The Basics: How to Prepare Kale

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How to Prep Kale #kale #kalerecipes #kalemassage

A tutorial on how to prepare Kale for a lighter dish, techniques on kale massage and how to tenderize this fibrous leaf.

Have you had Kale before or are you a newbie on the “Kale train” like me?  To be honest, it kinda weird-ed me out.  It reminded me of collard greens or something like that, so I tended to steer clear at all costs.  I didn’t want to eat something that had a strange texture or tasted bitter.  So when my mother-in-law told me she had this Kale Salad she wanted to make me I was a little skeptical.

The Kale definitely had a different texture to it, but to my surprise I liked it.  ALOT!  It was a little rougher than your typical romaine or spring mix.  One of my biggest pet peeves with salad is if left out for an hour or so with dressing on it, the lettuce immediately gets soggy and wilts.  Not the case with this fibrous leaf, it holds its own.  In fact, I recently made a Kale Salad and had quite a bit left over. Normally I don’t put salads in the refrigerator for leftovers but I thought I would give it a try. The salad still held up its crunch 2 DAYS later. Unheard of!  So, needless to say I am a Kale convert and you will definitely be seeing a few recipes in the near future.

One of the things I learned when making a Kale salad is that there is a way to “Prepare the Kale”.  Sure you remove it from its fibrous stem but you also massage the leaves until they are fragrant.  This makes the strong sturdy greens more tender and ready for a salad. 🙂

To get started, wash 1 bunch of fresh kale and pat dry. Separate the leaves from the center fibrous stem. Discard the stem.

How to Prep Kale 1

Tear up the leaves into bite size pieces, place in bowl and add 1 pinch of salt to the bowl.

How to Prep Kale 2

Massage the leaves with the salt until the leaves start to turn to a darker green and become fragrant. {about 5 minutes}

How to Prep Kale 3

All done!  Your kale leaves are all prepped and ready to be used!

How to Prep Kale 6

Please note, the massage prepping is for a salad or lighter dish in order to make the leaves tender. If you are planning on sauteing or steaming the kale you will not need to do this massage step! 🙂

How to Prep Kale #kale #kalerecipes #kalemassage

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26 Responses
  1. Charles

    Is it really the salt that makes the kale leaves turn greener? I don’t see how a smidgen of salt for hundreds of leaves separated from their stalks makes this happen. But I will continue you massage.

    1. Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats

      haha… yes it helps them turn greener but it’s more the granules rubbing up against the leaves that essentially “tears” the kale and breaks it down so it’s not so tough.

  2. Rachel

    Love the info on the Kale! I have little knowledge about it and am glad to know that I’ve been doing it right by separating the leaves from the stem (yay me!). I’ve only ever added it to soups or sautéed it with garlic and olive oil, and have been dying to try it as a salad! Although massaging it sounds weird to me… do I ask it how it’s day was while doing it? HaHa! Thanks for the tips!!

    1. Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats

      hahaahaha… totally cracked me up! Yes.. how the day was and get to know it for sure. 🙂

      Can’t wait to see what you think about kale in a salad. I was against trying it for the longest time but once I did I loved it, the texture was what won me over. It doesn’t wilt like lettuce. Score!

  3. Michelle

    Kale was in my coop food basket this week. Decided since I’m trying hard to eat better that I had better try it. However had no idea what to do or how to do it. Thanks a bunch {no pun intended}!

    Michelle @ On A Wing And A Prayer

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