Deep Tissue Kale Massage

Written By: Sara Lieber, FoodCorps Service Member with Sierra Harvest

Last week I taught classes of first, second, and third graders how to “massage kale.” Students were kale2016divided up into groups of 4 or 5 at a table and took turns retrieving kitchen tools and ingredients, measuring, and massaging. Below are the steps to make your own massaged kale salad.

Step 1: Each students gets 1 kale leaf. Take your kale leaf and tear it into pieces into a large bowl, discarding the rib. Kale is full of Vitamin K which is very important in blood clotting—this comes in handy when you scrape your knee, etc. The kale we used was from two farms in Nevada City. I used curly green kale but also showed examples of Red Russian and Dino kale.

Step 2: Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and ½ tablespoon honey to the bowl of torn kale. The honey is local and the beekeeper has hives at the property next to the school, so the students have potentially seen the bees buzzing around who made that honey.

Step 3: Add ¼ teaspoon salt. We used pink Himalayan salt. After class, one of the students asked me where he could buy pink salt. That kid is pretty cool.

Step 4: Squeeze 2 lemon wedges over the kale. I demonstrated how to cut a lemon into 8 wedges, which is a great way to visualize a fractions lesson. First cut into halves, then quarters, then eighths…

Step 5: Add 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds. A lot of the kids raised their hands when asked if they thought they had never had sesame seeds. Then I asked them how many of them had eaten hamburger buns with little seeds on them. Then they all realized they had had sesame seeds before.

Step 6: Have each student massage the kale and all the ingredients together for a count of 25 per student.

Step 7: Divide evenly among students and enjoy.


Every single student who participated in making the recipe tried the massaged kale salad and almost every student really liked it. My favorite kid quote: “I was eating it like a groundhog.”



 py17-headshot-sara-lieberAbout Sara: Sara Lieber is a first year Service Member with Sierra Harvest and can be reached by emailing her at






sh-logoSierra Harvest is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating, inspiring, and connecting western Nevada County’s families to fresh, local, seasonal foods. We accomplish this by offering farm to school programming, supporting farm fresh school meals, mentoring aspiring farmers and gardeners, celebrating our local food community and advocating for just, sustainable and organic food systems.

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