Trust me, I would have been one of the last people to try this salad. Okay…maybe not the last. But even though I am a dietitian doesn’t mean I automatically like kale. I bought a bag of chopped kale several months ago with the intention of adding it to a smoothie. Actually, my favorite green smoothie. The kale went bad. I couldn’t get the courage to try it. A few weeks later…I attempted it again. Same result.
But THEN. A few weeks ago we made this kale salad for our cancer survivorship class. It was wonderful! It had the perfect balance of sweetness and enough of the light dressing to coat the kale leaves. Not to mention, you can pair it with a wide variety of fruits, dried fruits, and nuts. This recipe certainly is only a suggestion.
You might be asking yourself, what is so special about kale anyways? You probably hear about it a lot and its “superfood qualities”. Well, let me tell you.
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable. A cruciferous vegetable is a family of vegetables that grows with four-petal flowers. Other vegetables in this family include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, collard greens, and other dark green leafy vegetables. Cruciferous veggies are almost all an excellent or good source of vitamin C. If something is an excellent source, it means it contains at least 20% of the daily value. A good source equals 10-19% of the daily value (Guidance for Industry, 2013). Cruciferous vegetables tend to also be good sources of manganese, which is essential for several processes in the body including antioxidants, metabolism, and bone formation (Manganese, 2010). Dark, leafy greens are also high in vitamin K, a vitamin necessary for blood clotting. Not only do cruciferous vegetables contain all of these great vitamins and minerals, they tend to be high in potassium, fiber, folate, and several phytochemicals which are protective against cancer and many other diseases.
Do you need more reasons to try an incorporate more cruciferous vegetables into your diet? Why not bring this salad to your Thanksgiving feast? Encourage other people to try new foods–especially those who can help prevent and fight chronic diseases!
- 1 large bunch kale (about 8 cups)
- 1 large clove garlic, minced finely
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup craisins (or raisins)
- 1/3 cup walnuts, pecans, or other nut
- 1 apple, pear, or peach, chopped
- Finely slice the kale.
- Make a paste with the garlic and salt by pressing with the flat blade of a chef's knife.
- In a small bowl, mix in the olive oil and honey. Add the garlic paste.
- Put the sliced kale in a large bowl and massage the olive oil mix into the leaves. Do this for approximately 5 minutes as it "cooks" the kale and removes the bitterness.
- Top the salad with the dried fruit, fresh fruit, and nuts.
- Severe immediately and enjoy!
- Nutrition Facts, per serving: 140 calories, 7 grams fat, 1 g saturated fat, 180 milligrams sodium, 20 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams protein , 210% vitamin A, 140% vitamin C, 10% calcium, 8% iron
Manganese. (2010, March 1). Retrieved November 25, 2014, from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/manganese/