Health Begins in the Kitchen

Kale and Grapefruit Salad

Kale and Grapefruit Salad

I’m not going to write about how Kale is a powerhouse food that’s helpful in preventing cancer.  That’s for another day…and you’re probably tired of the media, sites, friends and family telling you how good it is for your body.  So I’m just going to focus on how to “tame” its toughness.  You know what I’m talking about right?  It’s just not the same as making a salad.  You have to “do” something with it in order for it to be palatable to yourself and your kids (if they even attempt eating it.)  This recipe might be one to try out on them because once you learn how to tame the kale then it’s easy and pleasurable to eat–even for the younger palate.

So let’s talk about how you do that.  The secret is massaging!  Take one bunch of kale, de-stem it and cut it into bite-sized pieces, put it in a large bowl, add a few ingredients such as lemon juice, salt and extra virgin olive oil and then jump in–with your hands.  Massage, massage, massage.  You’ll notice how explosively green it becomes.  What you’re doing is breaking down cell walls with the help of the acid and the salt and all those good chemical constituents are now even easier to digest.

For me, this was the turning point for making kale a weekly part of our meal routine.  Sure, I’d used it before…plenty, in fact, but we sort of “suffered” through it knowing we were doing our body good but also knowing it came at a cost.  Now I can happily report that my daughter will finish up kale prepared this way faster than anything else that goes on her plate.  It seems to really take on the flavor of whatever is being massaged into it.  Now those little rascals are tender, tastier and easier to eat.

I love this method so much that I’ve even started massaging my spinach, collard greens and swiss chard to make them ultra edible and nutritious.  Give it a try–there’s something very satisfying in the acting of kneading the leaves.  Hey, kids love to do this too and we know that anytime they’re involved in the cooking process there’s that much more of a chance that they’ll eat it.  To make this recipe even more nummy for the little ones, I added a bit of honey which pairs delectably with the grapefruit and pumpkin seeds.

Kale and Grapefruit Salad

February 8, 2018
: 4
: 15 min
: 15 min
: easy

This is about getting your hands dirty. Massaging kale makes it softer to chew and look at all those healing green juices. You know you're doing your body good but you're also really letting all the flavors of the seasonings disperse equally among the leaves. The grapefruit's tartness along with salt, lemon and honey are a real treat for someone who's used to a bland old salad.


  • 1 bunch Lacinto kale, de-stemmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 T lemon juice or other citrus
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 avocado, diced (mix with a little grapefruit or lemon juice to prevent from browning)
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled and cut in pieces
  • 1 T sprouted pumpkin seeds
  • Step 1 In a large bowl add kale pieces along with lemon juice, salt, oil and honey (massage with hands for 5 minutes)
  • Step 2 Divide kale between four bowls and top with avocado, grapefruit and pumpkin seeds