clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
hands massaging curly kale in a white bowl

How to Prepare Kale: Massaged Kale

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: salads
  • Method: No cook
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Do you enjoy nutritious kale, but are wondering what to do once you purchase a big bunch? This is your complete guide on how to prep kale. In this post, learn how to remove kale stems, how to wash kale, how to freeze kale, how to massage kale, and how to soften kale for salad! Plus, learn about the nutrition & health benefits of kale from a Registered Dietitian.


  • 1 small bunch curly kale (68 cups of kale leaves)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp Kosher salt


  1. Tear the kale leaves from the stems, discard the stems, and rip the leaves into bite size pieces.
  2. Place the leaves in a colander of a salad spinner.
  3. Thoroughly wash the kale under cold water. Give it one or two spins in the salad spinner to dry.
  4. Place the washed and dried kale in a large salad bowl or mixing bowl.
  5. Add the olive oil and salt.
  6. Use your hands to rub the kale leaves together in a massaging motion. Continue for 30 seconds to a minute, until kale has softened and has started to turn a deeper green.
  7. Add your favorite salad toppings and salad dressing.


How to remove kale stems

The first step in preparing kale is to remove the leaves from the stems. Kale stems are thick, tough, and have a bitter flavor if eaten raw, so it is best to get rid of them before you cook with kale or make a kale salad.

  • The best way to remove the leaves from the stems of curly kale is to simply rip off the leaves from the thick center stalk using your hands.
  • For lacinato kale (or dinosaur kale), which has more delicate leaves, lay each kale leave flat on a cutting board. Use a small knife to slice and remove the leaves away from the center stalk.