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Why Kale and My Favorite Kale Salad

healthy living vegetables Apr 21, 2020


Source: Moira Nordholt - The Feel Good Guru in Forks Over Knives book edited by Gene Stone

This recipe should make enough for about 1 bunches of kale.

  • 2-inch fresh ginger, grated finely
  • Juice of 2 juicy lemons
  • 2 Tablespoons Agave syrup or maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons of nuts or seeds (like slivered almonds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.)

Add ingredients to a small bowl with a fork or whisk or shake in a jar. Store in a jar in the refrigerator.

Wash kale and cut into thin 1/4 inch strips. In a bowl add kale and pour about 1 Tablespoon of mixed dressing per 2 cups of kale. Add nuts. Apply dressing immediately before eating. It's better store dressed greens for only a day.


Most people know that eating your vegetables is healthy. But why and is kale special?

One reason why vegetables are healthy is that they contain FIBER. Meat and dairy products contain no fiber. Only plant foods have it. The fiber in vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains helps with digestion, weight loss, heart health, and cancer prevention.

While most people get only 10 to 15 grams of fiber a day, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine recommends 40 grams of fiber per day. If you need to increase your fiber, do so gradually so that your body can adjust. The Cronometer app can help you check your fiber content, but I don't vouch for their recommended targets for nutrients. It's just a good tracker.
  • 2 cups of chopped kale = 5 g fiber
  • ½ cup black beans = 7 g fiber
  • meat, poultry, seafood or a boiled egg or dairy = 0 fiber

Vegetables provide a special type of protection from the environment in the form of antioxidants that boost your immune system and protect your cells against damage (like aging and cancer). Kale is no exception and as a cruciferous vegetable (named for the cross-shape during growth) it has special properties. Dark leafy greens like kale are rich in calcium, iron, and folate (which is an antioxidant). They also protect against age-related vision loss. Cruciferous veggies include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, arugula, Brussels sprouts, collards, watercress and radishes. 


And Dark Leafy greens like kale have protein.

  • 2 cups of chopped kale  = 6 g protein
  • 1/2 cup black beans = 6 g protein
  • 1 boiled egg = 6 g protein (NO dietary fiber)
How to pick out kale?

Bright green leave, firm not wilted, no yellow or brown areas


How to wash it?

Rinse fresh produce in plain water — and eat your veggies!

Some people are advocating washing produce in soap and water.

But, Donald Schaffner, a food microbiologist and distinguished professor at Rutgers University, says that's a bad idea because it's possible that if you ingest soap residue, it could lead to diarrhea or vomiting. He says the best thing is just to rinse your produce in cold water. If it's an item with a tough skin, you can use a vegetable brush.


See NPR article for more information on grocery shopping and washing produce.


How to store kale?

Store washed greens in a wet towel secured with rubber bands.


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