Have you massaged your kale today?

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Recently kale has been gaining a lot of attention for its myriad of health benefits, versatility and overall deliciousness. Now, I can guarantee you that there are more than a few folks out there that would disagree with my final comment on kale. Delicious is not a word they would use to describe this earthy leaf. Giving kale a quick steam and topping with a light dressing is a very easy way to turn these folks into kale converts. Kale chips, that is another easy one. Where it gets tricky is when it comes to raw kale. You've probably heard by now that we should all be consuming more raw vegetables (and fruits) as part of our daily diets. Advocates for this say anywhere from 50-80% of our daily intake should be compromised of raw food items. I'm not asking you to go there (not yet at least) but I am going to ask you to give raw kale a try. First and foremost, buy organic and locally grown kale. Make sure to wash really, really well to remove any residual dirt or debris. Next, tear the leafy parts from the kale and discard the stems (preferably adding it to your home compost bin). Tear the kale into small bite size pieces and place in a bowl. Here is where it gets fun. If you have kids, this would be a great time to get them involved and really get their hands dirty. They will also be more inclined to eat foods that they help prepare or if they are lucky enough, to help grow. You can do this with just the raw kale and nothing else but I like to use some avocado and/or some fresh lemon or lime juice. I just throw it in with the kale and start massaging away. You clean hands (free from jewelry is better) and squish the kale leaves until they turn dark green and wilt, almost as if you had steamed them. You don't have to go overboard, do it just enough until the kale has softened a bit. You can either enjoy the kale plain like this or add your favorite toppings. I like to add fresh organic tomatoes, red onion or sometimes green onions, a little celtic sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. If you use the avocado you won't need any added oil, as the fruit will add the necessary fat and texture you need for a delicious dressing. For added flavor, you can add a few drops of toasted sesame oil as well. Another preparation could include tomatoes, sliced black olives and raw sauerkraut. Also delicious. Sesame seeds, carrots and cucumbers. Equally yummy. I'll stop here and let you get to massaging!