Last weekend, I bought my first pint of local blueberries this summer from the farmers' market. I don't usually consider blueberries to be one of my favourite fruits, but eating the local ones reminded me how sweet, juicy and flavourful they can be!
After eating some of my blueberries by the handful, I wanted to save the rest to use in a couple of recipes that I had planned. One of those recipes was a fruity kale salad that I had marked in my new Blissful Bites cookbook from vegan chef Christy Morgan. The recipe called for strawberries as the main fruit in the salad, but since strawberry season has pretty much ended, I thought blueberries would make a nice substitution and would pair well with the other salad ingredients.
The other main ingredient in the recipe was sliced jicama. Jicama - a Mexican root vegetable that tastes like a cross between an apple and a turnip - is one of my favourite ingredients to eat raw because it's so crisp and juicy. If you haven't tried jicama, I definitely recommend seeking it out at either your local market or an Asian grocery store!
I also added a few of my other favourite salad ingredients: cucumbers, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries. To keep it from being boring or bland, the recipe also calls for fresh mint and flaked coconut, which I toasted first in a pan, and finally everything is tossed in a sweet maple and lime dressing.
This was such a fresh salad with both the crisp veggies and juicy berries. I thought all of the ingredients came together so well and the maple syrup in the dressing added just the right amount of sweetness. If you like raw kale, this is a nice way to dress it up with seasonal ingredients!
Blueberry-Jicama Kale Salad
Adapted from Blissful Bites: Vegan Meals That Nourish Mind, Body, and Planet
~2 cups chopped kale leaves
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp white balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp herbamare seasoning (can substitute with a pinch of salt if you don't have this)
1/2 cup jicama, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
1/4 cup diced cucumber
1/4 cup blueberries
1 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp pure maple syrup
1 tsbp fresh mint (about 5 leaves), chopped
1 tbsp large flaked coconut, toasted in a dry skillet if desired
2 tbsp dried cranberries
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
Place the kale in a bowl and drizzle with the olive oil, balsamic and herbamare. Massage the leaves with your fingers for a couple minutes, until they are softened. Add the jicama, cucumber and blueberries to the bowl. Pour the lime juice and maple syrup over everything and toss to combine.
Stir in the mint, coconut, cranberries and seeds. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Makes 1 large serving or 2-3 side salads.