Kale is a super food with staying power. Its healthy reputation has been a blessing to farmers –in the U.S., production has increased by 60 percent from 2007 to 2012. The hearty green flourishes in colder months and can often be found at winter markets, an opportunity to support local farmers in the off-season (1).
Low in calories and high in nutrients such as calcium and vitamin C, Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Research shows that kale can show cognitive decline and ager-related macular degeneration, as well as help prevent rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease (2).
Fortunately, adding kale to your diet is relatively simple. Kale salads are a staple for plant-based eaters, and these days you're as likely to find them on salad bars as you are on upscale restaurant menus. Kale stands up to big flavors and is sturdy enough to survive a bit of mistreatment (e.g. being forgotten in the fridge for a few days).
With Christmas just around the corner, this classic kale salad recipe is the perfect salad starter for any holiday menu!
Classic Kale Salad
(serves 4 appetizer salads)
- 2 bunches of kale, stemmed and chopped into bite-size pieces
- 2 tablespoons GF vinegar or citrus juice, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon dried herbs or spices such as thyme or ground cumin
- 2 cups shredded or chopped mixed crunchy vegetables, such as bell peppers, beets, carrots, and celery
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion, or 2 scallions (white and light green parts), sliced
- black pepper
- 1/2 cup seeds or chopped nuts
- 1/4 cup dried fruit
1. Place the kale in a large bowl and drizzle with the vinegar, then add 1/2 teaspoon salt and the herb(s), if using. Use your hands to massage the kale thoroughly, until it starts to darken in color or look slick.
2. Add the mixed vegetables and onion and toss to combine. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight, until ready to serve.
3. Just before serving, season with pepper and vinegar to taste and sprinkle with nuts and dried fruit. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
(1, 2) National Geographic: Superfoods Single Issue Magazine – 2016