Have you ever tried massaging your kale? It sounds a little crazy at first, but trust me on this one – it’s magic.
It seems like everyone is into kale lately, and for good reason. It’s a nutritional powerhouse – per WebMD it is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet, not only a good source of all kinds of vitamins and antioxidants but also high in fiber to boot with 5g per cup! And it even tastes pretty good when you know how to treat it. Normally I sauté it in a little bit of olive oil and soy sauce, which is how my mom always made it, but I’ve been wanting to try it in different ways.
Photo from Healthy Food for Living
Lauren’s Massaged Kale Salad with Mango & Avocado post was the inspiration for me to try raw kale somewhere other than my smoothies. I didn’t have everything hers called for, so I had to improvise a bit – subbed curly kale for the lacinato kale, cucumber for the avocado, and used lemon juice and zest with plain olive oil in place of the lime olive oil (for her recipe, click here).
I will admit I was a little unsure going into it because kale is such a tough green, but the quick massage did the trick to break down the toughness. I added a drizzle of olive oil, a dash of salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice to the greens, then dove in with both hands.
After a couple of minutes, I could feel it start to break down and get softer, and the color became more vibrant. It also reduced in size by about a third.
I added the diced mango and cucumber, tossed it with the honey-lemon dressing, and then topped it with toasted sliced almonds and coconut.
Tip – coconuts and nuts both keep a lot longer in the freezer, and you can use both straight out of the bag. To toast them, I just throw them on my toaster oven sheet pan lined with foil and run it through a light cycle - watch it carefully though, the coconut can go too far very quickly.
I was amazed at how much I enjoyed it! The brightness of the mango and lemon were a highlight against the rich kale, and the coconut and honey added a nice touch of sweetness, and the almonds gave it a great texture.
This salad is definitely going to be going into my regular rotation – I’m really excited to have a new way to enjoy kale without heating up the stove! I already picked up a bunch of local lacinato kale on sale at Whole Foods today, basically a flat-leaf kale. I’m looking forward to seeing how the salad texture differs with the new variety since it was the type her recipe was intended for.
Thanks, Lauren, for convincing me to massage my kale