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I’m in kind of a grey area at the moment.

I can’t wait for Fall to come, yet can’t seem to say good bye to summer.

Fall season is my absolute favorite time of the year. This Sunday marks the first day of Autumn and while I’m eagerly anticipating the change of leaves, snuggly wool sweaters and knee high boots I don’t want to let go of the summer vegetables.

Summer has treated me pretty well. A garden full of home grown tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers that I had to give away to family and friends every week. And basil. Oh, the basil plant that has given me more pesto than I can handle.

Who says we can’t have the best of both worlds?

Today I made a beautiful salad that incorporated the two seasons.

The combination of summer vegetables like cherry tomatoes and fall beauties like figs and avocado makes this massaged kale salad an easy and healthy meal.

Oh, and why am I massaging kale?

 

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Why do I need to “massage” kale?

 

Kale, with its high nutrient profile, is not exactly your typical soft and sweet leafy green vegetable. It’s down right hard and bitter.

And that’s why we need to give it a full body massage. This technique will break down the plant cell walls. Kale’s bitter and tough leaves will turn sweet and tender after a massage.

To massage kale, all you have to do is take your hand and “knead” it for a few minutes. I know it sounds strange, but trust me. They like a good rub down.

You can massage it on its own or with a bit of dressing. I like to just add a tablespoon olive oil and massage it for about a minute. Massage kale salad taste even better after it’s been stored in the refrigerator for awhile, which makes it a perfect meal prep food.

 

Figs are high in calcium and vitamin A, both are needed for good bone health. It’s also been known to help reduce cholesterol and keep you regular from the fiber.

I think figs are Mother Nature’s perfect candy. Add it to your salads or breakfast as a natural sweetener.

 

Massaged Kale Salad with Figs and Chickpeas
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 cup of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup chopped figs
  • 2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • season with salt and pepper
  • (optional) 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast for extra protein and "cheesy" flavor
Instructions
  1. Wash, cut and de-stem kale.
  2. Drizzle olive oil on top. Use your hand to "massage" it for at least 1 minute until leaves turn dark green and softens.
  3. Squeeze lemon or apple cider vinegar, season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the rest of ingredients and toss.

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