When I first decided to try a low histamine diet for my symptoms, kale was one of the few foods on my “safe” list. For the first few weeks of my strict low histamine diet, I often stewed it in coconut milk with ginger powder for flavor.
But honestly, that wasn’t the most flavorful option. However, it did spark my interest in making this delicious low histamine kale dish that I’d happily serve to anyone in my family, histamine intolerant or not.
About this recipe
Kale Histamine Content: I’ve gotten a few questions about this popular vegetable, namely – is kale high in histamine or low in histamine? The answer is that’s low in histamine, but can be moderately high in oxalates, which is a different sensitivity, but one which many histamine intolerant people also have.
Oxalates are a compound found in some foods, as well as being produced by the body, and if your body can’t process them properly, then high levels can build up and lead to kidney stones.
Kale & Oxalates: You can read more about oxalates here, but their levels in kale are only considered medium, and seem to be lower when kale is boiled and drained. So if you have histamine issues but no oxalate issues, then kale is a very healthy and nutritious addition to your diet— especially when you make it this way!
Powerful Antihistamine Spices: The complementary garlic and ginger are both powerful natural antihistamines.
Flat-Leaf Kale: this type of kale has the lowest level of oxalates, so make sure yours is washed and de-spined, which will help with the crisping process.
Fresh Ginger: possibly the best-known low histamine spice, ginger is the sharp, mildly sweet root of a flower; it’s been used for thousands of years in dishes both sweet and savory.
Raw Garlic: using raw garlic adds an umami element to the dish that really complements meats and root vegetables.
Cumin: I have yet to find any studies that show it to have histamine-releasing qualities, but cumin can be contentious. It adds a delicious toasty, savory flavor to the cauliflower, however, and nigella seeds are a good substitute.
Camu Camu Powder: since you can’t really get the tartness of tomato paste on a low histamine diet, this fruit-based source of vitamin C (the reason for its tartness) is a safe, low histamine way to mimic some of the sour properties of lemon juice or tomatoes (a typical pairing with the bitterness of kale).
How to make crispy garlic kale: step-by-step instructions
Step 1. Wash your kale and remove the bulky spines, as they won’t cook up nearly as well, and then stack the leaf-halves up and— keeping them stacked together— and fold them in half, crumbling the leaves until they’re all flexible, breaking apart the cell walls of the leaves. Then cut the stack of softened leaves apart; each leaf should end up cut about 10 times.
Step 2. Put your pan over medium heat and let it warm in the interim. Meanwhile, peel and mince both the garlic & ginger, and set them aside.
Step 3. Place your torn leaves into the now-hot pan, moving them around until there’s basically no water left on the leaves at all. Once they’re dry, drizzle the oil into the pan and stir everything until each leaf is lightly coated in oil.
Step 4. Lower the heat to low and then add the garlic to the mix and stir together, leaving the mixture to cook for one minute.
Step 5. Add the ginger, coriander, and cumin. Stirring occasionally, cook the kale for 3-5 minutes or until mostly crispy.
Step 6. Add the salt and camu camu powder, turn off the heat, and then stir everything in the still-hot pan until each piece is flavored. Plate it & enjoy!
Recipe notes & tips
What to Pair. Serve this side with something sweet! I recommend having it with a sweeter root vegetable, like carrots or sweet potato, and a more plain protein, like chicken or pork belly.
Mixing Flavors. Optional flavor enhancers include 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (subbed for the camu camu), half a serrano pepper (minced), or even toasted sesame seeds on top.
What to eat with garlic ginger kale
- Rosemary Garlic Lamb Skillet
- Low Histamine Lemongrass Chicken
- Savory Tahini Squash Soup
- Low Histamine Pecan Pesto Pasta
- Nigella Seed Chicken & Squash Stew
Homemade Garlic Ginger Kale Recipe Card
As always, if you like the recipe, I really appreciate a review or comment!
Crispy Garlic-Ginger Kale (Histamine-Friendly)
A simple spiced, crispy kale side dish that balances out the veggie's natural bitterness, while staying low histamine and vegan-friendly.
- 1 bunch of kale, washed and despined (12-18 large leaves, depending on the bunch)
- 1 Tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 inch of ginger (1/2 Tablespoon minced)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon camu camu powder
- Wash your kale and remove the bulky spines, as they won't cook up nearly as well, and then stack the leaf-halves up and— keeping them stacked together— and fold them in half, crumbling the leaves until they're all flexible, breaking apart the cell walls of the leaves. Then cut the stack of softened leaves apart; each leaf should end up cut about 10 times.
- Put your pan over medium heat and let it warm in the interim. Meanwhile, peel and mince both the garlic & ginger, and set them aside.
- Place your torn leaves into the now-hot pan, moving them around until there's basically no water left on the leaves at all. Once they're dry, drizzle the oil into the pan and stir everything until each leaf is lightly coated in oil.
- Lower the heat to low and then add the garlic to the mix and stir together, leaving the mixture to cook for one minute.
- Add the ginger, coriander, and cumin. Stirring occasionally, cook the kale for 3-5 minutes or until mostly crispy.
- Add the salt and camu camu powder, turn off the heat, and then stir everything in the still-hot pan until each piece is flavored. Then just plate it & enjoy!
PAIRING. Pair this side with something sweet! I recommend serving it with a sweeter root vegetable, like carrots or sweet potato, and a more plain protein, like chicken or pork belly.
FLAVORING. Optional flavor enhancers include: 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (subbed for the camu camu), half a serrano pepper (minced), and toasted sesame seeds on top.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 150.5kcalTotal Fat: 8.45ggSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 206.47mgmgCarbohydrates: 16.46ggFiber: 3gSugar: 3.62ggProtein: 7.11gg
Nutrition data is primarily accumulated from online calculators for convenience and courtesy only, and can vary depending on factors such as measurements, brands, and so on. We encourage you to double-check and make your own calculations.
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Friday 6th of May 2022
Thank-you for this recipe. I have struggled to like kale and this is the best. I have really missed vinegar as a condiment. What an awesome idea to add the camu camu powder. I added some organic mushrooms, sesame seeds and served it atop quinoa with a couple fried egg yolks. Such a nutrient packed, low histamine meal and so yummy!
Saturday 7th of May 2022
Thank you so much, Abbie! That definitely sounds delicious, and I'm glad you're enjoying the recipe!!
Sunday 27th of February 2022
This was SO GOOD. Thank you so much! I am new-ish to low histamine eating and have been struggling to find recipes that actually have flavor, and this is so flavorful!
Monday 28th of February 2022
Thank you so much, Laura! I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you continue to find delicious options for as long as you need them. :)
Monday 11th of October 2021
I have histamine intolerance and follow a strict low histamine diet. I checked out kale and thought it was safe to eat. It turned out to be very poisonous for me. I've had total inflammation for 13 days now - pruritis, rhinitis, terrible pharyngitis, terrible gastritis and cystitis. The symptoms only stopped getting worse after I stopped eating kale. 10 days ago. I've had to have emergency treatments with injections of steroids, but even that hasn't stopped the problem. I've seen my GP again today and there's no treatment on offer - only an emergency inhaler for if my breathing gets any worse. I've just got to wait until my body gets over being poisoned. So you need to let people know that they should be very careful with kale!!
Monday 11th of October 2021
Wow, that sounds like a horrific experience! I'm so sorry you went through this, Lindy. I mention in the recipe the potential trouble with oxalates, though this doesn't quite sound like that-- do you have issues with oxalates? That's the only thing I can think of other than pesticides or some other chemical being on the kale you were buying, though the research continues to move forward (a bit too slowly, my my opinion). I really hope nobody else has this experience, however, and I really hope that your inflammation continues to go down!