At the start of spring, I decided to spring clean my refrigerator. My refrigerator overflowed with winter vegetables, which I decided to jazz them up with some spring-time energy. Light, refreshing and airy, kale is one of the "miracle vegetables" that provides numerous health benefits.
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable, and it is recommended that we eat at least 3/4 cup of these daily. One cup of uncooked kale provides 2 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and 7 grams of carbohydrates. Plus, raw kale has some cholesterol-lowering abilities (not as much as cooked kale) but raw vegetables in general benefit heart and colon health.
Kale is a vegetable that gets an A+ in anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant nutrients. The most important quality is that we ingest raw vegetables to avoid "oxidative stress."
Chronic inflammation on our system, caused by stress, poor nutrition or disease, can wreck havoc on our bodies, leading to oxidative stress. Anti-inflammatory nutrients combat oxidative stress.
Plants are amazing because they receive and transmute the light and breathe out oxygen. Humans, plants and nature are interconnected in ways that we don't even think about. I hope this bit of knowledge about kale sheds light on the deeper significance for raw salads. Enjoy!
Crunchy Kale-Swisschard Salad Topped with a Lemon Vinaigrette
Prep Time: 10 minutes
2 rainbow chard leaves, washed and finely chopped
4 cups kale, chopped
1 large carrot, grated
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup almonds (used silvered)
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup grape seed oil
1/4 cup + 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
2.5 tbsp lemon juice
2 pinches of salt (one for dressing, the other for the salad)
Begin by mixing the dressing ingredients into a small bowl. Set aside once done.
Wash and prep the vegetables. Place some grape seed oil on your hands and massage the kale and chard leaves in a separate bowl. Mix in the remaining salad ingredients and then mix in the dressing. Add the pinch of salt and serve!
I find this tastes best once the salad sits for a bit to soften the leaves.
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com