Kale is high in vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese, and copper. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamin E, and vitamin B2 as well as iron, magnesium, vitamin B1, omega-3 fats, phosphorus, protein, folate, and vitamin B3.
This leafy green vegetable is one of about 3,000 species in the Brassicaceae or Cruciferae family of vegetables. Kale, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower of the brassica family, as well as a few others may be best consumed after cooking rather than eaten raw. This is due to the naturally occurring chemical constituent called goitrogens. If you have healthy thyroid function and adequate levels of iodine and selenium most often the thyroid can process goitrogenic foods without issue. Eating foods containing goitrogens sometimes becomes a problem if consumed in high quantities every day over a long period of time. Those with diagnosed thyroid conditions may come across controversy when it comes to goitrogens and thyroid function because goitrogens may block the uptake and use of iodine and thyroid hormones in the body.
Goitrogens are reduced by processing, so steaming, baking, sautéing and fermenting these types of vegetables may be best sometimes. With all this being said, I still love eating kale salad and these cruciferous vegetables have so many other nutrients and benefits to offer, but the way it is prepared makes the biggest difference in digestion and absorption of nutrients as well as goitrogens.
What do baking, steaming, sautéing, fermenting and massaging kale all have in common? Breaking down the cell wall of the plant, in this case, kale. Kale has a thick cell wall and sturdy structure that starts to break down with applied pressure through massaging or with heat while cooking and the presence of salt and cultures when fermenting.
I love this massaged kale salad and also use the same technique on raw spinach and arugula.
Massaged Kale Salad
raw kale (can use any kale but I find curly kale, red curly kale, russian kale to taste best)
salt, himalayan or sea salt
organic extra virgin olive oil
optional: sesame seeds, hemps seeds or what ever you like
optional: gloves if you rather not get your hands oily
spoon for mixing
Strip the desired amount of kale into the mixing bowl by holing the kale at the base of the stem with one hand and pulling your fingers along the stem, towards the leaves, tearing the leaves off- usually in one swift motion.
Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and garlic powder, a little at first, you can always add more later.
Apply gloves or use hands to massage kale, integrating the salt and garlic powder onto the leaves. Massage kale for about 1 minute or until you notice the leaves change from a dark green to a lighter green color, this indicates the cell wall is starting to break down.
Give the kale a taste test and add more garlic, salt or olive oil as needed.
When it tastes perfect sprinkle with hemp seeds or sesame seeds and mix them in with a spoon.
I find this recipe stores well in the refridgerator for a few days, but it is so good it usually doesn't last that long!
If you like this recipe please share! Enjoy!