back together but now our kitchen, living, dining, and family rooms are super organized and clean! Just perfect before the new baby arrives.

I've talked about the nutritional benefits of kale before and will probably continue to do so. You can click here to view all of my kale recipes and read about the health benefits of this powerful cruciferous vegetable on other posts!

Dairy-Free Creamed Kale

Serve this simple recipe with cooked quinoa, black-eyed peas or grilled chicken, and some raw vegetables. You might think that 10 to 12 cups of chopped kale is a lot, but remember that it cooks down considerably. We don't have any leftovers in our house when I make this.

10 to 12 cups finely chopped kale

2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (about 1 heaping cup)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup raw cashews
2 cups water
1/2 small jalapeño pepper, seeded
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 to 2 teaspoons Herbamare

Chop the kale and set aside.

Heat a large skillet (11 or 12-inch) over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then the onions and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until softened and beginning to change color. Add them to a blender along with the cashews, water, jalapeño pepper, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and Herbamare. Blend until smooth and creamy. I use Vitamix for this.

Place the sauce and chopped kale back into your large skillet and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until kale has softened and sauce has thickened. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper if needed.

More Kale Recipes:
Winter Green Smoothie
Raw Super Green Salad
Blanched Kale Salad with Salmon

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About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Looks fabulous. Any recommendations on what to serve this with? Was thinking perhaps baked tofu and a grain?

  2. Congrats on the remodel! This soup sounds delicious -can't wait to try it! Any news on the next cookbook?

  3. Looks yummy but I cannot tolerate cashews. Any suggestions for a substitute ?

  4. This actually looks pretty good - and that's saying a lot. I have been having a tough time eating veggies (even looking at them) with this pregnancy. So I'm thinking I should try this and soon!

  5. Is there a good substitution for the nutritional yeast for those with yeast allergies, or should I just omit it?

  6. Yippee on the new kitchen, Ali! This does look good. :-)


  7. The kale sounds delicious. Congratulations on the new kitchen. :)

  8. Ali - this looks really tasty. I'm going to try this tonight! Is there a particular kind of kale that works best with this?

  9. Mmmm, looks dee-lish! I have a question about the nutritional yeast...how is it different than baker's yeast? I can't eat baker's yeast so am hesitant to use the nutritional type. What do you think?

  10. I made creamed Kale the other day, but I used coconut milk - yummy!

  11. Congratulations on the new kitchen. This looks great. I can't wait to try it. How is the new book coming along? I can't wait to buy it when it comes out. I love your first book!

  12. Oh my, does this look fantastically yummy or what?! We planted kale in our garden this year and it is quite happy. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my tummy (and my dear daughter's, too)!

  13. Thanks for the comments. :)
    The next cookbook is still close to being finished, there are just so many details to take care of. Also, trying to get Tom to finish his parts is not an easy task! ;)

    You can try subbing the cashews for macadamia nuts or use an unsweetened milk in place of the cashews and water. You'll need to add about 2 tablespoons of either arrowroot or sweet rice flour to help thicken it up if you go with a milk instead.

    A good sub for nutritional yeast is a light gluten-free miso in equal amounts.

    I use a few different types of kale - whatever you have will work. But I prefer to use a green curly kale. I guess it just depends on what is growing in my garden at the time. :)


  14. This sounds so good! I wish Odelia wasn't allergic to cashews... Maybe if we have a sitter/date night, I can make it :)

  15. Thanks Ali! This sounds delish and I will be making it tomorrow. We don't eat Cashews so I will make it with mac nuts but I wanted to ask do you think hemp seeds would work? The kind that are hulled.

    I hope you enjoy the new kitchen, a chef like you truly deserves a great kitchen!


  16. I've always loved creamed spinach-love this healthy version with kale. Can't wait to try it out!

  17. You continue to churn out FABulous recipes.. Creamed kale?... I gonna TRY that this wkend! and SO looking forward to the NEW cookbook! You will announce that it is out?
    Good Luck, Ali with your new baby!!


  18. This was delicious. I made it for dinner tonight. I did not have any Herbamare so I used Dijon mustard instead. It worked a treat. I plan on buying some Herbamare tomorrow and giving that a bash. Thank you for a great recipe.

  19. I tried this recipe this late afternoon.. Ooola! Ooola! Its SOOOO GOOD! now cooking up quinoa.. and in a few minutes, I shall have it for dinner out on the porch on this hot day. Thank you for sharing!


    Laura b

  20. humm... looks good!! fantastic recipe!
    Good job!!.

  21. I made this last night and it turned out delectable. I made a small gluten free pizza crust and poured it on top. Delish! Then I brought the leftovers in to work and my co-workers thought it was really super good. So thank you!

  22. This was wonderful. I made it with kale from our garden, and Toddler Yum helped press the "blend" button on the blender. (Alas, not a vitamix, but it still worked.) I could eat this by the gallon.... YUM!


  23. Yet another fabulous recipe from your kitchen! I'm all over any delicious sounding recipe for kale. This one looks like a keeper!

  24. Delicious, thank you! I have extra cashew cheese left over, how long will it keep?

  25. Ali, you are a kale genius! We love this recipe. I have made it probably half a dozen times since you posted it.

  26. Hi Ali,
    I was wondering if you sauteed the kale stem with the onion or omitted it all together and just used the kale leaves. Thanks much!

  27. All of the recipes we have made from your blog and your cookbook are so tasty! I can't wait to try the crisp recipe with the batch of fresh blackberries we just picked. Thanks for the tip on the coconut sugar!


  28. This recipe was really good. Not sure why I waited this long to try it. I didn't have any nutritional yeast or Jalapeno so I left them out and I used a food processor instead of a blender. Thank you Ali!

  29. Yum! Just found you via Tend (blog) and what a lovely place you have here.

  30. I make this once a week for my kale hungry kids! I make it as directed, served over black eyed peas and cooked quinoa. YUM!

  31. This is easily one of my favorite recipes of all time! And that is saying alot! Tonight I used swiss chard, since I did not have kale and it worked just fine. I was still a little short on greens so I tossed in some green beans...reminded me a bit of green bean casserole. Thank you again Ali! :)

  32. We have made this twice now. Last night was my favorite. I used the sauce recipe but had some left over chicken. So I added the chicken and some kelp noodles along with the kale. It came out sort of like a chicken alfredo. Was delicious. Kelp noodles are awesome too.
    Thank you so much for this recipe!

  33. Absolutely delicious, thank you!

  34. Do you think this would work with frozen kale? I see that Trader Joes now carries Dwarf Siberian Kale (16 oz bags) and recommends it for stir-frys, soups, and gratins. Thanks!

  35. I loved this recipe. I try a lot of new dishes, but don't repeat that many of them... this one is a standby, such a great way to eat kale in large quantities, something that is hard to do for me. I want to try using this as the basis for a pasta dish, maybe a baked one. It does taste a lot like an alfredo. Thanks!!

  36. This is such a great recipe. I make it regularly.

    I wanted to add that I started making it tonight, and realized I was out of cashews. I replaced the cashews with tahini with really good results!

  37. Thoughts on adding sliced mushrooms to this? Thanks!

  38. This looks great. I can't wait to try it. Thanks!!!


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Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)