Healthy Food

Massaged Kale Salad with Apple

When you do this Apple Kale Salad you’ll undoubtedly add it to your common salad rotation! This recipe is solely 212 energy per 2 cup serving, has 145 % of your DV for Vitamin A and 98% of your DV for Vitamin C and is Vegan! The key to success is rubbing the kale leaves with olive oil earlier than you toss with the apples and different salad toppings to make it tender and delicate. I do know it sounds unusual, deliberately “roughing up” your produce, but it surely works wonders and is just about my favourite technique to put together kale!

A white bowl with a salad from the side with tongs

I initially shared this recipe on January 15, 2021. I’ve up to date the textual content at present.

Why We Love This Massaged Kale Salad Recipe

When you assume you aren’t a fan of kale salad, as a result of these you’ve got tried have been chewy, then you definately’ll wish to learn on! Or maybe you thought that the frilly edged kale leaves have a scratchy texture in your mouth. Then you definately’re going to like what a little bit little bit of palms on time will do for this superfood inexperienced!

After getting massaged your kale, then you may add on the toppings. I really like kale and apple so I knew I needed so as to add that in. From there I added in fennel, celery and avocado, all of that are nice produce to make use of as salad toppers presently of yr. To them I added in dried sweetened cranberries and toasted pecans. It’s all concerning the goodies on this vegan kale salad!

When you don’t love apple, or wish to swap in different toppings that’s nice too! Citrus is in season now so you would strive that! Or when you’ve got one other favourite, strive it!

Why Therapeutic massage Kale?

Kale has a way more sturdy cellulose construction and thicker cell partitions than lettuces do. Massaging the small items of kale leaves breaks that construction down sufficient to resemble the feel of typical tender salad greens.

I’ve gotten round this drawback previously by making In a single day Kale Caesar, which permits the dressing to slowly wilt the greens, basically doing the identical factor. Massaging is far quicker and also you don’t should plan forward! And even only a fast sauté will remodel the greens right into a deliciously tender aspect dish like on this Sautéed Kale With Cider Vinegar.

Elements For Apple Kale Salad

massaged kale salad with apple ingredients
  • Bunch of Kale – This powerhouse superfood is after all full of nutritional vitamins and vitamins. Curly kale can also be a fantastic selection for make forward salads as a result of it’s sturdy sufficient to carry as much as a dressing and will get even higher because it sits within the fridge.
  • Additional-virgin olive oil and salt – A little bit of heart-healthy olive oil and salt are used so as to add taste to the salad, but additionally to assist breakdown and tenderize the kale.
  • Apple – Diced apple provides a scrumptious delicate sweetness and texture to the salad.
  • Avocado – Full of vitamins and wholesome fat and fiber avocados not solely add superior creamy texture and taste additionally they assist this salad to maintain you fuller longer.
  • Celery – One among my favourite methods so as to add a crispy freshness to salads with out a number of extra energy or fats.
  • Fennel Root – The delicate licorice taste and crunch texture of fennel is the proper praise to the opposite flavors and textures on this salad.
  • Pecans – Toasting the pecans enhances their nutty taste and truly makes them crunchier.
  • Dried Sweetened Cranberries – They add fabulous candy tart taste and a welcome chewy texture. Dried fruit is greater in sugar, so a little bit goes a good distance.
  • French dressing – I used my Tarragon French dressing to toss with the salad, however when you’ve got a favourite dressing or wish to strive one thing totally different you may strive one other recipe like those under.
a white bowl with kale salad, a pitcher of dressing is being poured over it
Kale salad before it is tossed

Step By Step Directions To Make This Simple Massaged Kale

drizzling oil over a bowl of kale

Place kale in a big bowl and drizzle on a little bit oil and sprinkle with salt. The oil helps to make the leaves extra slippery and simple to knead together with your fingertips. The salt works like a physique scrub to additionally tenderize the leaves.

massaging kale

One of the best ways is to toss the uncooked kale leaves a number of occasions to distribute the oil and salt all through, then use each of you clear palms to seize handfuls of the greens, squeezing them into your palms, and crunching them up giving them a little bit therapeutic massage. (You may see in my video how I do that.)

Proceed massaging till the entire leaves are shiny and the bunch has is about 1/3 much less voluminous. You can even strive tasting a leaf to see whether it is tender. It shouldn’t be scratchy, powerful or too crunchy.

I’ve seen some recipes the place they advocate rubbing the leaves one after the other, and I discover this utterly tiresome and I don’t have the endurance for it. I believe crunching it up with my palms works to tenderize it simply as properly, and takes a fraction of the time.

Be aware that the kale will appear to “wilt” down as you therapeutic massage it, and that’s regular. That’s as a result of it’s much less fluffy and there’s much less air between items within the bowl. Don’t fear, it gained’t be watery or soggy.

the toppings on the kale salad

Add the remainder of the substances together with the apple, avocado, celery, fennel, pecans and cranberries.

pour on dressing

Drizzle with the French dressing of your selection.

Tossing the kale salad with apples, pecans, dried cranberries and avocado

Toss to coat and serve instantly!

FAQ’s And Skilled Ideas

Can kale salads be made prematurely?

You may therapeutic massage the kale forward and put it within the fridge as much as 4 hours forward of time. The entire salad holds up remarkably properly even after it’s all tossed collectively (we had it 6 hours after tossing.) However the avocado and apple do brown a bit, so I don’t advocate including them.

Does massaging kale salad make it extra digestible?

Sure, rubbing the kale leaves softens the fibers within the leaves making them simpler to chew and digest.

How lengthy does therapeutic massage kale final within the fridge?

Undressed massaged kale will final within the fridge in an hermetic container for as much as 3 days. It’s best so as to add the dressing and toppings proper earlier than serving to make a fantastic next-day meal.

Further French dressing Recipes To Strive

  • My recipe for Lemon French dressing which will get its brilliant acidity from lemon juice and has a little bit little bit of sweetness to steadiness it from agave (for vegans) or honey.
  • This Apple Cider Vinegar salad dressing is considered one of my hottest, and is a good impartial tasting dressing that works with all types of salad mixtures.
  • This Walnut Balsamic dressing can be nice with this salad. You possibly can swap in toasted walnuts for the pecans if you wish to actually play up the walnut taste!  
  • When you love the best way this recipe comes out, you are able to do the identical factor for kale Caesar. Simply skip all of the toppings I used right here, and use my Egg-free Caesar dressing and a batch of home made croutons and Parmesan as an alternative to make a Massaged Kale Caesar! Use the identical ratios within the recipe (1 bunch kale massaged with 1 Tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt. Then add in ½ c Caesar dressing. Add the Parmesan to style.)
  • You possibly can additionally do a spin on this recipe for Spinach Salad with Bacon and Eggs, subbing within the massaged kale for the spinach.
a close up of the tossed salad

Further Kale Salads Recipes To Strive



This recent and wholesome kale salad is made with kale that’s massaged till it’s tender. Then it’s tossed with apples, avocado, pecans, dried cranberries and French dressing. It’s vegan and solely 212 energy per 2 cup serving. 



1 giant bunch kale

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt, plus extra to style

1 giant diced apple, corresponding to honey crisp or pink woman

1 avocado, diced

1 cup finely diced celery

1 cup finely diced fennel root

½ cup chopped toasted pecans

¼ cup dried sweetened cranberries

½ cup tarragon French dressing or lemon French dressing


1.     Take away kale leaves from the stems. Lower leaves into chunk sized items. Wash and spin dry.

2.     Place kale in a big salad bowl. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. With clear palms, therapeutic massage oil into the kale till the entire items are shiny.

3.     Add the apple, avocado, celery, fennel, pecans and cranberries. Drizzle with French dressing and toss to coat. Serve instantly.


Be happy to make use of your favourite viniagrette for this recipe. And it’s also possible to combine up the toppings as properly. To make it a meal, add on cheese, or cooked rooster. Or you should utilize beans or chickpeas to maintain it vegan! 

Make Forward Tip:

Therapeutic massage the kale forward and put it within the fridge as much as 4 hours forward of time. The entire salad holds up remarkably properly even after it’s all tossed collectively (we had it 6 hours after tossing.) However the avocado and apple do brown a bit, so I don’t advocate including them.



  • Serving Measurement: 2 cups
  • Energy: 212
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Sodium: 385 mg
  • Fats: 14 g
  • Saturated Fats: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 3 g

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