This tutorial provides everything you need to know about how to massage kale to make delicious salads, including tips for how to do it with or without oil.I know it sounds weird, but tenderizing kale with your hands for a few minutes is a game changer.Plus, you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions and kale salad recipes.Massaging kale helps to break down its tough texture and make it more palatable.Some claim that massaged kale therefore needs to be rinsed before eating, since the bitter compounds may stay on the leaves after they have been released.In addition to massaging kale, you can reduce its bitter flavor by pairing it with acidic and sweet ingredients, such as citrus juices or vinegars in a dressing and fruits in a salad.It can be green or purple, and it’s the kind I use in the photos and videos for this post on how to soften kale.It can be green or purple, and it’s the kind I use in the photos and videos for this post on how to soften kale.I love to use this type of kale in salads that call for it shredded or cut into thin strips.I love to use this type of kale in salads that call for it shredded or cut into thin strips.You can also soften kale with lemon or another acidic ingredient, such as apple cider vinegar.On a similar note, if you are using a dressing with lemon juice or a vinegar, you can skip the step of massaging kale.Even if the recipe doesn’t call for it, consider using massaged kale to improve the dish’s texture and flavor.Prep Time: 10 mins Total Time: 10 mins Servings: 4 Calories: 47 kcal Author: Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN Equipment Mixing bowl Ingredients ▢ 1 bunch curly kale.▢ 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil sub lemon juice or apple cider vinegar Cook Mode Prevent your screen from going dark Instructions Wash the kale and pat dry.Video Notes Store massaged kale in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.Just let the salad sit for a half hour or more before eating so the kale has time to soften. .
How to Prepare Kale for Salads
Kale can be a bit tough to eat raw in salads.A kale salad for lunch sounds so good, doesn’t it?But it can also make you look like a cow gnawing on a big piece of kale.You shouldn’t worry about hurting your jaw when eating salad.This sounds incredibly silly but it makes a huge difference because it breaks down some of the plant’s fibrous cells.Massage your kale with a little lemon juice and salt until it starts to soften, usually about 3 minutes.After you’ve given an impressive massage, let that bad boy sit for a minimum of 5 minutes. .
How to Massage Kale
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this super simple tutorial!Kale was one of those vegetables that were usually wilted in a soup or blended up in a smoothie.If you’ve had a kale salad and it has NOT been massaged, then I understand where you’re coming from.Eating a kale salad that has not been massaged is like shoving a handful of shredded paper into your mouth.When you massage kale before mixing it in a salad you are breaking it down so that it is easily digestible and easier to eat.Kale is a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts!It is antioxidant rich, packed with 200% of your daily vitamin C, contains carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, and more!Add kale into your diet and spread it throughout your menu planning!Generally, you do not need to massage baby kale because it is already tender enough that it doesn’t need to be broken down.Kale generally comes with a big thick stem that you do not want to eat.(Psssst… If you do have a furry friend at home, chop the stem into small pieces and use them as dog treats throughout the week!).When all stems are removed, chop kale into small pieces and place into a large salad bowl.When all stems are removed, chop kale into small pieces and place into a large salad bowl.Discard stem and chop kale into small pieces and place into a large salad bowl.We love massaging kale with extra virgin olive oil.Feel free to use your favorite cooking oil with a pinch of salt.As long as you coat your kale with a little oil and salt you are good to go!Decide what massaged kale salad you would like to prepare and enjoy! .
Easy Kale Salad with Fresh Lemon Dressing
This easy kale salad is packed with fresh veggies and a super simple homemade lemon dressing, making it perfect as a healthy side dish!Full of fresh ingredients with lots of flavor and crunch, this is definitely one of my very favorite kale salad recipes!A quick and easy kale salad recipe is perfect for warm weather but we honestly love it all year long!It’s fresh, delicious, and totally make-ahead so feel free to prep this bad boy the night before and pack it along in lunches the next day.so feel free to prep this bad boy the night before and pack it along in lunches the next day.The zesty homemade lemon dressing takes just minutes to prep and is so much better than store bought.Kale actually makes the ideal prep-ahead salad and sandwich greenery because of its ability to hold up like a champ in the fridge!Massaging kale releases some of the bitterness and helps tenderize or soften it for salads.Tear or chop the washed kale into bite-sized pieces, then sprinkle with a pinch of salt.Pick up some of the kale and rub it, massaging the leaves until they darken in color and become tender.I chose to add carrots, broccoli, red onion, dried cranberries, cheese, sliced almonds, and sunflower seeds, but you could totally get creative here and empty out your crisper drawer!Raisins would work excellent instead of the cranberries or try other dried or fresh fruit like apples!Make it a meal and top with cooked chicken, steak, grilled shrimp, or salmon.Or to leave a comment, ↑ Click stars to rate now!Or to leave a comment, click here fromvotes Easy Kale Salad with Fresh Lemon Dressing This easy kale salad features fresh veggies and a super simple homemade lemon dressing, making it perfect as a healthy side dish or light lunch!▢ ½ cup cheese optional (cheddar or feta work great here!).▢ 1 teaspoon honey or sugar adjust + add to taste Instructions First make your dressing by combining ingredients above in a lidded mason jar then shake well to emulsify.Dip a kale leaf in the dressing and adjust sweetener, salt, and pepper to taste.In a large bowl, combine massaged kale, broccoli, almonds, cheese, carrots, onion, sunflower seeds, cranberries.Notes Optional: I like to add poppy seeds to my salad dressing on occasion to give it a lemon poppyseed vibe - feel free to follow suit! .
6 Kale Salad Mistakes to Avoid Because No One Likes a Soggy
The endlessly hip kale salad seems to appear everywhere these days, from our mom's Sunday dinner table to every restaurant in town.Kale is super fibrous—one of the sources of its many health benefits—so it's a bit more difficult to chew than your average green.Choosing a creamy dressing like ranch or blue cheese might seem like a good idea.That acid will help break down the fibers in the kale, making it a lot more tender and easier to chew.No, we're not talking about dimming the lights and squirting on the scented oils—you should massage your kale with either your dressing, or some lemon juice and salt.Get a wide bowl, sprinkle on your dressing or whatever you choose to use, and take a bunch of leaves in your hands.Again, it will get a bit softer so you won't feel like a cow chewing cud at the dinner table.Unlike arugula or spinach, which taste great with just a simple vinaigrette, kale needs some buddies.The tough leaves and the acidic vinaigrette just yearn for cheese, especially a salty one like Pecorino Romano or Parmesan. .
Everyday Kale Salad
And finally, for the last recipe in our everyday side salad collection this week, we come to an old favorite of mine.This salad is made with five simple ingredients — super-soft fresh kale (see tips below), freshly-squeezed lemon juice, lotsa Parm, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkling of your favorite nuts.So if you’re looking for a super-simple and healthy side salad to go with dinner tonight, pick up some fresh kale and give it a try!Nuts: I like adding some toasted sliced or slivered almonds to this salad for a bit of extra crunch and protein.I like adding some toasted sliced or slivered almonds to this salad for a bit of extra crunch and protein.Salt and Pepper: A good sprinkling of each to season and finish this salad.To make those tough kale leaves nice and soft, they need a quick massage before we add the other ingredients.Then add it to a large mixing bowl, drizzle with a few glugs of olive oil, and then get your hands in there and massage the kale just like you would knead dough.I typically massage my kale for 1-2 minutes, so that it doesn’t get overly mushy.While this base kale salad recipe is super simple, there are all sorts of delicious ingredients that you can add or sub in as well.Add a protein: Cooked chicken, steak, pork, shrimp, salmon, or tofu would all be great added to this salad.Cooked chicken, steak, pork, shrimp, salmon, or tofu would all be great added to this salad.Add fresh veggies: Such as avocado, cucumber, carrots, bell peppers and/or red onion.Add jarred veggies: Such as sun-dried tomato, roasted red peppers, or artichoke hearts.Use different nuts/seeds: Such as pepitas, pine nuts, walnuts, pecans or sunflower seeds.Ingredients Scale 1x 2x 3x 1 bunch (about 5 ounces ) kale, roughly chopped with tough stems discarded.bunch (about ) kale, roughly chopped with tough stems discarded 2 tablespoons olive oil.sliced almonds, toasted sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper Instructions Add the kale to a large mixing bowl and drizzle evenly with the olive oil.Taste and season with however much salt and black pepper that you’d like, then toss once more until combined. .
Massaged Raw Kale Salad
But you will be surprised by how this tough green leaf transforms into a tender, light salad.As you rub it with olive oil using your hands, the leaves darken and shrink in size and the texture becomes soft – it’s delicious!So when I got my hands on The Kitchn Cookbook and saw this recipe listed as a side dish in the book, I knew this would be perfect to share.The best part about this salad is that you can make it, refrigerate it, and it’s still perfect the next day. .
Blanched Kale Salad with Sesame Dressing, Figs, and Avocado
Blanched Kale Salad with Sesame Dressing, Figs, Hard-Boiled Egg and Avocado makes for a flavorful, nutrient dense, light vegetarian meal.I’m feeling so giddy, clammy, pitted out, and rambunctious that all I want to do is distract you from my nervousness by showing you YouTube videos.I’ll stay on task, put my adult ADD in check, and just remind you that on July 1, cookbook #2 will be born unto this earth, and that the contents of cookbook #2 are bonkers yummy.Blanching kale helps soften the tough fibers and makes it easier to chew.Most people do not care for raw kale, so blanching is a quick and easy way of making the leafy green more palatable.For this salad, I blanched up some kale and added a tricked out sesame dressing to it.I combined sesame oil with liquid aminos (which can be replaced with low-sodium soy sauce), ginger, and maple syrup.I had some dried figs staring at me on the counter, roasted cashews gawking at me in the pantry, and a ripe avocado all back of the refrigerator bus. .
How to Cook Kale (2 Ways!)
I’ll show you ways to reduce some of the harsh flavors and how to cook kale with ease.In most cases for curly, red and Tuscan (lacinato kale), there is a large fibrous stem that runs down the middle.Steamed kale is a quick side dish lightly salted and topped with freshly cracked black pepper.Kale leaves are very robust, so they do well when tossed in hot oil in a large saute pan or wok.I love kale prepared this way because the dry-heat cooking method creates toasted flavors that you won’t achieve in steaming.It’s important to season with salt and pepper after it begins to wilt, otherwise, it will dry out the moisture from the cut leaves and steam the kale instead of sauteing it.Adding in some minced garlic at the end of cooking, or garnishing with some freshly shredded aged cheese makes for a delicious side.When selecting kale, make sure to look for leaves that are vibrant in color, not wilted or starting to turn yellow.When the cell membranes of the leaves are physically ruptured, it causes pungent and bitter notes to rise from sulfur-containing compounds called isothiocyanates.Good news for kale salad fans, simply rinsing the chopped leaves after massaging helps to wash away some of the bitterness before you take a bite.Rinsing afterward with warm water inactivates the enzymes and washes the bitter flavors from the surface thus reducing its pungency.▢ black pepper , as needed for seasoning US Customary Metric Instructions Steamed Kale Add about 2 inches of water in the bottom of a pot with the steamer insert placed in the center.Steam until the leaves are tender and slightly wilted, 3 to 5 minutes depending on the type of kale.Season with salt, stir and cook until the leaves a tender and slightly wilted and toasted, 2 to 4 minutes.Saute Pan Notes Steamed kale yields about 5 cups (depending on the type). .