I find it a lot more challenging to eat salads in the winter months then I do the summer months.
Simply put, the winter months tend to request heartier, richer foods and salad doesn’t usually fit the bill. But when you use raw kale leaves as the base of your salad, suddenly you’ve got a rich, hearty, seasonal green that can transform a salad and make it satisfying enough to enjoy in the winter!
And pairing this winter green with some seasonal citrus and pumpkin seeds also makes this delicious, nutritious salad a great immunity booster to keep us healthy during the colder weather!
And ya gotta love that – tastes great AND it’s good for you! Another win-win. Oh, how I love a win-win.
The key to enjoying kale raw in a salad is MASSAGE.
Yep, you read that correctly. Massaging the kale leaves with a little extra virgin olive and kosher salt helps to break apart some of the tougher fibers in the leaves leaving you with a soft and tender, nutrient packed, kale leaf that is absolutely delicious ‘as-is’ or dressed with a few extra salad ingredients (in this case oranges and pumpkin seeds).
I’ve been having a much more difficult staying away from processed carbs and sugar during pregnancy number two and so I’m really trying to make an extra effort to get some super nutrient dense meals into the mix. And trust me, this winter salad is just dripping with the nutrients this body has been asking for.
It’s the kind of salad you walk away from feeling more nourished on every level – the flavor, richness, nutrients, and just pure deliciousness makes it a feel-good-super-salad! Mmmmm, just talking about it is making me want a bowl right now (which is too bad for me because I made this last week and don’t have any kale in the house!)
And, like most recipes, the best part about this salad is that you don’t have to stay inside the box, you can add in whatever fruits, veggies, herbs, or nuts you have on hand. I’ve made this salad with lots of ingredients including; apples, grapefruit, dried cherries, tomatoes, walnuts, avocados, parsley, apple cider vinegar, sunflower seeds… just to name a few. So I highly encourage you to have fun with it.
And for those of you who have made a raw kale salad before, I would love to hear what you like to add in!? What are some of your favorite combinations?
Kale And Citrus Salad
- 2 small or one large bunch of kale stemmed and cut into bite size pieces
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 navel oranges peeled and cut into bite size pieces
- 2 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
- Before you begin make sure that your kale is completely dry. Place the kale into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Gently massage the oil and salt into the kale. Massage for about three minutes or until all the leaves are coated and seem to be softening up a bit.
- Add in cilantro and lemon juice and toss until well combined. Gently stir in the oranges and top with pumpkin seeds right before serving. Enjoy!
- Makes 4 servings (about 1.5 cups each)