People need massages, and believe it or not, so does your kale. Are the thoughts 'you're kidding, right?' and 'what in the world?' running through your head right now? Well, its true.
Kale is a fibrous, leafy green that is filled with a ton of beneficial nutrients. Its tough stalks and leaves protect it from all kinds of weather when it is growing. This also is a reason why it is a great vegetable to cook with since it holds up nicely to heat. Yet when it is eaten raw, it can be kind of tough on our systems.
To put it short, when you massage your kale, you are basically breaking down all of its tough fibers. Because of this, you won't have to work as hard to chew the greens when you eat it, nor will your digestive system be strained when it tries to process it through your body. Sometimes this also can help with the bloating you may feel after eating a ton of kale. Not only is massaged kale easier on your body, but it also tastes less bitter - aka better. Another cool thing about massaging kale is that, according to Dr. May B. Knaut in a 2015 Harvard University nutrition science study, it may increase the bio-availability of its nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin C.
So are you on board with kale massaging yet?
To make it even tastier, try massaging the kale with a little bit of olive oil, lemon juice and/or salt and let it sit in your fridge that way for up to a few days - it will give you a slightly marinated kale which would make it perfect as a dinner side, sauteed, or added to a salad or bowl.
- Rinse and dry all of the kale.
- Strip the kale leaves (the green leafy part) from its stalk (the thick stem in the middle of each) and place into a bowl.
- Throw away the stalks, or better yet, set them aside to juice, add to a veggie stock, or get creative with to minimize waste, but I don't recommend eating them raw.
- Next, rip or chop the kale leaves into bite size pieces.
- Finally, using your hands, knead the kale leaves like you would a dough. Squeeze them in your hands or rub them together like so for about 3-5 minutes.
- Once you're done, cover and put into the fridge until use.
Notes: Massaging the kale for too long will make them soggy and gross, so stick with under 5 minutes. Also, the kale leaves will turn a brighter shade of green and will also shrink in size, so start with more than you think you will need if you want any leftover to eat later in the week.
To be honest, I massage almost all of the kale that I eat, even the kale I toss into my smoothies (if I am not in a rush). Have fun with it! Click here to check out some of my favorite recipes that include massaged kale.