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Kale Salad with Apple, Walnuts, Cranberries and Feta

kale salad with apple walnuts cranberries and feta

Kale headlines this act, with supporting roles by apples, walnuts, and dried cranberries. Toss with a honey-mustard dressing, top with the salty tang of feta cheese, and you have a box office hit.

The Superfood of Superfoods

If you haven’t tried kale, now is the time. This superfood of superfoods hails from the cabbage family. Its crunchy, dark, leafy greens with a spicy flavor have been served for dinner since Roman times.

There are so many great things to write about this vegetable that we hardly know where to begin. Low in calories and cholesterol, high in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and much more...kale’s possible health benefits range from improving blood glucose, controlling diabetes, lowering blood pressure, lowering the risk of cancer, improving bone health, and reducing inflammation.

Give the Kale a Massage

The first thing you need to do is give the kale a massage. That’s right. This crunchy, tough plant needs some loosening up. After removing it from the stems, cutting it into pieces, and giving it a good rinse and dry, put your hands in the bowl and give it a good massage for a few minutes. The leaves will become more vibrant shade of green, softer in texture, and easier to digest.

Another plus: Kale doesn’t wilt from the dressing like other salad greens, and can be eaten hours, or even a day or two later and still be fresh. It’s also a great addition to a salad of mixed greens if you want to mix it up a bit.

So, let’s get started…

INGREDIENTS 

  • 8 cups chopped kale, stems removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ½: cup walnut halves
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 medium apple, diced with skin on
  • 2 ounces feta cheese

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Rinse and dry kale and place in large bowl. Massage the leaves with your hands for a minute or two. This helps kale loosen up and become more fragrant.
  2. For dressing, mix together vinegar, mustard , honey and pepper. Using a whisk, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the vinegar mixture, whisking continuously until well blended and slightly thickened.
  3. Add dressing to kale and toss until coated.
  4. Toss in walnuts, cranberries and apple.
  5. Top with feta cheese.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Information
Per serving: 376 calories; 24.8 g total fat (4.7 g saturated); 249 mg sodium; 12.6 mg cholesterol; 37.4 g carbohydrate; 9.4 g protein; 8.2 g fiber.

Kale Facts

One cup chopped kale contains:

  • 206 percent of the daily value of vitamin A
  • 684 percent of vitamin K.*
  • as much calcium as milk
  • more vitamin C than an orange
  • important minerals, including copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus
  • omega-3 fatty acids, known to contain cholesterol-lowering fiber and cancer-fighting carotenoids and flavonoids

*A note about kale: Everything in moderation. While kale is a major superfood with many health benefits, you should be aware that:

  • The large concentration of Vitamin K can be a problem for people taking blood thinners and other medications because it promotes clotting.
  • The green also contains oxalates, which in lab tests have been associated with kidney stones and some gallstones.
  • Kale and its cousins in the cabbage family can interact with thyroid function if eaten in very high amounts.
  • Eating too much raw kale can also be hard on the digestive system, such as causing bloating and gas.

We recommend eating raw kale no more than twice per week, although eat as much as you like when it’s cooked.

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.

 

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