Thursday, December 20, 2012

Raw kale tastes better with a massage!

I know that you don't believe the title of this post, but it's true! It's taken me a long time to discover how to eat raw kale without pain. I usually eat kale in the form of kale chips or cheezy kale chips, but any leafy green is best eaten raw to get the most nutrients. Kale is a type of cabbage and contains loads of pretty much every vitamin, especially A, C, and K. It also contains antioxidants that reduce your risk for certain types of cancer. In my mind, kale is a "hearty" leafy green and therefore I like to eat it more in the winter, rather than baby spinach or romaine. I think kale goes better with squash, sweet potato, and other fall/winter foods.

So kale looks pretty unappetizing and dry in it's raw form, right? I've made a few kale salads in the past that I didn't even finish eating because I hated the kale. Well, I did some blog research and raw kale is much more appetizing and easier to eat/chew when you massage it first! I never thought of massaging my vegetables but it worked! Massaging the kale with an oil-based dressing adds some moisture and breaks down the fibers to make it much softer. I actually like raw kale now that I've figured this out, so I suggest you give it a try!

Raw kale before and after massaging with oil

How to Massage Kale
First, rip your kale leaves into bite-size pieces. Leave the stems out because they are tough to chew. (They can be used for juicing!) Places the kale into a large bowl. For the dressing part, you have to do some estimation. You don't want to use too much oil because it's high in calories. Try to estimate how many servings of kale you have. For 1 big serving to be used in a salad base, I added 1/2 Tbs. of olive oil, 1 tsp. of vinegar, and juice of 1/4 lemon. Drizzle the dressing mixture over the kale. Now, simply massage the dressing into the kale, for about 2 minutes. You will notice the kale turn dark in color and become softer (see picture above). Once all of the kale looks like this, you're done massaging. Since the kale won't wilt like lettuce or spinach would, you can do this massaging a long time before actually serving. This also lets the dressing marinate the kale more. For example, for lunch the next day, simply massage the kale the morning or night before and keep refrigerated. Then, just add more ingredients to make a salad!

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