So lets find out what all the fuss is about... Kale is really having a moment. I personally have horrendous memories of eating this over boiled, fart inducing veg at school, not pleasant at all... and now you're telling me I have to massage the stuff? actually yes. By massaging a small mountain of kale, you transform it's stiff coarse leaves into a silky smooth and supple delight. Not only that - but you will also have a time saving, nutritional bomb in your fridge. It can quite literally be added to anything, or can be the main show, holding a more filling salad together instead of using delicate leaves. Check out my kale salad with life saving tomato sauce.
So first things first... how to select your kale...
Look for kale with firm, deeply coloured leaves and moist hardy stems. Kale should be displayed in a cool environment since warm temperatures will cause it to wilt and will also negatively effect it's flavour. The leaves should look fresh, be un-wilted and be free of signs of yellowing. Choose kale with smaller sized leaves since these will be more tender and have a milder flavour than those with larger leaves. Kale is available throughout the year, although it is more widely available, and at its peak from the middle of winter through the beginning of spring .
Place your kale in a plastic storage bag removing as much air possible. Store in the refrigerator where it will keep for 5 days. The longer it is stored the more bitter the flavour becomes. Do not wash kale before storing because exposure to water encourages spoilage. Wash just before use.
So here we go... how to massage kale
Wash and drain.
Now you need to tear off the stalks. Just grab hold of the frilly leaves in one hand, and then in the other hand tightly hold the stalk and pull away and downwards... you'll get the hang of it, its really quite satisfying!
Then you need to decide what kind of oil you're going to massage your kale with... bergamot? lavender? or maybe sandal wood?? STOP ... that's a JOKE!!! For me, it depends on where I am heading with my kale. If I am planning to go mix it with my 'life Saving Tomato sauce' or maybe make a pan of Kale and eggs - I would recommend cold pressed olive oil. However if you want to make some Thai inspired salads or throw it in some spicy stir-fry then Coconut oil is delicious.
Using oil and a good pinch of salt helps to tenderize the kale. Once you have decided on your oil, pour some on your kale, just a little, you can always add more. If you're using coconut oil, especially in colder climates, when it sets solid... I find a good tip is to rub a lump in your hands and then massage the kale with your oily hands ( coconut oil is also a great moisturizer ... bonus!). Also add a sprinkle of salt (pink Himalayan is full of minerals and has a more subtle taste).
Now get in there and grab handfuls of kale, sort of roll it through your hands, rub it together, kneading it like dough! whatever works for you, get tough with it, be brutal! You'll notice visible changes as you do this, the leaves will darken, shrink in size and become silky in texture... basically at this point the tough cellulose structure of the kale is breaking down, it is actually wilting. For once this is a good thing.
While you're giving your kale a good rub down you'll probably come across a few fibrous bits of stalk, remove them as you go. After 3-5 minutes your kale should have gone from being bitter and tough to turning silky and sweet.
If you want to know when your kale is supple and ready to eat, take a bite. If its still bitter or tough, get back to work! So you now have a huge bowl of beautifully massaged kale... fantastic!
If you used coconut oil - you are just a squeeze of fresh lime away from a gorgeous, balanced salad - add avocado, tom's, cucumber, peppers, fresh chilli, coriander and whatever else you fancy.
The olive oil combo is wonderful used in a more Mediterranean way with warm life saving tomato sauce, olives, avocado (always avocado!) and pine nuts.
Either way it's a fantastic springboard into a multitude of kitchen adventures.... have a play and let me know how you get on... really hope this is helpful x
Here are some AMAZING credentials for this fine green foliage....
- Kale is high in iron. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.
- Kale is high in Vitamin K. Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and blood clotting. Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
- Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.
- Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.
- Kale is great for cardiovascular support. Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.
- Kale is high in Vitamin A. Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Kale is high in Vitamin C. This is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.
- Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility
- Kale is a great detox food. Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.
- Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium as well as those listed below.