Thursday, June 2, 2011

For the Love of Kale

The avocado that has been sitting on my counter since Sunday must think I'm a total creeper, and he's probably right. Since last week, I've been watching him, waiting... waiting for him to ripen, thinking of all the things I'll be able to do to him. Haha, okay, now I'm even creeping myself out... Sorry. Really though, I've been dreaming of creamy kale salad every day since Sunday, with today as my avocado's ETR (Estimated Time of Ripening).

A while ago, I wrote a really cut and dried post about how to actually massage kale, and why you should do it too. In short, kale is from the brassica family. As a hardier cruciferous green, it not only has some indigestible fibers, but as a brassica, it also contains potentially thyroid-problematic goitrogens when eaten straight up. Since that later post, I've recognized that you don't necessarily need to cook your brassicas to make them digestible because massaging them actually plays a similar function. In massaging salt, a healthy oil, and something like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar into your kale leaves, they'll become softer, more digestible, and will always make you come back for more. (Update: I've actually just found that there is more research being done on brassicas and goitrogens, and the link between the earlier and hypothyroidism are being disproven, or at least shown to be overrated. Again, with science, it's a lot of hit and miss it seems, so definitely find your own answers by listening to your body!)

Since my first mentions of kale massages, I've definitely developed my technique since then. In fact, I'd say I've become quite the masseuse. I owe this mostly to the awesomest Amanda (and I'll love you forever for bringing this into my life!), who introduced me to the idea of creamy kale salads. It's like massaged kale on crack. From that point on there was no turning back.

I could eat salad bowls of these. (... Maybe I just did that, maybe I didn't ...) You can also throw anything else into these salads, like mangos, tomatoes, young coconut meat, cucumbers, dulse, whatever! Here's my loosely-measured favourite version (though the almond butter option was pretty fierce as well):

Creamy Kale Salad
(apparently, kitty friendly)

1 big bunch of kale
a very generous sprinkle of salt*
1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil (evoo)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (acv)
3/4 of a ripe avocado

* it was probably about a teaspoon but that seems like a lot to me when I just say it that way...

1. Lay the kale onto the massage table, and place a towel over it for modesty.
2. I'm just checking to see who is actually reading my recipe. So seriously...
3. De-stem the kale leaves and break them into edible pieces, and place them in a large bowl. You'll want the elbow room to massage them.
4. Add in the salt, and massage the kale until it starts to look a little softened/wilted or look more "cooked."
5. After a couple minutes, add in the EVOO, lemon, ACV, and keep going til its very wilted.
6. Add in the avocado and mush mush mush! I actually really enjoy getting my hands dirty this way... I once made brownie batter with my bare hands. Yum.
7. Add whatever toppings, seasoning, other veggies you wish and eat the whole thing in the very bowl you mixed it in. Fight the craving to make another one, and sit down to eat it too.
8. Notice the crazy energy high you have after eating creamy kale salads that make you right weird posts.



  1. mmmmmm, massaged kreamy kale salad, num num num. your taste-tester-guy is uber coote! <3 i had a massaged red kale salad with salt, evoo, lemon juice, chipolte, onion powder, salad sprinkle - yum-o, dulse, chopped tomato and cuke. too good to be healthy ;P also made a yummy (super yummy) quinoa pilaf with mint, parsley, herbs, spices, toms, cuke, evoo (lots) more. for dessert; cherries and chocolate. we eat goood. xoxo luv you. i hope you love me for more then just 'the massaged kale fairy' :P

  2. I did not know the massaging helped with the whole goitrogen thing. Good to know. I have been going back and forth with my kale intake due to thyroid stuff. Thanks for your take on it. My kitty likes fatty things like oil. And avocado!

  3. Thanks for that comment, it caused me to look into it a little bit more and there seems to be more research saying that the link may be overblown (I posted a link in the update above). Like I mentioned, I think it's more a of "listen to your body" and see how it personally reacts to things like brassicas. I've noticed that massaging definitely helps when it comes to kale, even though it's suppose to be a "heat-sensitivity thing." I wonder, if it's not more about a breaking down digestible fibers thing (thus the massaging)... That being said, cauliflower is definitely something I've found I need to steam... who knows!

    Interesting about the fatty things, I guess that makes sense for a cat? (given what more of their natural foods always have a lot of fatty ingredients like liver and stuff...) My kitties definitely have strange palates, like spirulina, or banana ice cream, or strawberries... This new kitten seems to be into greens. I have no idea...

  4. Place a towel over for modesty... cute! I've wondered forever how to make the great "wilted" kale that errrrbody talks about... so THANKS!!!! :-)