This salad featuring the king of leafy greens has been a perfect match for my lighter fare cravings. It's sweet with the cranberries and bell pepper, a bit citrusy from the dressing and crunchy from the carrots, kale and sunflower seeds. Everything adds up to nice flavor and texture. My favorite way to enjoy a kale salad is to let the kale marinate with the dressing for about an hour. This will help relax the kale and take some of the bitterness away. Making your salad this way makes for a great pack-n-go lunch option. Your salad will be softened and ready by the time lunch comes. When your looking to add some freshness into your diet, I think you'll find this to be a great inspiration!
If you don't already know, KALE is a power house of nutrients. It's loaded with anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory support as well as being rich in calcium, iron and vitamin K, A & C. It aids in the body's detoxifying process and offers cardiovascular support. But even with all this goodness, you may have heard that too much kale is not so good. That is true for some. Kale is a green that may be best consumed moderately, especially for those with kidney and gallbladder issues because of the high amounts of oxalates. If you're in good health, kale can be consumed on a fairly regular basis without much concern. Look for organic kale whenever possible. The 'dirty dozen' list has been revised to be the 'dirty dozen plus' with kale/collards greens coming in at #16 of produce with highest amounts of pesticide residue.
CRUNCHY KALE SALAD + CITRUS DRESSING
- 1 bunch kale, julienned
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (toasted or raw)
- 1/4 cup hemp hearts
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 -2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, optional
Prepare your vegetables and gather your cranberries and seeds.
Mix kale, carrots, bell peppers and dressing together. Let set for about an hour at room temp or in the refrigerator (this will soften the kale nicely and reduce the bitterness). Serve in individual bowls topped with cranberries and seeds. If you don't have time to let the kale marinate with the dressing, the salad will still be great!
Use orange, lemon, lime and/or grapefruit as your citrus juice. Mix and match your citrus flavors using whatever you have on hand or is available.
Make this a creamy dressing by adding 1 - 2 tablespoon tahini when mixing the dressing.
The dijon is optional, I found that I preferred it with a small amount. Try it both ways and see what you think.