Massaged Kale Avocado Salad

Massaged Kale Avocado Salad
Kale avocado salad in a brown bowl on a wooden surface

Massaged Kale Avocado Salad

Massaged Kale Avocado Salad is one of those recipes you hear about all the time, but I see plenty of people make a version that is underdressed and dry, so isn’t particularly enjoyable.  That stands no chance of turning anyone on to what can be one of the most delicious staples in a healthier way of eating.

Should Kale Be Cooked Or Raw?

Kale can lose some of its nutrition when being cooked.  Antioxidants can be lost.  Vitamin C would be one example.  This is the basis of a raw food meal; that you get to keep these nutrients in the food.

Kale is high in goitrin, which can affect thyroid function because it inhibits the update of iodine.  Cooking the kale deactivates the enzyme responsible for releasing goitrin.

Having said that, you’d have to eat a large amount (about 1kg) of kale every day to experience any negative effects.  That being said, if I already had thyroid issues, I’d be avoiding raw kale completely.

For most people a mix of cooked and raw kale is most likely to be beneficial.

You can read more about this here and here.

For taste purposes, I find kale is more delicious slightly steamed.  Steaming maintains more of the nutrients than boiling in water.  You’re just giving it a 2 minute light steam, so it’s stays springy and goes bright green.

You’ll find the slightly steamed kale takes on the dressing much easier than when it’s raw.

Kale Salad Substitutions

With this base recipe for massaged kale salad, you can make some really nice substitutions and additions.

  • Sundried tomatoes are a great addition.
  • Don’t like avocado? (sorry, what??..) Simply substitute for a few tablespoons of tahini.  Add a teaspoon of maple to take the edge off the bitterness if you like.
  • Not into tahini either?  Go crazy and use a nut butter.  Macadamia would be insanity (in a delightful sense of the word).
  • Add buckwheat sprouts for a nutty flavour and extra protein.
  • Add any other kind of sprouts you like.  Mung bean sprouts provide wonderful texture.
  • Not into tomatoes?  Cucumber is an excellent substitute.  Even if you do like tomatoes, adding cucumber as well is fantastic.
  • Add a little spring onion or red onion.
  • Add garlic or onion powder for depth of flavour.  In fact, I’m not sure why I didn’t do that in this recipe.
  • Don’t like smokiness of chipotle?  Change that out for a smaller mount of cayenne.

Kale salad was my number one staple when I started out in raw food.  I knew it would satisfy me every time.  I could shop for the ingredients and make it without a recipe.  Get a few healthy recipes like that under your belt and you’ll always have go-to healthy meals when you’re stuck for ideas.

Did I miss any substitutions or additions?  What are your favourites?  I’d love it if you would share in the comments, so others can try them.

Rate This Recipe
4.77 from 17 votes

Massaged Kale Avocado Salad

Servings2 people

Nutrition (For one serving)

Calories: 531kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 27gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 654mgPotassium: 1171mgFiber: 6gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 16275IUVitamin C: 211mgCalcium: 318mgIron: 10mg


For the wilted kale

  • 11 oz kale
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine Himalayan salt
  • 1 cup baby tomatoes cut into halves
  • 1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds hemp hearts

For the dressing

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice



  • Remove the kale stems, and then wash and cut the kale into small pieces.
  • Optional but recommended: Steam for 2 minutes until tender.
  • Dry off the kale, transfer to a bowl.
  • Add the avocado and salt to the kale and massage until the avocado is thoroughly broken down.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and combine by hand.  Serve immediately.


Rate This Recipe
4.77 from 17 votes
Did you make this recipe?Tag @therawchef on Instagram or hashtag it #therawchef!

Related: The 10 Proven Health Benefits of Kale – Kale is a nutritional powerhouse. As I mentioned in the post, kale’s nutrition has been shown to be more available when lightly steamed.

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