In the last couple of years kale has become very popular mainly because it ranks the highest in the ANDI score. You can find it in easily available, even in Virgin Gorda.
So what is ANDI Score?
ANDI is an acronym for Aggregate Nutrient Density Index.
Joel Fuhrman, M.D, is the creator of ANDI scoring system. Dr. Furhman is a family physician who specializes in nutrition-based treatments for obesity and chronic diseases.
According to Dr. Fuhrman, in order to achieve excellent health, we should consume foods that are rich in micronutrients like vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (chemical compounds that naturally occur in plants).
Because micronutrients are necessary for fueling the proper functioning of our immune system. They also enable the detoxification and cellular repair mechanisms that protect us from diseases. The best thing about it is that most of these foods (green leafy vegetables, fruits, beans…) are low in calories and high in micronutrients.
So think about it, what would happen if we were to consume more of these foods and less of everything else?
The answer is, as follows but not limited to, below:
- loose weight in a very healthy way.
- reduce the possibility of having chronic diseases.
- feel better.
How would we know which foods are high in “nutrients” (or have the good stuff)?
That is when ANDI scoring system comes in to place. It gives you a clear picture of the nutritional quality of each food that we are consuming.
I learned all this information from Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book, “Eat to Live”. What draw me into reading this book was watching him on Dr. Oz Show claim that by eating right, you can prevent modern diseases like cancer, heart failures, high blood pressure and diabetes.
It was right around the time I lost my mother. She had heart issues and diabetes. She did not pay attention to her health, did not work out and smoked. All those things let to her sudden dying.
I was looking for answers to find a way to live a life free of modern illnesses I mentioned above.
There is so much more information in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book, “Eat to Live” and his other books. Most people are drawn to it mostly because the “side effect” of “eating right” is to loose weight. I did not need to loose weight but I wanted to know how I could eat better.
I would highly recommend his books (and his website) if you are looking for information on eating right, loosing weight or interested in learning how to cook healthy.
So you may ask;
If eating healthy is all about eating vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and beans, why do I have a blog full of recipes with other foods?
It is because at no point in the book he tells you that you should not eat things that you like. He tells you that majority of your diet should include foods that are high in micronutrients. He teaches you what kind of foods and how much to eat with the help of a food pyramid that he created.
Like most people I know, I cannot imagine a life without cookies, cakes, chocolate ice cream and muffins. I think life would be so boring without them. I do eat those things but I also make sure that I eat at least two big salads and 4 pieces of fruits every single day. When I want to snack, I snack on edamame or raw nuts. I pay attention to my sugar, salt, oil and processed food consumption. I cook at home and use foods as close to their natural state as possible when I cook. Last but not least, I work out everyday.
To sum it up, I believe eating healthy is all about proportion control, knowing how your body reacts to foods you eat and eat accordingly.
Now lets go back and talk about kale again. Kale scores 1000-the highest possible score, on ANDI scorecard. It is amazingly nutritious. However, if you eat it raw, you may find it a little bitter. I do like eating it that way but my husband does not.
Most people steam it for a couple of minutes. However, I do not want to do that because I do not want it to loose some of its nutrients during steaming process. Instead, I used a very healthy fat, avocado, to mask the bitter taste. Basically I used the kneading method that I would use when making bread. Using my clean hands, I kneaded kale with a very ripe avocado for a couple of minutes. During the process, juices from the kale combined with juices from avocado created an amazing flavor. As avocado is fat, I did not need to use any other oils.
Since I was feeling like I wanted a sweet and sour taste, I made a dressing with dates (sweet), lemon (sour), garlic, shallot and pinch of sea salt. I sprinkled it with some hemp seeds and hand chopped almonds to give it some crunch. The result was simply delicious and super healthy.
You can use other dressings that you like for this salad. Consider the kale and avocado as a black canvas…
If your husband is like mine and wants lean protein with every meal, you can serve it with a grilled chicken breast.
Possibilities are endless. Come on, what are you waiting for?
Kale and Avocado Salad with Sweet and Sour Dressing
- 1 bunch of Kale washed, stems discarded
- 1 very ripe avocado mashed using a fork
- 2 tablespoons lemon
- 2 cloves of garlic chopped
- 3 dates coarsely chopped
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup raw almonds chopped
- Pinch of salt
- Place kale and avocado in a bowl. Using your clean hands, massage them for 2 to 3 minutes.
- To make the dressing, whisk lemon, garlic, dates and shallot in a bowl until combined.
- Drizzle kale and avocado combination with the dressing and toss to coat evenly.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle hemp seeds and almonds as desired.