massaging kale tips

kale smoothies, kale chips, kale juice…we find an excuse to pack this dark green superfood into our diets pretty much every chance we get – and for good reason. Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables around: it’s filled to the brim with vitamins and minerals, including hard-to-find vitamin K and sulfur, and even contains omega-3 fatty acids. It supports liver detoxification, helps to lower cholesterol, reduces inflammation levels, clears toxic estrogen from the body, and prevents cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate. Did we mention that it tastes good too?

We’ve been on the kale bandwagon for years, yet sometimes it takes a bit of coaxing to get skeptics on board with our leaf-loving ways – in its natural state, kale can be tough, fibrous, and a little bitter. Enter the simplest tip ever for turning kale into a culinary delicacy: massage your kale.

“Massaging” kale is one of the easiest culinary techniques – and simplest health tips – ever. It takes just three minutes and is so fool-proof it can be mastered by kitchen novices in a heartbeat. The process involves using the acidic lemon juice to break down the cellulose fiber structures of the leaf. It causes the kale to wilt, turning this once-coarse leafy green into a silky, manageable and palatable vegetable that’s reminiscent of steamed spinach. The flavor also becomes much milder, turning it into the perfect salad green.

 Ready to get your hands dirty? Try out our run-through of a three-minute kale rub-down:

How to Massage Kale


1 Tbsp lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1/8 tsp sea salt
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large bunch kale, de-stemmed and torn into small pieces


Place washed, de-stemmed and torn kale into a large bowl. Add all ingredients.

With your hands, mix the ingredients into the kale and massage the leaves. Massage the kale as if you were massaging someone’s shoulders.

Massage for about 3 minutes, until the kale has reduced in size. Taste to see that it has softened. If needed, massage longer until you reach the consistency you desire.

Add other salad ingredients and any other dressing ingredients (tahini, vinegar, nutritional yeast, fresh herbs, etc.) to complete the salad.

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