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Our recipe for kale apple salad is delicious, nutrient-dense, and seasonal! This salad is fresh and bright. Even a kale skeptic would agree. We believe the key to a truly satiating and enjoyable salad is attention to each ingredient, fun textures, and balance of flavor. This one hits all the marks.
Trying to eat more greens? Look no further. Maybe you’ve tried kale and think it’s not for you. Before you go subbing the kale out for another lettuce, try our method. Kale is nearly unrecognizable when massaged for a few minutes (aren’t we all?).
All jokes aside, raw kale can be coarse and have difficulty absorbing dressing because of its shape. When you massage the kale with dressing, you break down the structure of the green itself making it soft, smooth, and marinated in dressing.
Plain massaged kale salad is good, but not great. Add in some key players like crunchy apple (we love honeycrisp), candied walnuts for sweetness, and a sharp cheese like feta, goat, or parmesan and this is an A+.
This kale salad with apples is a perfect side dish or can be topped with your protein of choice for a well-balanced, whole-ingredient meal.
Kale Apple Salad Recipe
- 1 bag kale
- 1 small apple (such as honeycrisp, fuji, gala)
- ½ cup raw walnuts
- 2 tbsp Maple syrup
- ½ cup crumbled cheese (feta, goat)
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
- salt and pepper
- Pour whole walnuts into small pan on low-medium heat and toast
- Dice apple and set aside
- Once walnuts get warm, pour maple syrup and stir regularly until coated
- Once the walnuts are coated, remove from heat and cool
- Combine all ingredients for dressing in a small dish
- Pour kale into a large bowl and pick out any large stems
- Pour ⅓ of your dressing and start to massage the kale for 3-5 minutes
- Chop up walnuts and top with a little salt
- Pour apple, walnuts, cheese, and the rest of your dressing and toss
Kale Apple Salad FAQs
How do you get the bitterness out of kale salad?
Kale bitterness can be managed by massaging for 3-5 minutes with your dressing of choice. The natural bitterness can also be balanced out with other sweet and tangy ingredients like we used in this recipe.
Do you need to massage kale for salad?
Kale is edible without massaging but it certainly is a more enjoyable green with this extra step.
Can you eat kale raw in a salad?
Kale can absolutely be eaten raw. In fact, this is the state with the most available nutrients.