~ Why Eating Kale Salad is so Good For Our Health ~
Kale has been hailed as a modern day vegetable superstar! Protein packed and full of essential vitamins A, C and K plus minerals such as copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. Kale is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids this helps the brain and cardiovascular function. Kale’s Phytonutrients, and quercetin (flavonoids) are present which help the buildup of arterial plaque. Without getting too far into the science, all we need to know is that these compounds help cell function and our immune system. It also contains sulforaphane, which is known for its cancer fighting properties.
Interestingly, Kale is best eaten with other food to help absorb its benefits in the most effective way. It has been found that eating it with good fats such as olive oil, avocado, and healthy cheeses makes fat-soluble carotenoids more available. The acid in lemon juice is also thought to help Kale become more available to our body.
So it looks like eating a healthy Kale salad with your favorite meat or fish for lunch is a super nutrient packed meal. To even increase your Omega 3 oil intake even further,you could incorporate nuts, sardines or salmon for lunch or dinner.
I love growing Kale in the garden and eating it fresh, both raw and cooked. It works really well in juicing recipes also. Just be aware that if you suffer from IBS or have other digestive or Thyroid problems, you may want to read this post on Can Kale be Bad for You?. Of course, growing any vegetable or fruit yourself is best as you not only benefit from the additional nutrients and vitamins from freshness homegrown promises, but also it is organic. You choose how much chemical spray, if any to apply during the growing process. I like to use a organic spray.
So try to grow Kale yourself! (any variety will do, I am growing Tuscan Kale right now) If you are like me, need something that is super easy to grow summer or winter, needs to withstand heat and frost…Kale is it! When you grow it yourself, you can monitor the chemicals used on it.
Did You Know: Eating the flowering heads after winter are delicilously sweet, smilar to Broccolini.
If buying from the store or market organic Kale is best, due to the commercially bought varieties often having large amounts of pesticides used on them during the growing process. The bugs tend to like them summer time, so I use a natural Pyrethrum spray when the plant is very young, then garlic or natural soap spray after that. Always wash it before use. There is an easy recipe for that in my book, just mix water with a little salt and soda.
Store bought Kale is quite expensive, so you will be saving money as well.
In my Amazon book “Kale Cookbook” I cover Kale soups, salads and cooked Kale meals. The following Kale salad recipes are from that book. You can read it on your PC, Kindle or iPad.
Another benefit of growing Kale is that you can make juice in abundance at home. Surprisingly, it can taste delicious when adding a natural sweetener such as Apple, beet or carrot.
Here are some Kale Salad Recipes from my book. Enjoy!
Kale and Apple Salad
- a bunch of kale
- 2 semi-sweet apples
- 100g walnuts
- balsamic vinegar
Thinly slice the kale. Peel the apples and clean out the apple cores. Grate them, and mix the grated apples with kale. Chop the walnuts and garnish the salad with them. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and serve.
Super Quinoa Lunch Salad
- bunch of kale, finely chopped or broken
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 Tbsp hazelnut or macadamia oil
- salt and black pepper by taste
- (optional) chicken or vegetable broth for cooking quinoa
Prepare 2 cooking pots: one with water for blanching kale and the other with water or broth for quinoa (2 cups of liquid for 1 cup of quinoa).
While the liquids are boiling, thinly slice the cucumber. Boil quinoa until it is well cooked. It should take about 20 minutes.
Blanch kale leaves in boiling water for 20-40 seconds. Once done, cut into inch squares. The salad is served in layers. The first layer on the plate is kale, then cucumber and quinoa on top.
Sprinkle oil, salt and pepper between the layers. This salad can be served alone or with Omega 3 rich Salmon. This is a flexible recipes – sometimes I add sun dried tomatoes and baby spinach leaves.
Kale, Pine Nut & Cranberry Salad
- 1 cup chopped kale of your choice (citrus kale is good)
- 1/2 cup cranberries (whole is best if you can find them)
- 1 Tbsp pine nuts or pecan nuts
- 1 Tbsp honey, maple syrup or agave
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar
Chop the kale finely, or break into small pieces. Transfer to a salad bowl. Add the cranberries and nuts. Mix the honey, olive oil and lemon juice together in a cup. Toss all together. Very flexible with vegetable ingredients, so experiment with things like grated carrot, red cabbage, baby spinach leaves and salad onion – use what you have on hand!
Smoked Salmon Kale Salad
- 300g kale or mix of spinach leaves
- 100g smoked salmon, cut into strips
- 50g onions
- 3 tsp white vinegar (balsamic for Paleo)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- dash of black pepper
Finely cut the kale leaves. Blanche them in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Cut the smoked salmon in fine strips, and mix them together with the kale leaves. Add chopped onions. In a separate bowl dissolve salt in the vinegar. Add black pepper, mustard. Mix all these ingredients for the sauce together and slowly add olive oil to the mix. Pour the sauce over kale and smoked salmon mix. Cool in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before serving.