Fall Kale Salad

I’m over here just getting cozy, breaking out all my easy Fall recipe go-to’s. This salad is a staple around here, and the add-ins are easily interchangeable. Here, I used dried cranberries sweetened with apple juice (I find them much less sugary, letting the bittersweet cranberry flavor shine) and sprouted, salted pumpkin seeds.

Why sprouted? Sprouting nuts and seeds remove many of the phytates. Phytates are present in all plants and act as the plant’s natural defense mechanism (a carrot can’t run from its bunny predator!). They bind to nutrients, passing them through your body, but we want those nutrients to be absorbed! So, any way we can reduce the number of phytates we ingest, the more nutrients that will be available to us. Many people sprout and dehydrate their nuts and seeds themselves, but I prefer to buy mine to save time. I’ve linked to the ones I like in the ingredient list below.

Back to the salad – this took just minutes to prepare, and my four year old helper was able to do much of the work – and, consequently, ate a large bowl of the salad. Win win!

1 bunch kale, curly or lacinato

¼ c. dried cranberries (preferably apple juice sweetened)

¼ c. sprouted pumpkin seeds

¼. C apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. stone-ground mustard

¼ c. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. maple syrup

salt and pepper to taste

De-stem kale and tear into small pieces, massaging with hands until wilted.  Add vinegar, olive oil, and mustard to a small jar and shake, or use my favorite little tool for emulsifying and frothing. Pour over kale, add cranberries, pumpkin seeds and toss with a grind of each salt and pepper.