Raw food diets can take some getting used to. And as amazing as they can be for your body, they can be tough on the taste buds!
One of the most important parts of eating raw and / or vegetarian, vegan, or any diet for that matter, is getting enough nutrients.
And Kale is one super food that knows how to deliver. But boy can it be tough to eat raw if you do not prepare it right! I remember a time when raw kale made me nauseous. Over time I bought my way through to the other side, but boy do I wish I knew a few things back then that I know now.
Kale has the highest ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity – a fancy way of saying anti-oxidant) of all foods and delivers a whole host of nutrients too long to list but that your body knows by heart.
Many people find raw kale too bitter, too tough, or just down right gross. But it does not have to be if you know how to buy it and prep it. Now sure the nutrients are important. But another important factor is making sure you do not go crazy on a diet like this! The last thing you want is to feel deprived or dread eating. So how do you make this incredible power food taste good? Here's a method that we use at Chakra 4 to make incredible salads.
First of all, go for lacinto kale. It's the least tough and the least bitter. For years I choked down red kale without knowing any better. Yikes. I wish I found Chakra 4 sooner.
Second, create a really nice dressing out of some lemon juice and olive oil. You can play with the proportions but usually a 50/50 ratio of acid to oil is a good starting point.
Third, separate the kale leaves from the stems and cut the leaves to a size and consistency that you like. Cutting or teasing them into long strips is usually how I make it.
Fourth, mix the oil in with the kale with your hands, and massage the kale. Be firm with it, but do not totally squish it to death.
The massaging helps to break down some of the toughness, and the oil and lemon juice help while infusing it with a more palatable flavor.
Now you can add whatever other ingredients you like in your salad, and voila! You've got yourself some raw kale that is loaded with nutrients and a pleasure to send down the hatch.