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(Image from here)

I have become a bit of a kale devotee. Granted, not the sexiest of produce but never the less, seriously good for you AND, it is possible to make it very tasty, too…

Kale is supposedly a nutritional powerhouse. Loaded with calcium, iron, vitamins A, C, and K, and 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids in every cup, it’s no wonder this leafy green is becoming more and more popular among the health conscious.

Of course, there’s a rather large reason why kale gained popularity as a garnish, rather than as the main course – the leaves are incredibly tough and fibrous! At first glance, not exactly the type of leafy green you’d want to feature in a salad.

But wait! – Just by massaging the leaves between your fingers breaks down their tough cellulose structure, making this cruciferous veggie not only taste less bitter, but also making it easier to digest. After just a few minutes of squeezing the leaves between your hands, they will turn a darker green and have a wilted, silky texture. I know it sounds weird, but trust me. It’s a wee bit of magic…

My favourite massaged kale salad (to date) comes from the super talented Sarah Britton of My New Roots, the award-winning blog that has become an online destination for foodies everywhere, not only for its one-of-a-kind recipes, but also for its amazing nutritional information and mouth-watering photography.

Sarah Britton's Massaged Kale Salad

Sarah Britton’s Massaged Kale Salad
(Image from My New Roots)

It’s like having dessert with your salad. (LM)

Sarah Britton’s Massaged Kale Salad and Grapes with Poppy Seed Dressing

For the massaged kale:

1 bunch kale, stemmed and sliced into ribbons
1 lemon
Cold-pressed olive oil
Sea salt

1. In a large bowl, dress kale with lemon juice and olive oil onto kale leaves and add a pinch or two of sea salt. Roll up your sleeves and massage kale until it’s deep dark green, soft, and tender, 2 to 3 minutes. (I use a timer. Anal, yes.)

2. Add anything you like: fruits, veggies, cooked or sprouted grains and legumes, nuts and seeds. Get creative. Once you’ve massaged your kale, store it in a tightly sealed container for up to 4 days in the fridge.

Here’s what Sarah added to her massaged kale (It worked for her, so who was I to argue?):

A couple handfuls each red and green grapes
1 ripe avocado
¼ cup toasted pine nuts

Poppy Seed Dressing

¼ cup cold-pressed olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ shallot, diced
1 tablespoon poppy-seeds
Pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon honey

Whisk all ingredients together. Store leftovers in a glass jar for up to one week.

Massaged kale keeps in the fridge and doesn’t wilt like normal lettuce. Honest! A large bunch of kale massaged into one of Sarah’s fab’ salads feeds LM and me for two nights. Try it. I reckon you’ll be surprised at how much you love it.