While kale is a superfood with impressive nutrition benefits, eating kale raw can be difficult for some to enjoy. Don’t let its sometimes-bitter, tough texture intimidate you from using it in its simplest form.
I’m going to let you in on a huge secret on how you can transform the flavor and texture of these leaves to your liking. It’s simple – just give the leaves a massage.
I know what you must be thinking, but experienced kale lovers take kale massaging very seriously. Just like people in a tense and bitter mood, this cruciferous vegetable responds very well to a deep-tissue massage.
Wondering how you “massage” kale? After breaking the kale leaves up, grab a bunch in your hands: massage and roll them together for a few minutes. You should actually feel the tough leaves breakdown and become tender. If you taste them, you’ll notice that the bitterness that some find displeasing magically mellows.
Massaged kale is not only more pleasant on the palate: breaking through the tough fiber barrier allows for easier digestion so that the plentiful vitamins K, A, C, minerals calcium, and manganese is absorbed more easily into the bloodstream. Something great about a vegetable like kale, full of nutritious fat-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble phytochemicals, is that it can be paired with a healthy oil, like olive oil, which helps the body further absorb and utilize these compounds.
Now, all that’s left is finding the perfect toppings to complement the kale for a tasty and nutrient-dense salad. Sweet citrus fruits stand up well next to kale, and creamy avocado is a great addition of healthy fat that will further mute any residual bitterness.
Raw Kale Salad Recipe Ingredients
- 1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped
- ½ avocado, sliced
- 2 tbsp sliced almonds
- 2 oranges (1 for the dressing, and 1 set aside to top the salad)
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper
*Makes 2-3 servings
Raw Kale Salad Recipe Preparation Instructions
- To make the dressing, squeeze the juice of one whole orange into a cup or bowl and add the olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Mix thoroughly and set the dressing aside.
- To prepare the salad, put the washed, chopped, and massaged kale into a large bowl. Add in the sliced avocado and sliced almonds. Peel the second orange and after removing as much of the white pith as possible, cut up into large chunks and add to the salad.
- Pour some of the dressing on the salad and enjoy! (A good tip to remember when making a kale salad is to let the dressing sit on the greens for at least 5 minutes, up to an hour; this allows for the greens to continue to soften and absorb some of the flavor).
Raw Kale Salad Recipe Toppings
- Chopped apples, walnuts, onion, raisins with an olive oil and fresh lemon juice dressing
- Fresh or dried cranberries, sundried tomato, hazelnuts, raisins with an apple cider vinegar and olive oil dressing
- Dried currants, pine nuts, parmesan cheese shavings with a honey, balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing
- Grape tomatoes, olives, feta cheese with an olive oil, lemon juice and crushed red pepper dressing
Hope you enjoy trying this recipe and find some new enjoyment of kale now that you know all it needs is a little bit of TLC to make a super tender and delicious raw kale salad! We’d love to hear what you think of massaging kale…and what you choose to include in your salad.