Fresh and light, this kale citrus berry combo tastes exactly like summer. Bursting with fruity tang, it’s complemented by an easy balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
We’ve made it to day two, people! Let’s be positive; please don’t kale my vibe (pun 1000% intended, couldn’t resist). I can do this. You can do this. We got this. No idea what I’m talking about? Find out more here.
So far, the hit to my breakfast routine is the only really noticeable impact of Whole30. No more Siggi’s yogurt and peanut butter. That may have been my last pre-Whole30 meal, as a final goodbye. Considering that that’s essentially what I’ve eaten every single day for months, this will be interesting. Can a person overdose on eggs? (From a totally non-scientific standpoint, the simple answer is yes. If you’re a superhuman and know how to avoid the repetition-induced craze, I’m all ears.)
Remember my farmers market adventure on Sunday? Good times. In fact, such good times that it planted the seeds for this salad. I’m not sure if I’ve ever been more excited for a bowl of greens, but I do know that I’ve never spent longer taking pictures of one.
I guess I just really really really love kale. Especially picked fresh from a local farm and still crisp and bright green. And look at how curly those leaves are! Excuse me for a minute please, while I gaze at it a little bit longer. Nothing strange going on over here, just a girl and her kale.
Driving home afterwards, I knew that it needed to be paired with something worthy. None of the typical cucumber, tomato, lettuce stuff for me. It’s so banal. No, this great farmers market find deserved something unique. The idea for this salad blossomed from a few perspectives. My older brother requested a recipe for a berry salad, while his wife was eager for my salad dressing recipe. Poking through the vegetable drawer in the fridge revealed a grapefruit Hungry Harvest sent a while back and the blackberries I bought last week. Eureka! That’s it!
The grapefruit juice helps soften the kale, in addition to the massage you’ll give it first. Kale’s slight toughness is probably the most common complaint against kale salads that I hear. But anyway, back to the fruit.
Did you know that merely half of a medium grapefruit contains 59% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C, which is highly anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting. Add on vitamin B1, which, according to Jack Challem in The Food-Mood Solution, provides an energy boost and reduces mental fogginess, and you’ve got the beginnings of a fruity powerhouse.
Intrigued, I researched some more and discovered that grapefruits are actually full of anti-carcinogenic phytonutrients. Prepare to be amazed; I know I was.
The first one, lycopene, is the best dietary carotenoid fighter of free radicals, or reactive oxygen species. The Pharmacognosy Review defines free radicals as “any molecular species capable of independent existence that contains an unpaired electron in an atomic orbital.” In layman’s terms this means that there is an unpaired electron in this molecule, making it extremely reactive and unstable. On the hunt for another electron to pair with, the molecule steals an electron from other important cell compounds, such as our DNA. The damage inflicted by free radicals is one of the precursors of cancer.
Limonoids are the next cancer-fighting compound present in citrus fruits. These compounds aid in the formation of a ‘detox’ enzyme, glutathione-S-transferase, that causes the liver to make toxic compounds more water-soluble and able to be excreted by our bodies. This has been shown to help fight mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach, and colon cancer. Citrus actually contains a very long-acting specific type of limonoid, known as limonin, that is present in approximately equal amounts as vitamin C. It is attached to a glucose (sugar) molecule that our body digests, thus releasing the limonin for use in our cells, making it a very bioavailable compound.
Finally, we have naringenin, a type of flavonoid highly concentrated in grapefruit. It promotes the formation of two enzymes, 8-oxoguanine-DNA glycosylase 1 and DNA polymerase beta, which both play an important role in the DNA base excision repair pathway, the scientific name for repairing damaged DNA.
Are you sufficiently mindblown? If not, then go to this article to learn more.
Honestly, after all that it’s hard not to want to eat grapefruit all the time. For now, I’ll stick with having it on a bed of curly green kale and paired with fresh cucumbers and blackberries.
Oh, and we can’t forget the healthy fats! Toasted macadamia nuts really take the cake here. I tried them for the first time last week. They have a sort of buttery texture, not surprisingly, since they are the fattiest nut around. Don’t judge yet, though. It’s more than three-quarters monounsaturated fat, which is the kind we all need in our diets for their effects on our heart health. Macadamia nuts are also on the Whole30 “good list” of nuts and seeds, sooooo I’m gonna be having plenty of those.
Before I leave you to it, I have just one simple request. Do yourself a favor and toss together a bowl of this kale citrus berry salad. I’m a big proponent of getting nutrients from food rather than medicine, and armed you with the means to make a bowl full of so many. Your body will appreciate it.
If you try this recipe, I’d love your feedback. Leave a comment below, check it out on Facebook, save it on Pinterest, or tag #lensesandlentils on Instagram to share!
- FOR THE SALAD:
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 grapefruit
- 1 medium cucumber
- ¾ cups blackberries
- ⅓ cup diced onion
- ½ cup macadamia nuts
- FOR THE DRESSING:
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¾ tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- On a baking sheet, spread out the macadamia nuts and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden.
- Rinse the kale and massage it with the olive oil and lemon juice. Let sit for 5 minutes while preparing the remaining ingredients.
- Peel and segment the grapefruit, slicing into smaller wedges.
- Peel the cucumber and halve lengthwise, then cut into thin slices.
- Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl.
- TO MAKE THE DRESSING: Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine.*
- Store salad covered in the refrigerator. Dress before serving.**
**I dressed this in advance and the kale did not get soggy. That being said, I still recommend dressing the salad a bit before serving; it just means that it'll make good leftovers.