Kale 101: Tips and Tricks For Making A Great Kale Salad

I have a love/hate relationship with kale. When it’s good, I feel like a freaking trendy vegan who spends all day doing sun salutations. When it’s bad, I want to head to CVS and buy a frozen pizza instead.

High in fiber, antioxidants, iron and with zero fat, kale is trendy for a reason. But unless you enjoy the chewy and bitter natural flavor/texture of kale, you have to take some steps to prepare it. Here are some ways to make kale more palatable:

  1. Remove the stems: Regardless of the variety of kale you use, the stems are too tough and chewy to include in a salad. Cut them off before chopping the leaves. My favorite way to use the stems is by blending them up with frozen fruit to make an unreal green smoothie.
  2. Add Sea Salt: The bitterness of kale can easily overpower a simple salad. By adding sea salt, you help cut the bitter flavor.
  3. Massage the kale: I know, sounds ridiculous. But by massaging and squeezing the leaves repeatedly until the leaves are dark green, you will make the leaves less rough and the salad more delicious.
  4. Choose a strong enough dressing: Kale has a strong flavor and needs an equally strong dressing to counteract its bitterness. Try my favorite lemon vinaigrette below and top it off with some sliced almonds, shredded carrots, and dried cranberries.

Simple Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette

This dressing is amazing and simple. Toss all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them with either a hand blender or a whisk.

  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Comment below and let me know what some of your favorite kale recipes are!

 

Choosing Chia: Benefits and Ways to Use this Trendy Superfood

You’ve heard of it, hell, you might have even thought about buying it while passing through the super expensive health food aisle of Whole Foods, but how much do you really know about one of nature’s trendiest superfoods and why and how should you incorporate it into your diet?

Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language. These nutrient dense seeds were originally grown in Mexico, where Aztec warriors would eat them for energy and endurance.

Each spoonful is packed with 42% RDV fiber, 9% RDV protein, 18% RDV calcium, and over 6000 mg of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

The benefits of chia seeds are immeasurable. Studies have shown that the antioxidant rich nature of chia seeds can prevent premature skin aging. Chia seeds also promote heart and digestive health while also working to boost your metabolism, help you lose weight, and give you energy.

Here’s some of my favorite ways to use chia seeds:

  1. Blueberry Vanilla Chia Pudding

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  • mix 1/4 cup chia seeds with 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk and 1/4 cup mashed blueberries
  • allow to sit in the fridge overnight for about 4 hours or overnight
  • optional: top with fresh fruit, granola, coconut, chocolate chips, anything!

2. Berry Chia Smoothie

  • blend 1/3 cup any berries fresh or frozen (my favorite combo has pomegranate seeds in it) with 1/3 cup of greek yogurt, 1/2 banana, and 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • that is literally it

3. Honey Almond Chia Granola

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  • Preheat oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Mix together 2 cups of rolled oats, 3/4 cup sliced almonds, 1/2 cup chia seeds, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • In a separate bowl, mix 1/3 cup honey, 1/3 cup coconut oil, 1 tbs coconut sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and two tbs egg whites.
  • Mix together wet and dry ingredients and spread the mixture flat on to a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stir, then cook for an additional 15 minutes until the granola is golden brown.

Comment below and let me know some of your favorite ways to use chia seeds!

photo credit: cover 1 2 3