Kale typically gets a bad rep for being a bitter, fibrous leafy green that is tough to prepare. I wanted to flip that narrative on it’s head because 1. I really LOVE kale and think it’s extremely versatile and 2. the benefits of this amazing organic veggie are quite outrageous.
According to Dr. Axe, one of the top health benefits of kale is that it’s a natural detoxifier. It not only helps remove toxins, but also helps eliminate them from your body. This is due to a component in kale called isothiocyanates (ITCs), which are made from glucosinolates. They’ve been reported to help detox your body at the cellular level.
Kale is also high in vitamin A, K, + C, and has a 1:1 balance of omega 6- omega 3 fatty acids. All of these nutrients contribute to a healthy immune system, proper inflammatory response, healthy + proper blood clotting, and healthy eyesight.
Where you buy your kale matters!
When consuming the entirety of a fruit or vegetable, it is extremely important to ensure you are buying organic. My rule of thumb with organic is to completely avoid the Dirty Dozen (the top 12 most pesticide-sprayed crops) and then make 100% sure all fruits and veggies I’m consuming the entirety of (skin + whatnot) are organic. Meaning, I dont lose sleep over a non-organic banana or avocado because I’m discarding the peel/outside of it- BUT, I always look for organic apples, greens, etc.
The reason why KALE is important to buy organic- It’s one of the “Dirty Dozen!” Meaning it is one of the most heavily pesticide-sprayed crops. The overall nutrients found in these leafy greens are not the same when grown conventionally with pesticides and in poor soil. Organic kale is a MUST if you want to reap all of the nutritional benefits!
This is exactly why I absolutely LOVE shopping for all of my produce at Natural Grocers. They have the highest industry standard when it comes to organic produce and I know I can always trust everything from their shelves without a doubt! To learn more about Natural Grocers product standards, click here!
Stu and I have been eating massive, pop-corn sized bowl salads at least once a day the last few weeks and we’ve been feeling absolutely amazing. We love the versatility of this dish and also like how you can make this salad whatever you want it to be! The toppings are truly endless.
I hope you view this recipe as a guideline- an idea which you can expand upon and truly make your own.
- 1 Bunch of organic kale, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons raw Natural Grocers Almonds, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Natural Grocers raisons
- 1/2 organic apple, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 pound nitrate free bacon, cut into bits
- Salad Dressing
- Juice of 1 organic lemon
- 1/4 cup Natural Grocers extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese, finely grated, plus more to finish
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup gluten free breadcrumbs (optional)
- 1/8 teaspoon dried chili flakes (optional)
- De-stem the kale and roll leaves into a tight cylinder.
- Chop thin slices perpendicular to the roll, creating long, thin strips.
- Place your kale into a salad spinner and clean the leaves.
- Add clean, chopped kale to a big bowl and set aside.
- In a medium sized pan over medium-high heat, cook your bacon pieces. Use chefs scissors to cut the strips into small pieces before cooking. Once bacon is done, scoop out of the pan with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to absorb the extra oil. Set Aside.
- Next- make your dressing. In a medium-sized mixing bowl or mason jar, combine all dressing ingredients and mix well.
- Pour dressing over prepared kale and massage by hand until all leaves are coated in the dressing.
- Plate the salad greens and top with almonds, raisons, apple slices, bacon, and extra pecorino.
The most important part when prepping a raw kale salad is to massage the kale by hand to make sure the dressing is fully coating all leaves, breaking down the tough fibrous outside and making it easier to digest. Not only does massaging the kale make it easier to digest, but it completely changes the flavor profile of the kale itself. When the acid + fat from the dressing permeate the leaves, it really brings out the sweetness of the kale and makes it much more palatable and incredibly delicious!
This post is sponsored and paid for by Natural Grocers, a local grocery store I visit frequently and truly love! All opinions are my own.