Learn How To Prep, Massage and Soften Kale for Salads with olive oil and lemon juice for the perfect method to turn bitter, tough kale into tender and soft greens. If you aren't preparing raw kale salads by massaging it, you need to start!
Massaging kale may have started as a trend, but it should become a written law for making raw kale salads. The transformation and taste difference is unbelievable!
The first time I had softened and tenderized kale was at a restaurant and I tried replicating it for weeks. Finally I got it. The trick was no stems, with the kale being chopped into bite size pieces and massaging it with lemon juice, olive oil and salt.
What a game changer! For a fabulous softened kale salad, try my Kale Pomegranate Salad with Feta.
Why You Should Eat Kale:
- Kale is a super food and incredibly nutritious. It is filled with Vitamin A, C and K and it even has some good old fiber! Kale can also help with weight loss and diabetes. If you want to read more about Kale's nutritional advantages, an article from EatThis.com discusses all of kale's health benefits.
- Kale is delicious, but only if prepared correctly. If you try eating plain kale, you may be left feeling like eating vegetables is no longer for you. Without the proper technique, kale is rough and bitter, but don't worry I have a solution!
- It only takes 10 minutes to transform your kale into a delicious treat. You can make a large batch of this kale recipe and it will stay good in the fridge for 2 days. Hello Easy Lunch!
- This technique only takes a few ingredients, that you most likely already have in the fridge and pantry.
Recipes That Use Kale:
This massaged kale works great in almost any salad. I love lighter dressings on raw kale salads, like my creamy balsamic dressing and homemade greek dressing. If you are looking to lose weight, the olive oil and lemon juice already on the salad tastes really great too. Toss in some red pepper flakes for added flavor or add a little balsamic vinegar.
Kale also tastes delicious tossed in soups, like this Garden Vegetable Soup.
It is so YUMMY. When it comes to soup, you don't have to worry about massaging it because the bitterness will cook out.
Kale is also AWESOME in smoothies or sautéed in olive oil with other veggies and tossed in rice or pasta.
The possibilities are endless.
Curly or Tuscan Kale- These are both great for salads. I am using curly kale because it was what I found at my local grocery store and I love it.
Olive Oil- Our bodies need oil or lotion for a massage and so does kale. Just the right amount of oil allows our hands to break down the rough texture of the kale.
Lemon Juice- The acidity helps to tenderize and soften the kale.
Salt- For added flavor
How to Prepare Kale for Salads:
Here is a full video with step by step instructions: (If you love YouTube, be sure to subscribe to my channel, it's free)
Begin by rinsing and drying the kale.
Remove each stem by pulling the kale leaves off the stem or cutting down each side of the stem to remove it.
Chop the Kale into bite size pieces and place it into a large bowl.
Coat the Kale with 3 tablespoons olive oil, juice from ½ a lemon and ¼ teaspoon salt.
With both of your hands, begin to massage the kale. Really get in there and do this for 2 to 3 minutes until the texture looks tender and soft. (See video for demonstration)
Enjoy this beautifully prepped raw kale on any salad of your choice. For a quick lunch, I love to smash up my homemade croutons into smaller pieces and serve on top of this massaged kale with a generous amount of shredded Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. YUM!!!
Yes! Kale has both magnesium and fiber and can help get your digestive system going!
Heck Yes! Kale is full of vitamins and can give you a boost in energy, much like most healthy fruits and veggies.
Kale can last in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. Once you massage it with olive oil, lemon and salt as described in this post, it will only stay really fresh for 2 days in the proper container.
It's all in the technique. Kale doesn't taste good raw and is very bitter. By tenderizing the kale with salt, olive oil, and lemon for acidity, it will taste like an entirely different vegetable.
Curly Kale is easily found at the grocery store and tastes great in salads! Tuscan kale also works fantastic, but sometimes is harder to find.