You know what I need right now? A nice, relaxing massage. And a glass of red wine. And maybe a vacation. But let’s go back to that massage…aaaah….I can feel it now. When we get a massage, our flesh gets manually manipulated to break up knotted muscle, relax tense and overworked muscles, and release lactic acid. A similar thing occurs in kale when it gets massaged.
Although there’s no need to go Swedish or Thai on your kale, giving it a good rub down, especially with key ingredients, helps to “break down” and soften kale’s crunchy texture. For instance, the mild acids in lemon juice and apple cider vinegar help break down the cell walls in kale leaves and mellow out its bitter flavor. (Sigh….If only lemon juice could prevent your ex from becoming bitter).
Why bother going through the trouble of rubbing down kale? Because there are so many amazing nutrients packed into each crunchy green leaf! Brimming with vitamins A, B6, and C, plus lutein and zeaxanthin (think healthy eyes), kale is a low-calorie powerhouse of healthy nutrients. It also has a fair share of fiber, iron, and calcium, and has more vitamin K than broccoli, spinach, and Swiss chard.
Tips on massaging kale: Once you’ve added the liquid ingredients meant to soften up kale’s tough exterior, take a fistful of leaves, squeeze them, and then moosh them around for a few seconds in your hands. (Moosh is a very technical culinary term, by the way). Then, take another handful of leaves and repeat over and over for at least 2-3 minutes.
Marinated Kale Salad
Vegan | Gluten-Free | Paleo | Anti-Candida
- 1 large bunch of organic Lacinato kale about 4 cups
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- 1/2 avocado diced
Wash and dry kale leaves. Remove the stems by holding the end of the stem with one hand and pulling the leaf off towards the top end with the other hand. Set the stems aside for use at another time. Chop kale leaves into bite-size pieces and place in large bowl. Zest lemon over leaves and pour in the sun-dried tomatoes (allowing a little oil from the sun-dried tomato jar to go in as well).
In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and sea salt. Pour mixture over kale.* Using your hands, massage the mixture into the leaves for about 2-3 minutes. You will see and feel the kale getting softer in your hands.
Finally, add the pumpkin or sunflower seeds and diced avocado on top.
Taste for seasoning.
*If you are wary of overdressing, try pouring half of the mixture in at first, then adding more as needed. There should be enough liquid to dress all the kale leaves, but not so much that it pools in the bottom of the bowl.
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