Kale. Hemp seeds. Sauerkraut. A power trio! They are the main characters in the following recipe, each trying to steal the other’s show in presenting their potency and health supportive features.
Kale seems to be widely known and is still becoming more and more popular. This nutrient dense green vegetable is a descendant of wild cabbage. It is packed with fiber, is strongly anti-inflammatory, and is a very good source of Vitamin A, C and K as well as manganese, copper, potassium and calcium (source). Kale can be sauteed, steamed, eaten raw, baked, or dehydrated into chips. I for myself prefer it raw, but because it tends to be a little chewy and tough, it needs a little massaging upfront (see below).
Hemp seeds are packed with protein, a whooping 11g for 3 tablespoons! No surprise then that hemp is often used as the base for vegan protein shakes. But the main benefit of hemp is the high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, 3g per 3 tablespoons, and a relatively good omega-6 / omega-3 ratio of 3:1 (depending a bit on the species). Only flaxseed oil has more omega-3s, and the sensational omega-6 / omega-3 ration of 1:4, compensating even better for most oils that have too much omega-6 and too little omega-3.
And last but not least, we have Sauerkraut. This fermented product supplies your digestive tract with living cultures (read: good bacteria or probiotics) essential for breaking down food and assimilating nutrients, improving your digestive well being. These living cultures are often cited by people eating yogurt, but there are excellent alternatives that do without dairy: Sauerkraut is one, Miso another, among others.
This salad is fast and easy to make, it is healthy and delicious, and any leftovers will keep nicely in the fridge for the next day.
Kale Hemp Sauerkraut Salad on Sunflower Seed & Onion Dressing
Serves 3 to 4
- 7 oz (200g) kale, stemmed, washed and torn into bite size pieces
- ¼ cup (35g) hemp seeds
- 1 cup ( packed ) (160g) sauerkraut
Dressing (yields about 1½ cups)
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup (70g) sunflower seeds, soaked for at least 2 hours
- ½ cup (125ml) filtered water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ heaping teaspoon salt
- generous pinch chipotle
- In a pan, heat up a tablespoon of olive oil, then sauté the sliced onion with a pinch of salt for a few minutes until they start caramelizing. Set aside. Alternatively, for a raw version of this dressing, mix the sliced onion with a pinch of salt and 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, then put them on a teflex sheet and dehydrate for 3-4 hours.
- Drain the sunflower seeds and place them in a blender along with all the other ingredients including either the cooked or the raw onions. Blend until completely smooth and creamy.
- In a bowl, mix the prepared kale with the dressing. Use as much dressing as you want; there may be some leftover, which can simply be used for another salad or as a dip.
- Gently work the kale with the dressing for a few minutes, using your hands. This massaging will tenderize the kale, making it more palatable.
- Add in the hemp seeds and the sauerkraut. Adjust seasoning with salt and olive oil if needed.