Massaged Kale and Shaved Beet Salad

Raw kale isn’t at the top of everyone’s list of fav foods, but maybe this recipe will change your mind and at least get it on the list!  Massaging the kale with olive oil and salt will start to break it down, resulting in a more tender texture and a milder flavor.  The beauty of this is that you get a delicious salad with all of its precious vitamins, minerals, and enzymes intact.  And, you don’t have to turn your stove on at all.  The beets add a sweet flavor and a beautiful contrast in colors.  Feel free to add additional vegetables like carrots, cucumber, fennel, sugar snap peas, etc.  For this recipe, we’ll keep it simple and just garnish with some chopped almonds.

  • 1 small bunch kale, preferably a flatter variety like Tuscan kale
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 medium red beet
  • 1 medium golden beet
  • 2-3 Tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small lemon
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon coconut sugar, optional
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds

Wash and dry the kale.  Pile it up, one leaf on top of another and roll it up, then cut into ribbons.  Put into a large bowl with 1 Tablespoon olive oil and salt and begin to massage it with your hands.  Continue massaging for 2-3 minutes, or until the kale begins to wilt, then set aside.  Cut the ends off the beets and peel the skin off with a vegetable peeler and put the ends and skin in your compost.  With a very sharp knife, or mandolin if you have one, slice the beets as thinly as possible.  Add them to the massaged kale.  Wash your lemon and carefully peel the yellow outer skin off with paring knife.  Cut into thin strips and Add to the kale/beet mixture.  Juice the lemon and combine it with the olive oil and coconut sugar, then drizzle over the salad and toss thoroughly.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.  Sprinkle the chopped almonds over the salad.  Enjoy!


  1. Lorienne said

    My husband did not even like kale at all until we started having raw massaged kale salads. Now, he’s the one who makes them and we make one or two a week. With our own garden’s kale and our own meyer lemon tree, it’s an extra treat to have this kind of thing often. We’ll do the beet version soon.

  2. Saveur said

    This looks so similar to my favourite raw kale salad. Love the beet and lemon juice in there! 🙂 I also like to add raisins or dried cranberries instead of sugar.

  3. Jane said

    Beautiful to look at, and delicious. I’ve been making raw kale salads for years, but this is definitely the prettiest. I did not add the extra olive oil, as I felt it had enough from what is added for wilting. Topped it with sprouted dehydrated sunflower seeds. Couldn’t stop eating it!! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  4. […] was I doing wrong? I didn’t think of it until I searched the Internet and came across this post on Massaged Kale Salad. It inspired me to give kale salad another try. After massaging the kale with a bit of olive oil […]

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