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Author Notes: If you’re like me, then weekends are usually filled with sweets and warm baked goods. Come Monday, I usually need something clean and green. That’s why I always go for my Detox Avocado Kale Salad.
I make this salad when I’m in a need of a healthy boost. It’s filled with tons of vitamins, antioxidants and healthy fats — good for your skin and good for cleansing your system. Don’t be turned off by the “kale-ness” or “raw-ness” of this salad -- all it needs it some avocado + some clean hands to turn a bunch of rigid, raw kale into a creamy and tender salad in minutes!
The salad starts with kale and avocado. Trim the kale to your liking. Then, in a bowl, spoon in the whole avocado (or as much as you like). Time to get messy. Using your hands, massage the avocado into the kale for a few minutes until the kale is tender and has absorbed most of the avocado. You’ll be so surprised how much the kale has diminished in size and how soft your hands feel after (it’s like a mini-hand facial!). What starts out with what seems like an enormous amount of kale, wilts down to about half its size. The kale softens and those curly rigid edges become delicate.
There is no dressing or oil in this salad. Instead, avocado is massaged into the kale to create a perfectly rich and creamy texture. To top, you can use whatever seasonal produce you have around. Any fruits, vegetables, nuts, or seeds would work wonders. I almost always add thinly sliced raw onions because 1. I love onions (raw, cooked, sauteed, roasted, caramelized - you name it!), it adds tang and texture and 2. I once heard that if you keep onions and avocado together, it helps prevent the avocado from oxidizing. I also like adding tomatoes, carrots, celery and pomegranates for something bright and seeds/nuts for texture and flavor.
The salad itself is raw and you could keep it so if you choose, but I when I add nuts, I usually toast them because 1. it brings out the oils and creates a nutty and caramel flavor2. the heat of the nuts will warm the kale and cook it ever-so-slightly. I love sunflower seeds because their flavor is rich and fragrant but not overly powerful. Add a little pinch of cumin for a delightful earthiness. A little goes a long way.
So whether you are packing a lunch or in need of something clean and green, or even if you are a kale skeptic, especially when it comes to raw kale, then I highly recommend you try this dish — it might just change your mind. Happy Kale Eating! —Fried Parsley
bunch kale, deveined + chopped
small avocado or 1/2 large avocado
cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
tablespoons sunflower seeds (preferably toasted, but un-toasted for a fully raw salad)
salt + pepper to taste
- In a bowl, add the kale and avocado. Using your hands, massage the avocado into the kale until the greens have wilted and reduced in size, a few minutes. Squeeze in the lemon and mix until incorporated.
- To toast the sunflower seeds, add them to a saute pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until golden brown and perfumed, about 5 minutes. You could also toast in the a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 10-20 minutes. Skip this step, if you want to keep the salad fully raw.
- Add the sunflower seeds to the kale, along with the onions and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of cumin. Toss and serve! Store in the fridge in an air-tight container.