Friday, September 28, 2012

Sunshine Kale Salad and Why Kale is Awesome!

Do you eat kale?  We love it over here- almost as much as spinach.  It goes in our smoothies every morning and I like to chop it up and use it in our dinner skillets too.  But my favorite way to enjoy this emerald gem is in a salad with the dressing massaged in.

We'll get to the recipe in a minute.  First I'd like to share the wondrous qualities of kale with you.

Kale is high in a wide range of vitamins and minerals that replenish the bodies ability to fight disease. It is one of many cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli, cauliflower and chard) that has cancer and heart disease fighting properties.  Kale also offers wonderful support for your digestive system and your body's ability to get rid of toxins.

Kale contains nutrients that fight both oxidative stress and inflammation- which increase the risk of cancer.  Kale contains a whopping 45 different antioxidant flavonoids.  This huge range of antioxidants offers the body significant support to repair oxidative stress.  Studies have shown that these nutrients aid in the prevention of 5 different types of cancer so far- colon, breast, ovarian, prostate and bladder.  

Kale’s ant-inflammatory properties come from its high levels of vitamin K and the presence of omega-3s.  I’m not a huge fan of relying on daily values to regulate what nutrients our individual bodies need each day, but to give you an idea, one cup of  kale contains 1327% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K.  At that level, it should be enough to cover everyone’s needs for K!  

Kale also contains some awesome compounds called glucosinolates,  which the body uses to make ITCs.  These compounds act to reduce cancer risks.  They may also help to actually treat cancer! In addition to fighting cancer, ITCs aid the body in detoxifying at a cellular level.  They work at detoxing both environmental and food toxins.

Kale’s digestive support and cholesterol lowering abilities both stem from it’s fiber nutrients.  Just another reason why fiber is good!

So in case you were wondering, kale is pretty good for you!  Ok, I think it is amazing for you!  A couple kale disclaimers though... 

Conventional kale is now listed in the Dirty Dozen in the "plus" category.  This means that conventionally grown kale was found to contain especially toxic substances.  This is one of the vegetables that should never be eaten if conventionally grown.  If you can't find it organic, don't buy it!

Kale is also high in oxalates which can cause problems with some people.  If you have leaky gut or bladder concerns, pay attention to how you feel when eating kale.  This should dictate your intake.

So how do you enjoy all of this tasty kale?  Making a salad is a pretty easy and flavorful option.  I love massaged kale!  In case you're wondering, I don't massage it for my own benefit, it actually helps it break down.  

Sunshine Kale Salad

2 large bunches of kale
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped
2 oranges, pealed and chopped
1 cup red onion, chopped

Orange Vinaigrette
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/8 cup olive oil
juice from half a lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt

Pile up your kale and slice thinly.  You might want to do this in two batches.

Combine dressing ingredients and whisk.

Pour dressing over salad and massage into kale.  Also to sit for 20-30 minutes.

Chop avocados, oranges and red onion. Pay no attention to the tiny hand stealing oranges....

Add salad fixin's to kale and gentle mix in.

This is a great meal by itself but it would also be an awesome side to any meal- full of healthy body-happy love!

Not a bad way to nourish your body in my opinion!

For more information on kale, check out this site.

This post is shared at Keep it Real Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Fight Back FridayFoodie Friends Friday, Monday Mania, Meatless Monday, Homestead Barn Hop, Fresh Foods Link Up and Melt in Your Mouth Monday.


  1. My mother has always been a big fan of kale! I have not given it much thought. This recipe makes me want to try it! I am now following you and am a fan on your facebook page!

    Thank you for linking up to Foodie Friends Friday! Please come back on Sunday and vote. Good luck!

    1. Thanks Cynthia! I hadn't really been a fan of kale until I started experimenting with it about a year ago. I think it gets overlooked so often but it is incredibly good for you!

  2. i know i always say this but kale to me is the quintessential happy food. i hadn't realized it's been put on the dirty dozen list - luckily i try to get mine from ethical sources such as a CSA or farmers market...or grow my own?

    i love kale!

    thank you for sharing your post with us at the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up! I hope we'll see you again this week with more amazing seasonal & real food posts. xo, kristy.

    1. I agree, kale is happy food!! It makes my body happy too :)