Massaged Kale Salad

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Kale has been called the angry lettuce, because is it much more fibrous and less delicate than say baby spinach, romaine, or other leafy greens. But, this Massaged Vegan kale Salad demonstrates an awesome trick to calming it down.

kale salad with raisins in bowl

We love this kale salad because it’s…

  • Crunchy
  • Full of flavor
  • Protein and calcium-packed
  • Tangy
  • Fresh
  • Delicious

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

How to make a massaged kale salad

Wash kale and remove stems.

raw kale on cutting board

Tear into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Add the salt and 1/2 of the lemon juice.

raw kale in stainless bowl with kale stem on side

Massage the kale for 1-2 minutes. It will reduce drastically in size due to massaging.

massaged kale in bowl

Drizzle with agave (or another sweetener), the rest of the lemon juice, pumpkin or sesame seeds, raisins, and cranberries. Mix thoroughly and serve.

Benefits of massaging kale

I have found that massaging the kale with lemon juice and a little sea salt makes it much more tender and flavorful. And who can blame it? We all could use a little massage to soften our attitude every now and then.

showing how to massage kale
Massaging kale with lemon juice and a little sea salt make it much more tender and flavorful.

Though the stems are edible, they are the most fibrous part of the plant, so I advise taking them out to make a more delicate dish.

One thing I’ve noticed with the pre-cut kale in bags is that the leaves are sliced horizontally which causes the stems to be included in them. The stems are so fibrous that it’s best to take them out, because they won’t cook down to being soft.

Those cut bags of kale are great for things like smoothies, but not so much for braising or kale salad. I always buy whole-leaf kale and de-stem it. Only takes a few minutes.

The fastest way to destem kale

Destemming is not difficult and doesn’t even require a knife or scissors.

To strip out the stems, simply grasp a kale leaf with one hand by the stem. Wrap your other hand firmly around the lower end of the leafy part. Slide your hand up the leaf, staying close to the stem, to strip off the leafy part.

hand holding bunch of kale

There is even a kitchen tool called Loose Leaf Kale, Chard, Collard Greens and Herb Stripper to make it even more simple.

Helpful Hint: Don’t throw those discarded stems away. They are packed with nutrition and are great to make your own Veggie Broth.

This massaged kale salad has an earthy, balanced flavor and super-nutritious profile.

Nutrition in kale

One cup of kale contains 34 calories, 6.7 grams of total carbohydrates and 1.3 grams of dietary fiber.

Based on a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet, these measurements represent 2 percent of the recommended daily value, or DV, used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for carbohydrates and 5 percent for dietary fiber. Kale also provides 2.2 grams of protein.” LiveStrong

Other great kale recipes

For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

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massaged kale salad in bowl
4.72 from 7 votes

Vegan Kale Salad

Author: Terri
Salad anyone? Kale Yeah! This massaged kale salad has an earthy, balanced flavor and super-nutritious profile.
Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 bunch fresh kale
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons agave or other sweetner or to your taste
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup cranberries
  • 10 cherry tomatoes halved

Instructions

  • Wash kale and remove stems.
  • Tear into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl.
  • Add the salt and 1/2 of the lemon juice. Massage the kale for 1-2 minutes. It will reduce drastically in size due to massaging.
  • Drizzle with agave (or another sweetener), the rest of the lemon juice, pumpkin or sesame seeds, raisins, and cranberries. Mix thoroughly and serve.

Video

Notes

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.
Destemming is not difficult and doesn’t even require a knife or scissors. To strip out the stems, simply grasp a kale leaf with one hand by the stem. Wrap your other hand firmly around the lower end of the leafy part. Slide your hand up the leaf, staying close to the stem, to strip off the leafy part. I have included photos of me doing this above.
There is even a kitchen tool called Loose Leaf Kale, Chard, Collard Greens and Herb Stripper to make it even more simple.

Nutrition

Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 40.9g | Protein: 5.8g | Fat: 1.4g | Fiber: 5.7g

Disclaimer

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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About Terri Edwards

Hi guys! I am the content creator behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy.  I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…

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