Fall is the season for amazing dark leafy green veggies. The cooler temperatures bring out a natural sweetness in greens like collards and kale. These dark greens offer so many amazing nutrients for the body such as calcium, silica, iron, copper, and vitamins A, K and C. They are an integral part of the raw food diet. Both alkalinizing and mineralizing, they help to build strong bones and healthy blood to nourish the entire body. During the fall and winter greens become even more of a main stay in my own diet. I find them to be grounding, and when dressed up with a rich sauce or dressing, can be very hearty. Greens can be massaged with lemon juice and salt to break down the cellulose and give them a more “steamed” texture. While light, crisp lettuce salads may be the perfect idea during the heat of the summer, dark greens marinated, massaged, and dressed with a nut or seed based dressing make a great meal that feels more substantial during the Fall. You can even utilize more bitter, medicinal tasting herbs by using them in this fashion. For instance one of my favorite dark green salads is one of kale and dandelion greens mixed, massaged with salt and lemon, and dressed with a creamy macadamia nut dressing (adapted recipe included below from Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine by Gabriel Cousens). The oil content of the dressing will help balance out any bitterness. Dark greens are especially great for building up our immune defenses as we head into a chillier season.
Another great way to eat dark greens is to dehydrate them coated with a yummy sauce and make kale chips! A great snack that is totally convenient, and completely healthy. These crispy chips are so full of flavor, sometimes it’s hard to remember that the base is made entirely of kale. Kale chips are pretty easy to make if you have a good recipe for a sauce, a dehydrator, and some time on your hands. However, nowadays there are more than a few options for kale chips that have already been consciously prepared and lovingly packaged by companies that have their recipes down pat. Daily Juice Foods make a variety of kale chips called Rhythm Chips that are pretty much to die for. I love the Bombay Curry, Zesty Nacho and Kool Ranch. They are all very flavorful, with just the right amount of spice. Zesty Nacho is pretty spicy, and has a very cheese-like flavor from vegan nutritional yeast. Kool Ranch is a flavor explosion of fresh dill, parsley, and onion. Bombay Curry is a delicious East Indian inspired treat blending fresh cilantro and ginger with curry spices, and also incorporating shredded coconut and carrot into the mix. All flavors contain fresh zucchini, cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, sea salt and apple cider vinegar, and everything is raw and organic.
Lydia’s Organics also recently came out with a line of kale chips called Kale Krunchies that have become a favorite of mine. They come in 3 flavors, and are in slightly larger bags (3 oz as oppose to 2 oz). These chips are always super crispy, and are not as heavily dressed as Rhythm Chips. The 3 flavors available are Herbs de Provence, Sassy Spice, and MegaGreen. All 3 contain sprouted sunflower seeds and cold pressed sunflower oil, sprouted pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cashews, lemon, and himalayan salt. No nutritional yeast is used so these particular kale chips have less of a tangy cheese-like flavor. Herbs de Provence contains a perfectly balanced blend of french herbs such as basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, lavender and tarragon. Sassy Spice is lightly flavored with cumin, chili, and cayenne, and Mega Green contains a light coating of spirulina, cayenne, and dill. I’ve always been a huge fan of using spirulina on my green salads, especially my kale salads, and so it makes sense that MegaGreen would be my favorite flavor.