So I talk a lot about massaged kale salads on here. And lately I’ve been getting questions about what the heck a massaged kale salad is. I guess the name does sound kind of funny when you think about it.
Luckily I’m an expert at explaining this salad. Last year for one of my nutrition classes we had to do a demonstration, and I chose to do a massaged kale salad. So I donned my favourite apron, put on my best chef persona, and pretended I was the host of a Food Network Show called “Cooking Healthy with Chelsea”. Kind of has a nice ring to it doesn’t it?
Anyway, today I’ll try to replicate it in blog format for you guys – sorry, no videos of my corny presentation though!
So to answer the initial question of what the heck is a massaged kale salad: it’s a kale salad (duh) where you rub a fat and acid into the leaves. This helps to wilt the leaves so that they soften, and the fat actually helps to cut down on some of the bitterness of the leaf.
There are lots of different ways you can do this, but here’s how I make mine:
Massaged kale salad
Half a large bunch of kale
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
Half an avocado
Generous sprinkle of salt
1. Tear the kale into bite sized pieces, then wash and dry in a salad spinner. The drier the better!
2. Mash the avocado in a small bowl until it is mushy.
3. In a large bowl, drizzle the lemon juice over the kale. Now here’s where you get your hands dirty! Add the avocado to the bowl as well, then roll up your sleeves and use your hands to “massage” the avocado and lemon juice into the kale. It should feel sort of like kneading bread. This might take 2-3 minutes or longer. You’ll know you’re done when the kale has darkened and wilted.
4. Sprinkle salt over the salad and toss to mix. Whatever you do, don’t skip this step – the salt really brings out the flavours.
Ta da! You now have a massaged kale salad. It actually tastes pretty good on its own, but I usually jazz it up with toppings and a dressing. Some of my favourite flavours to pair with this base are tahini, avocado, carrots, nori, lemon soy grilled tofu, nutritional yeast, hummus, and parsley. I would love to hear any of your ideas too!
Have you ever made a massaged kale salad?
What’s your favourite way to eat kale?