This time of year happens to be my favorite. The crisp air, the color change of the trees, and most of all the vegetables and fruits we can get! Summer was all about tomatoes and fresh lettuces of different sorts, now it is time for the kale, the sweet potatoes, and the beets. You can also get different types of squash this time of year and be guaranteed they are super fresh because now is the time for them to be harvested.
Kale is the superfood people are going crazy for, but many people do not know all the benefits Kale has to offer. It is a bitter green, that yes- is good for your bones- it actually has more calcium than milk! It is also good for cardiovascular health, is low in fat, high in fiber, high in iron, and has zero fat! Beets have an earthy flavor, and may not be a top choice for everyone- but they happen to be a favorite of mine! They are good source of betaine and trytophan that can help improve your mental health. They are also loaded with fiber and can help lower blood pressure.
Red peppers will help absorb iron- so goes great with the Kale. If you are iron deficient, when you combine the red pepper with any iron source it will help your body absorb the iron needed. They contain almost 300 percent of your daily vitamin C intake for the day. They are also low in calories- one cup contains about 40-45 calories!
Sweet potatoes contain vitamin E to help protect against heart disease, Potassium to help with muscles, bone health, and to regulate blood pressure. It has more potassium than a banana. Sweet potatoes also assist in producing collagen that helps the muscles stay healthy and help keep the skin firm!
Can’t BEET this salad!
Bunch of Kale- ripped up into pieces
2 Beets- roasted, peeled, diced (you can buy roasted or roast yourself)*
**1 Large sweet potato- diced and roasted (peeling is optional)
1 small red onion- diced
1 red pepper- diced
Handful of feta cheese
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 tablespoon Thyme
* To roast beets- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place beets in foil with oil covering them fully. Wrap tight and let cook for 30-45 minutes- until you can insert fork smoothly.
** You can substitute butternut squash for the sweet potato. It will just have to roast a longer than the sweet potato- 30-40 minutes.
Preheat over to 350 degrees. After dicing up sweet potato- add to a bowl and mix with EVOO and Thyme. Place on cooking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
Rip up kale, and place in a bowl. Add diced beets, red pepper, and onion. Once sweet potatoes are done, let cool and add to salad. Top with feta cheese and enjoy with favorite dressing- or add some balsamic vinegar with EVOO and enjoy!
Eating with the seasons has never gotten better, and your body will always thank you for eating good foods that are growing right now!