Meatless Monday Recipe: Give Your Kale a Massage

Yes, you read that right. You can massage kale in order to make it less bitter and improve the taste a bit. I've been a huge kale fan for a while now, but I literally would ONLY put it in smoothies because I wasn't a fan of it raw. I never thought about putting it into a salad until I recently read that you can improve it's flavor with a massage. So dim the lights, burn some scented candles, put on some new age-y music and get that kale on the table. Now I know what you're thinking, why do I need to be eating kale in the first place? Well, did you know that kale scores a perfect 1,000 on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index, a food-rating system that measures nutrients per calorie? Add it's great Vitamin K, A and C, calcium and iron content and kale more than qualifies as a superfood (picture that bunch of kale with a nice happy cape flying through the air...). The best part of massaging the kale is that you can have the "cooked" texture but it is still full of the healthy nutrients and enzymes that you can lose when cooking it. Using your favorite healthy fat (avocado or olive oil are both great choices) and sea salt you can do it quickly and easily.

First, here's how to do it:

  • Start with a bunch of kale, tear into bite size pieces and wash and dry well.
  • Toss the kale in a big bowl with the chopped avocado or oil of your choice, add some sea salt and a little lemon juice to cut the bitterness.
  • Get both hands in there and massage the avocado/oil into the kale.
  • Massage the ingredients all together until it starts to wilt and you get the texture you prefer, the more you massage, the more it feels “cooked”.

Now you can customize the kale salad however you want. Add some kalamata olives and some feta for a great Greek salad or do some pine nuts and goat cheese! Top it with your favorite dressing and you're done! I got a bunch of kale in my box from Cody's Fresh Foods this past weekend and I made a fantastic massaged salad with tomatoes, goat cheese, pine nuts and avocado.

Just in case you still have some kale left over, here's my go-to recipe for a supergreens smoothie. This smoothie tastes so good even the kids will drink it. It took me a little finessing to get them to try it at first (the green color threw them off) but once they did they were hooked. I use the frozen strawberries from Kilpatrick Family Farm for my smoothies when I need some extra sweetness.

  • a cup or so of kale, ripped up into little pieces
  • a cup or so of vanilla coconut milk or flax milk
  • frozen strawberries (or fresh or frozen fruit of your choice)
  • a little local honey to taste
  • some Amazing Grass green superfood powder
  • one banana