Sweet and Crunchy Massaged Kale Salad

Ah, Kale. So many ways to love you.

Kale gets a lot of attention and it should. It is the very definition of a superfood: a whole lotta goodness packed into each and every leaf. Besides being one of the most nutrient dense green leafies around, it’s also one of my favourite real food staples because it’s so versatile and holds up well.


It’s hearty, sturdy consitution makes kale a great addition to stir-fries and soups because it holds up so well. Its toughness is also what makes it one of my favourite salad bases. Toughness, you ask. Why would that be good? Well, because, once you massage it (yes, massage it) it turns into beautiful and soft green gold that stays good in the fridge WITH dressing for up to a week! So, salad prep becomes a no brainer.

Massaging kale essentially breaks down some of the tougher plant cellulose (a type of fibre), which makes it tastier and also easier to digest. Think of it this way: if your hands didn’t help break that tough fibrous structure down, your mouth would have to do more work in the chewing department. And, since we all know that most people don’t chew their food well enough, this is an important bit of pre-digestion action. Plus, massaging things is fun, kids love to do it, and it puts you in direct contact with your food (you know how I love to get my hands dirty).


Here’s my massage method:
First, I de-stem the leaves from the stalks. Then, I chop the kale leaves into thin ribbons or bite-sized pieces and toss all of that into a sink full of cool water and vinegar to clean. Rinse thoroughly, dry in salad spinner and then dump into large bowl. Now, you’re ready to get your massage on. I usually add a few squeezes of lemon, a pinch of sea salt and a small drizzle of olive oil. The, just grab that kale in fistfuls and scrunch, scrunch, scrunch…and repeat. Get in there. Have fun! It should only take 30 seconds or so to get a nice, bright green and wilted consistency. THAT’S massage kale. Put in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for a healthy salad base throughout the week.


But, we’re not stopping there cause we’re making my crunchy and sweet kale salad which you will love. On top of being so bright and colourful, it’s absolutely packed with antioxidants, fibre and Omega 3s. That avocado and those walnuts are brimming with healthy fats to support your body on a cellular level (which essentially supports everything)! Did you know that fatty acids are included in all the cells in your body? The healthier the fatty acids you consume (like Omega 3s), the healthier your cell membranes become. Yay!

Why stop there when we can include even more delicious superfoods like pomegranates! These little ruby gems are PACKED with antioxidants and great for so many things including heart health and to protect against cancer. But, you won’t even be thinking of that when you eat them because they are just so damn tasty, sweet and crunchy.

The granny smith apples give this kale salad a bit of tartness, which I like, but you can use any apples you have on hand and cut them up however you like. I choose to get a bit fancy here and slice them into thin matchsticks, but you don’t need to if you’re in a rush. (Tip: if you want to prevent your apple slices from going brown, just put them in a bowl of water with some lemon juice.)



Most any dressing would work on this salad, I just decided to use a sweet and tangy maple, lime tahini dressing because that’s what I was in the mood for this day and it worked like a charm. Super easy to make, delicious and healthy as always.

Sweet and Crunchy Massaged Kale Salad
Use organic ingredients whenever possible
Serves: 6-8
  • 2 bunches green kale, washed, chopped and massaged
  • 2 granny smith apples, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1-2 avocados, peeled and chopped
  • 1 fresh pomegranate, seeded
  • 1 cup walnuts, crushed
  1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix to combine (leave some nuts and seeds for final garnish).
Maple Lime Tahini Dressing
Use organic ingredients whenever possible
Serves: 6-8
  • ¼ c tahini
  • juice of 1 or 2 limes (depending on how tart you like it)
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp filtered water
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in jar and shake vigorously to mix thoroughly or give a quick whiz with immersion blender.

I’d love for you to try this out and let me know how it goes. Feel like subbing the pomegranates for strawberries or goji berries? Have at’er! There are no rules with superfood salads as long as you’re using real food and having fun, that’s all that matters.

If you do find inspiration for your own sweet + crunchy kale salad and make a recipe and share it on your socials, TAG ME (@kimdeoncom) so I can see!


Ah Kale Yeah!


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