This Superfood Kale Salad has it all! It has a nutritious kale base, and is loaded with roasted sweet potatoes, fresh blueberries, dried apricots, toasted pecans, quinoa and has a very light vinaigrette on top.
What is a Superfood?
You might be wondering what a superfood is, and what makes a superfood a superfood? Superfoods are nutritionally dense foods that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and are thought to ward off long-term health problems, like cancer and heart disease. We covered our bases with this superfood salad and really loaded it up to make it as delicious and as nutritious as possible!
What benefits do these Superfoods have?
We promised you a nutrient dense salad! But what benefits do each of these foods in the salad actually have? Well, we’ve laid it all out for you! We broke this salad down by ingredient, to show you what vitamins and health benefits you get with each item:
Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Quinoa
- First up, we have kale—the basis of the salad. Kale, like most dark leafy vegetables, is loaded with vitamin A, vitamin, C, vitamin K, fiber, calcium, manganese and other minerals.
- Next: sweet potatoes--sweet potatoes are full of calcium, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It also ranks low on the glycemic index!
- Quinoa is naturally gluten free and actually is closer in it's genetic makeup to spinach than a grain like rice. It retains all of it's nutrients when it's processed and is naturally low fat, has protein, and fiber which helps keep us full.
Blueberries, Apricots, Pecans, Apple Cider Vinegar, & Honey
- Then you've got your fresh blueberries reduces heart disease and are full of antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese soluble fiber, and phytochemicals.
- Apricots are rich in fiber, vitamin A, are rich in iron. and are full of antioxidants! Which, as a result, can help lower cholesterol.
- Pecans are naturally high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are brain food. As a result, pecans can reduce your risk of stroke, Alzheimer’s, depression, anxiety, heart disease, and diabetes.
- This salad has a simple dressing made with apple cider vinegar and honey (or maple syrup if vegan) which are known for their probiotics, boosting your immune system, and reducing inflammation.
How to Toast Pecans in the Oven
Toasting pecans in the oven is super simple1 Spread them over your baking sheet and pop them in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes. Done! But before you turn that oven off, check out how to roast sweet potatoes in the oven for this salad.
How to Roast Sweet Potatoes in the Oven
First off, you'll want to cut your sweet potatoes into ½ inch cubes. Toss them with your olive oil and seasoning and spread them over your baking sheet. I like to line my baking sheet for easy clean up! Turn your oven up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and roast them in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the potatoes are crispy and tender! While you're waiting for your sweet potatoes to cook, start on your quinoa!
How to make Quinoa
Start by rinsing your quinoa--this is because quinoa has a natural coating called saponin, that can make the quinoa taste a little soapy or even bitter. We are using ¼ cup of dry quinoa, cover your dry quinoa with ½ cup of water in a small saucepan. Bring the water and quinoa to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Let the quinoa continue to cook until all the water has been absorbed.
I commend you! On top of the health benefits that this superfood kale salad boasts, it's super yummy! So let’s move on to more important things, like how to make this salad!
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Superfood Kale Salad
- 8 cups kale chopped
- ¼ quinoa dry about 1 cup cooked
- 4 cups sweet potato cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup dried apricots finely diced
- ½ cup fresh blueberries
- ¼ cup pecan halves
- Cooking spray
For Salad Dressing:
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey replace with maple syrup if vegan or exclude if paleo/Whole30
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil. Spread pecans over baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes until toasted. Be careful not to let them burn. Remove from oven and place pecans on a plate to cool.
- Turn oven up to 450 degrees. Remove any bad spots on the sweet potato. Cut sweet potato into ½ inch cubes. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Spray baking sheet covered in foil with cooking spray. Spread the sweet potato cubes over the baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the outside of the sweet potatoes are crispy and inside is soft.
- While the sweet potatoes are baking prepare the quinoa. Rinse ¼ cup of quinoa in cold water. Place in a small saucepan and cover with ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil. Cover saucepan and reduce to a simmer. Cook until quinoa has absorbed all the water. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Whisk together the salad dressing ingredients. Place all salad ingredients together in a large bowl and toss together.
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Originally posted October 16, 2019