Give The Healthiest Vegetable on The Planet Some Love

Kale, post massage

This is a guest post by Lisa Cain, PhD, a.k.a Snack-Girl

Yes! You know the vegetable that I am referring to – KALE. Kale is on every list for “healthiest vegetable”.

One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Let me ask you something…..Do you eat kale? Raise your hand if you eat kale. I can see a few hands going up – but the rest of you seem a bit sheepish.

Well, it is time to start eating kale. Do not fear this leafy green – it is in your supermarket near the lettuce, it is cheap, and you can make it into something yummy.

The first recipe to try with kale is to make kale chips. These are super easy and even my children will eat kale if made into “chips”.

I keep working with kale because I used to hate it and I am finding that I just didn’t know how to cook or serve it. I have found a new trick that makes raw kale (that is right folks, RAW) super delicious.

First, you turn your lights down real low. Then, you light a few candles, put on some Barry White, and MASSAGE your kale. I find that calling my kale “baby” helps the whole process.

I know you think I am kidding, but I am serious. Drizzle some olive oil on chopped raw kale and massage it for two minutes. This massage results in softer kale – not unlike loosening the knots in a loved one’s back.

The kale will enjoy it and shrink in volume. I find that a little salt is all I need to make tasty kale and I don’t even want lemon juice or vinegar.

You cannot give up on kale! This is the vegetable that will solve all of your problems. Constipated? Eat kale. Want to avoid cancer? Eat kale. Overweight? Eat kale. Depressed? Eat kale. Looking for a boyfriend? well, I’m not sure about this one – but it might work!

Massaged Kale Salad Recipe

(serves 4)
1 large bunch kale
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh lemon juice or vinegar to taste (optional)

Wash kale and strip the leaves from the tough stem. Chop with a kitchen knife into small bits and make approximately 4 cups – add to large bowl. Add oil and salt. Massage kale for TWO minutes with olive oil or until it reduces in volume. Taste it and add lemon juice or vinegar as needed. Enjoy!

For one serving: 94 calories, 7.3 g fat, 6.8 g carbohydrates, 2.3 g protein, 1.4 g fiber, 100 mg sodium, 3 PointsPlus

 Lisa Cain, Ph.D. writes about healthy snacks on She is a published author, mother of two, and avid snacker.
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  • Janet Nezon

    Great post Lisa! I couldn’t agree more with all of your points! One thing I might add is that kale is a super-easy vegetable to grow yourself. I have planted it in my backyard garden for the past few years and it seems to thrive no matter how much I neglect it! It even lasts well into the cold weather. You can add “local” to kale’s long list of great qualities!

  • Dina

    My family loves kale and uses it in almost any recipe that calls for spinach – simply cooking longer- but have never heard about massaging it before.  Will start doing so immediately!  Thanks for a wonderful post.

  • Warnerdds

    What type of massage do you give it? No really, how do you massage it, what’s the process? Kneading it firmly, just fluffing it with your hands???

    • Rachelle

       Really rub the oil into the kale leaves so they are thoroughly, but thinly, coated with oil.

  • lindalou

    i recently enjoyed a salad of ‘massaged’ raw kale, grated raw beet and sunflower seeds… it was delicious.  also, as someone mentioned how easy it is to grow and that it lasts into the cold of winter…it also starts to grow again early spring (now, March) and the new baby leaves are tender and delicious.  one question… has anyone tried other oils such as coconut or flax?

  • Laurienaughton

    Add some toasted slice almonds to the recipe above, and it’s even better!

  • Mir

    What about Kale’s friend Collards? They have the most calcium. <3

    I love greens even without "massaging" or cooking or anything. I'll eat the same raw collardgreens/mustardgreens/turnipgreens/kale/ squash/blueberry/strawberry/banana salad I feed my pet iguanas. It is yummy! :D veggies ftw

  • Diet Tips

    Thanks for inspiring my lunch :)

  • Diet Tips

    Thanks for inspiring my lunch :)

  • Rina

    My favorite: sautéed kale with potatoes and sausage. I wash, trim and freeze the kale for a couple days. Makes it tender

  • KG

    Not only is kale extremely nutritious AND delicious, it’s also one of the hardiest garden plants you could possibly grow. Even in harsh climates, kale will survive ALL WINTER LONG.  That means you can have fresh, healthy, organic, HOMEGROWN greens even when there’s snow on the ground. There are compact kales that would be perfectly happy in a pot or small bed, and there are ginormous kales that would be happy to live in a larger garden. Forget about buying pricey salad greens or spinach shipped from god knows where.  Grow some kale and add it to EVERYTHING. I’ve been putting it in my pastas, soups, and stir fries all winter long.  Reading Rina’s post just inspired me to try it with kielbasa.

  • Damien Rider

    Great post lisa. Many time we don’t know that a vegetables around us has a great nutritional value. Such kale there are many fruits and vegetables around us which is good for our health and nutrition. So we eat a 5 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruits a day to maintain a healthy diet.

  • Nevio Cusenza

    La mia ricetta preferita é la più semplice nonché banale e genuina: cavoli bolliti, olio d’oliva (prodotto dalle mie olive) limone.. Strepitoso !

  • Thecookingclubpa

    I love it with caramelized onions and coconut milk, and sometimes a little curry

  • Rickatis

    Kale is a great super food, and I juice it with other greens!!