Massaged Kale Salad with Pine Nuts & Dried Cherries - Dr. Axe

Massaged Kale Salad, with Pine Nuts & Dried Cherries

Massaged kale salad - Dr. Axe

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few years, it’s hard to miss the fact that kale is super popular — and extremely good for you, too.

But if you’re not familiar with eating kale, it can be a tough food to swallow, thanks to its slightly bitter taste. Luckily, this massaged kale salad will have you eating and loving the vegetable in no time.

This salad takes almost minutes to prepare and uses just a few ingredients. Make this massaged kale salad and become a fan of kale in no time!

Best Ingredients

The health benefits of kale are well documented. The leafy green is absolutely packed with vitamins, especially vitamins K and A. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory food and brimming with antioxidants. It might even help prevent cancer.

Olive oil does the work of softening the kale. Real, high-quality extra virgin olive oil has well-researched anti-inflammatory compounds, antioxidants that fight free radicals and numerous heart-healthy fats.


Lemon juice helps deliver a zing to the flavor. It’s also loaded with vitamin C and powerful flavonoids, including quercetin, luteolin, apigenin and hesperidin. Quercetin, for example, helps reduce damaging inflammation, may work to relieve allergy symptoms and helps fight pain.

Pine nuts give a little color to the recipe, a nice chewy element as well as additional healthy fats. Pine nut nutrition contains a valuable list of powerful vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

Lastly, dried cherries add a little sweetness and again, a chewy texture that works well for a kale salad.

How to Make Massaged Kale Salad

First, chop up the kale. Then, in a large bowl, add kale and massage in the olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt.

Then use your hands to massage all the ingredients together.

Massaged kale salad step 2 - Dr. Axe

When the kale looks shiny, the massage kale salad is ready. Serve on four salad plates and add pine nuts and dried cherries. You’ll love the crunch the pine nuts add and the sweetness from the dried cherries — yum!

Massaged kale salad recipe - Dr. Axe

This massaged kale salad is excellent as a starter or a light lunch. You can even bulk it up and serve it for dinner by adding protein-rich grilled chicken, heart-healthy salmon or avocado slices for a dose of healthy fats. Enjoy your new favorite salad!

Other Great Salad Recipes

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Massaged Kale Salad Recipe

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  • Author: Dr. Josh Axe
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Kale is often used in warm dishes, but it can also serve as a great salad if you add the right ingredients and do some fun massaging. You’ll find this salad delicious and extra healthy.


  • 12 ounces organic raw kale, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • sea salt to taste
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • ⅓ cup dried cherries, unsweetened


  1. Add kale to large bowl and massage oil, juice, and salt into kale until it becomes shiny.
  2. Divide onto plates and top with nuts and cherries.
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Category: Salads
  • Method: Massaging
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 serving (124g(
  • Calories: 222
  • Sugar: 11.4g
  • Sodium: 34mg (2% DV)
  • Fat: 15.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 15.3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 12g
  • Trans Fat: 1.6g
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Fiber: 3.8g
  • Protein: 5.4g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

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  1. Juliette on

    This looks like a great recipe but can you give me the amount of Kale in cups instead of oz. That would be helpful.

  2. Lillian Cochran on

    Thank you for your wonderful site Dr. AXE. JUST Love all the great in f o I can get. And I feel so much better since I have been followingredients you.

  3. lynn nicholas on

    i massage avocado and sea salt into kale then add lemon juice, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds. and some olive oil if needed. Delicious !

  4. Amy Davis on

    Had to say Dr. Axe, your website as a whole is the best site I’ve been to covering every self help tip for optimal health! You cover topics that most Doctors won’t touch. Thank you so much! And this recipe, and many others are freakin Delicious!

    Southern Female-25

  5. Velda on

    I love to vary a massaged kale salad. Sometimes sweet, like this with cherries, or dried cranberries or raisins or even sliced oranges ( adding orange after massage). Nuts can vary as well. Other times I go savory with red onion, diced cucumber, cherry tomatoes. Just depends on my mood but I’ve even had so called vegetable haters eat seconds when I take the time to properly massage the kale until it’s slightly wilted and shrinks to about half in the bowl. If you haven’t tried it, take the time. Either lemon juice, lime, or cider or wine vinegar is good or a combo.


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