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Creamy Kale Salad w/ Grilled Peaches & Spicy Croutons

I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Mine was nothing less than incredible and although it’s been over for a few days already, I still feel immensely grateful for every second of it. Some moments are so perfect that you wish they would never end, or wish you could live them over and over again whenever you feel some emptiness in your heart. This past weekend was one of those moments.

We had some friends from Montreal over. We rarely get visitors and when we do, we just try to make the most of every second. Mother Nature has been beyond generous, blessing us with what feels like the hotter and sunnier weekend of the summer. Talk about a glorious way to end this gorgeous season.

We ate some pretty delicious food, drank some good wine, walked around, talked, laughed, watched the city’s annual air show, went to the fair, to the beach, to the Farmers’ market, to the baseball game. Oh and we did morning yoga on the rooftop. Pretty perfect weekend if you ask me.

I hope the weather was as gorgeous wherever you were, and that you got to spend some quality time with the ones you love.

Creamy Kale Salad w/ Grilled Peaches & Spicy Croutons // The Green Life

Creamy Kale Salad w/ Grilled Peaches & Spicy Croutons // The Green Life

Now onto this salad. I teased you about a grilled peach recipe in last week’s post and I promised to share one with you, so here it is! If you’ve never had grilled peaches before, you’ll be blown away. Once grilled, peaches caramelize a little and become even more juicy and tender than their raw version.

This salad is quite simple, but it has everything you could wish for: a creamy, tangy and slightly sweet dressing, perfectly charred peaches that burst with juice and flavour, and spicy toasted croutons for some heat and crunchy texture.

Creamy Kale Salad w/ Grilled Peaches & Spicy Croutons // The Green Life

Creamy Kale Salad w/ Grilled Peaches & Spicy Croutons // The Green Life

Why kale is so good for you

Kale is by far one of the healthiest vegetables around. It’s a true nutrient powerhouse! It didn’t gain all this popularity in the past few years without good reason. It is truly amazingly good for you.

I certainly don’t need to make a case for kale, but if you weren’t convinced already, let me give you a few interesting facts about how wonderful it is, shall I?

Kale packs an enormous amount of vitamins. The vitamins offered by just one cup of kale can easily surpass a whole week’s worth of other foods. It is loaded with vitamin K, an essential vitamin for blood clotting, for building strong bones, preventing heart disease and preventing calcification of the arteries.

Kale is also one of the best cancer-fighter vegetables, mainly due to its unusual concentration of two types of antioxidants, carotenoids and flavonoids. It helps to regulate blood pressure, estrogen levels in the body, and it protects against heart disease.

Gram for gram, kale contains more calcium than milk (!), and it has a very beneficial ratio of calcium to phosphorus. High phosphorus consumption has been linked to osteoporosis because it promotes the excretion of calcium from the bones. Kale is therefore an excellent choice for both prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, arthritis and bone loss.

We don’t typically think of greens as sources of healthy fats. But kale is actually a great source of the health-promoting omega-3 fatty acid, which is essential for brain and heart health, is beneficial for diabetics and is highly anti-inflammatory.

Creamy Kale Salad w/ Grilled Peaches & Spicy Croutons // The Green Life

One cup of kale has more vitamin C than an orange! Kale is also an excellent source of vitamin A, B vitamins, manganese, copper, potassium and fibre.

Kale is a member of the brassica family or cruciferous vegetables (along with broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts) which have a protective effect in a variety of cancers, including breast, colon, prostate, bladder and ovarian cancers.

However, if you have thyroid issues or suffer from hypothyroidism, it is best to limit consuming your consumption of cruciferous vegetables in their raw form, since they contain goitrogen, a compound that may interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis. You can however cook or steam them to inhibit these compounds.

Massaging the kale

Because kale leaves are very tough, you need to massage the kale before eating in order to truly appreciate it. Massaging the kale basically means breaking it down to make it a lot easier on mastication and digestion. I know, it may sound weird, but it really does make a huge difference. All you need to do is massage the kale with your hands for 2 to 3 minutes, breaking and crunching the leaves until they become soft and their color change to dark green. Note that once massaged, the kale will reduce to about half of its original size.

Creamy Kale Salad w/ Grilled Peaches & Spicy Croutons // The Green Life

Creamy Kale Salad w/ Grilled Peaches & Spicy Croutons // The Green Life

Notes on the recipe: Peaches are wonderful when grilled on the BBQ, but I used a panini grill to grill mine (yes, yes!). Simply grill the peaches the same way you would do it on the BBQ while keeping the panini lid open (don’t press with the top part of the panini grill).

For the croutons, you can use a bread of your choice. I used this one.

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Creamy Kale Salad w/ Grilled Peaches & Spicy Croutons

Servings 2 -3 as a main, 4-5 as a side dish

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 3 medium peaches
  • A little bit of coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 large bunch kale
  • Hulled hemp seeds optional

Croutons:

  • 2 slices bread of your choice I used Ezekiel sprouted bread
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp chill powder or more, to taste
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

Instructions

Start by making the dressing:

  1. Place all the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. It you like your dressing a little thinner, add a few tablespoons of water and blend again until you achieve the desired consistency.

Make the croutons:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Cut the slices of bread into small cubes and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with about half of the olive oil and toss. Then add the remaining oil and toss again to coat. Sprinkle with chili powder and sea salt and toss lightly.
  2. Bake in the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven. Toss and stir the croutons and put back in the oven. Bake for another 5 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Grill the peaches:

  1. Cut peaches into 8ths, removing the pits. Brush each side with a little bit of coconut oil or ghee and place on a medium-hot grill. Grill until slightly charred and softened, about 4-5 minutes. Flip and grill for another 4-5 minutes.

Prepare the salad:

  1. Wash the kale and remove the tough ribs from the leaves using your hands or a sharp knife. Chop the leaves into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl.
  2. Pour the dressing over the kale bowl. Using your hands, massage the kale until it's dark green and soft, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. To serve, place massaged kale in a plate. Add grilled peaches and croutons and sprinkle with hemp seeds. Enjoy immediately.

Choose kindness and laugh often.

Creamy Kale Salad w/ Grilled Peaches & Spicy Croutons // The Green Life

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