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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fresh Peanut Kale Salad

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I have been hearing a lot about the health benefits of kale recently, but have never had it.  I saw a bag of chopped kale at my local store and thought I would try it out. I made this salad and was delighted by how much I loved it.  Plus, this is one salad that you can save.  Kale lasts & stays crisp for much longer than lettuce or spinach.  I ate the leftovers for 2 days and it was still delicious!


Fresh Peanut Kale Salad

5-6 cups finely chopped kale
1 bell pepper, diced
1-2 green onions, diced
1 large carrot, peeled & chopped
1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts, divided
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)


Toss the kale with carrots, green onions, peppers and half of the peanuts. In food processor,  puree the remaining 1/4 cup peanuts, oil, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Pulse it just a few times; the peanuts should be partially pureed. Toss the dressing with the slaw and let it sit for at least a few minutes before serving.


Health Benefits:

Why is Kale so good for you?  Check out all these amazing facts about kale- makes me want to eat it more.  I've started adding it to my morning smoothies in place of spinach when I have it on hand.

Diet and Digestion One cup of kale has only 36 calories and zero grams of fat, which makes it a great diet aid. Furthermore, one cup contains nearly 20% of the RDA of dietary fiber.  Kale contains the glucosinolate isothiocyanate (ITC) that fights the formation of H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori), a bacterial growth in the stomach lining that can lead to gastric cancer.

Antioxidants
Kale is a superstar in the arena of carotenoids and flavonoids, two powerful antioxidants that protect our cells from free radicals that cause oxidative stress. They have also been shown to specifically fight against the formation of cancerous cells. 

Anti-Inflammatory
One cup of kale provides about 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids that helps regulate the body’s inflammatory process. A megadose of vitamin K further aids to fight against excessive inflammatory-related problems, such as arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and asthma.

Cancer
Not only do kale's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities work together to prevent and even combat cancer, a healthy diet of kale also provides glucosinolates, which have been shown to prevent colon, breast, bladder, prostate, ovarian cancers, as well as gastric cancer.

Cardiovascular Support
The high fiber content of kale lowers our cholesterol by binding with bile acids that the liver produces from cholesterol for digesting fat. Because many of these bile acids are coupled with fiber, the liver is charged with producing more bile acid to digest fat, and therefore requires more cholesterol to so, ultimately lowering the amount of cholesterol within our bodies.

Vitamin K
Kale provides a huge dose of vitamin K (providing 1327% of the RDA in one cup), which is necessary for the synthesis of osteocalcin, a protein that strengthens the composition of our bones. Vitamin K also prevents calcium build-up in our tissue that can lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Finally, vitamin K is essential for synthesizing sphingolipid, the fat needed to maintain the myelin sheath around our nerves, and therefore our nervous system as a whole.

Vitamin A
With over 192% of the RDA of vitamin A, one cup of kale is an effective antioxidant, boosts immunity, maintains healthy bones and teeth, prevents urinary stones, and is essential to our reproductive organs.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C, which one cup of kale heartily provides (over 88% of our RDA), is not only a powerful antioxidant, but also lowers blood pressure, ensures a healthy immune system, and fights against age-related ocular diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

Facts on kale found here.



4 comments:

Lisa @ Flour Me With Love said...

This looks amazing! I love kale and all the health benefits :) Thanks so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday.

Cherished Handmade Treasures said...

Yum! Looks delicious. Thanks for sharing with us at Creative Corner Hop.

Sandy
Cherished Handmade Treasures

Diane Balch said...

I have to try this. I can't image what salted peanuts and kale taste like together. Please share this on my foodie friday linky today.

Katie said...

Thanks for this recipe Karyn! I am so excited to make it! :)

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