Kale and Apple Salad

8 Reviews / 4.9 Average
I've got another holiday recipe for you today! This kale and apple salad may be just for the adult table though, if I am being honest. The apples, walnuts, and blue cheese really round out this tasty salad.
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Kale and Apple Salad from 100 Days of #RealFood #kale

I don’t know about your kids, but my girls have never been big blue cheese fans (they’ve dubbed it “stinky cheese” for obvious reasons), and no matter how hard I try, I can’t really get them into raw kale lately either.

But just because they feel that way doesn’t mean we have to miss out on this divine combination. So this is one of those rare occasions when our little ones might get something separate…albeit a different type of salad! :)

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73 thoughts on “Kale and Apple Salad”

  1. I’m with your girls, raw kale doesn’t make sense to me. It takes a bit of cooking to break down the cells of kale to release it’s nutrients. By eating it raw you are missing out on most of it’s nourishment. Even sauteing it briefly in olive oil and your choice of seasonings such as garlic and red pepper flakes makes it healthier to eat than raw.

  2. Loved it, so good! Added some pamegrante seeds too because I had some and thought red would be pretty. Thank you!

  3. There are so many different types of kale at the store – I am never sure which to buy. Can you advise on which kind you used in this recipe?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi. Lucinato, also called Tuscan or Dinosaur Kale is a good choice but you could use any.

  4. This is my new favorite salad! I love bleu cheese so I added a little more but besides that I followed the recipe exactly and it’s so delicious! Thank you!!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Sandra. Kale holds up better than most greens once it has been dressed. I’ve eaten this as a leftover the next day but have not tried keeping it beyond a day or two. The nuts might get a bit soggy, too. :)

  5. I could not get my daughter, or myself for that matter, to ever get used to the taste of raw kale. Knowing how good it is for us I found a recipe for fried kale. After removing the leaf from the stems I fry it in a pan with a small amount of olive oil and season with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and sea salt until it’s slightly crispy. The “cabbage” taste it usually has while raw completely goes away and we love it! My daughter wants to eat it almost every day!

  6. 4 stars
    I have my own similar recipe for kale but I don’t add apples to it. My marinade just has olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, a few shakes of red pepper flakes and freshly minced garlic (none of that jarred stuff) … I prefer the lacinato (dinosaur) kale over the curly stuff. After I massage my kale, I toss with freshly ground/shredded Parmesan. This cheese offers a great flavor and pleases my family that does not like bleu cheese. We add this kale to our salads, eat it as a side dish and even put it on our hamburgers, wraps and sandwiches.

  7. 5 stars
    I have to tell you… my husband is an accomplished chef (who is never home to cook for the family!), so I am left with the task of cooking. I made this salad last night and we are now both obsessed! Just had to let you know! Thanks for everything you do! We have been eating “real food” for many years now, but it’s wonderful to see how infectious the movement has become and you have been instrumental! Keep it up and congratulations on all of your success!

  8. Where do you buy goat cheese without rennet? What brand. I love goat cheese but can’t find any “real”
    Please help! I’m on day 35!

  9. I love your blog and my husband and I are on a 30 day challenge following your rules! We are both excited about making the transition:). I was wondering (while reading this recipe), what is your stand on cheese? I love blue cheese, feta, goat cheese, etc., but I am just learning about additives and want to make sure I am buying the cleanest cheese possible. Where can I find my cheese, and what cheer additives should I stay away from ( rennet, enzymes, cultures, etc.)? Thanks! Can’t wait to make this salad!!

  10. This was very good!! I used blueberries instead of apples and it went great together!

    It’s not letting me click the 5 stars but it’s a 5!


    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Linda. The book is due out in August. It will have some recipes from the blog and some new recipes. ~Amy

  12. I really liked this recipe. I put the dressing on the kale and let it sit while I prepared the rest of dinner. The tartness of the lemon went well with the sweetness of the apples. I used McIntosh because they were all I had. The cheese (I used Gorgonzola) and the walnuts are a great addition. Thanks for the great, healthy recipes, and keep them coming!

  13. 5 stars
    I made this for lunch on Christmas Eve and it is now a staple kale salad. I used goat cheese vs bleu cheese just because it was what I had on hand and the flavors were out of this world and it was so delicious!! Thanks for sharing.

  14. Loved this salad! I was skeptical, eating raw kale. The messaging technique definitely did the trick and the apples added a subtle sweetness. Great salad I will make again. My 4 year old liked it, but the rest (a husband and 7 year old) sadly did not :(. Fortunately I am the cook of the house and will be serving it again in the future- healthy, good, and so easy to make!

  15. Kale should never ever be eaten raw as it adds way too much oxalic acid to the body. Alway cook it first

  16. You can swap out the blue cheese with vegan/raw almond/nut cheeses. Or you could use an Avocado to make a dressing by just mushing it into the salad or adding a little lemon/olive oil/avocado or whatever and creating your own dressing.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Kelly. I have always heard that miso can lend that type of flavor. However, none of our team is vegan, so this is based on heresay. ;) ~Amy

  17. Do you have the nutritional info on this salad? I am logging my meals into MY Fitness Pal and need the info if you have it.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi there Kathy. We do not provide nutrition information. We want people to focus on cutting out the processed stuff, consuming a wide variety of nutritious whole foods and less on numbers. ~Amy

  18. I am curious about eMeals! I have heard of them, but struggle to let go of some hard earned grocery cash to let someone else do my meal planning. Also, my meal planning style is – buy fresh ingredients for 4 or 5 meals in one week and always have good ole standby ingredients in the freezer/pantry for those other meals throughout the week or when I just don’t have time to get to the grocery store. We also travel a lot and I am just concerned that I would sign up and then not use it to it’s maximum ability and feel I had wasted my money. I would love to hear specifics of how best to use this amazing service!

  19. This recipe looks wonderful. I love kale. I bought some kale yesterday just before finding this site. What a coincidence! :o)

  20. I absolutely love the bitterness of kale but am intrigued about the massaging that decreases bitterness. I certainly will try it! Thank you Lisa for all that you have done for all of us fans!

  21. Chrystal Gillespie

    Soooo excited to tell you that after posting the other day about how awful the kale was when my family and I tried it a while back! Back then, kale was new to me so I wasn’t sure of how exactly I should prepare it, so I bought a pre-made organic bagged salad. Can’t mess that up right? LOL I did not know to massage it or to add the dressing early and let it set. After reading your blog about kale, I now know that all 3 of us in our family LOVE kale! I tried it again using your method of mixing it with the dressing early and it was soooo good! I did forget to massage it though, but it still turned out great. We all 3 decided that we will be having it again VERY soon! Maybe even for Thanksgiving tomorrow! THANK YOU ALL WHO ADDED TO THIS BLOG THE OTHER DAY!!!

  22. I use emeals every week! I love them. I highly recommend them. It’s easy to use, customizable and fun to mix up your daily meals. There are many healthy options and they even give you your entire shopping list. Emeals has made my life much easier! Also, I’m going to try this Kale and Apple salad as a side dish at Thanksgiving! Thanks!

  23. Funny! I just made a broccoli salad I posted on Friday too! http://fresh-you.blogspot.com/2013/11/1-minute-roasted-almond-and-broccoli.html It was a copy of a delicious sample I tried at Trader Joe’s months ago…though I didn’t want to buy the bottle of sauce that went with the broccoli and almonds at the store. PS- this was not a hit with the only child I offered it to, though I ate it all weekend, yum!! Also, it was a big hit with everyone who tried it tonight when I had company over, actually for a wellness class :) Happy Thanksgiving!!

  24. If you massage the kale for about 4-5 min, it turns very dark and the bitterness disappears turning almost sweet. My kids wouldn’t touch kale until I discovered this. now my 5 yr old requests it for his school lunches!

  25. I make something similar that kids WILL like….omit the vinegar, lemon juice and stinky cheese. Instead – squeeze in some orange juice, add dried cranberries . If the kids will eat feta cheese – that’s great in this, too. Also – mandarin oranges. Is VERY YUM and just sweet enough to appeal to a wider audience.

  26. This looks interesting..although kale is not high on the list of favorites around here. With all these other well-liked ingredients though, it may be more acceptable!

    I am using your cornbread recipe for our Thanksgiving dinner this year!

  27. My brother in law made something like this a couple weeks ago! He used some toasted almond slices and shredded parmesan though. It was amazing how the lemon juice balanced out the bitterness of the kale. I usually can’t stand raw kale, but it was SO GOOD!

  28. If you grate the apple, there’s more surface of fruit acid to break down the kale, so the salad is more integrated.

  29. Southern Living published one like this last year, but with smoked gouda for the cheese and no nuts. We like it with just kale and apples. We use lacinato kale – the dressing sticks better on the flatter leaves.

    EVOO,fresh lemon juice and a bit of honey for the dressing.

    The trick is to LET IT MARINATE OVERNIGHT! The texture of the kale will be much nicer. The lemon juice keeps the apples from getting brown. Great for make ahead for holiday parties. Leave the red apple skins on and it is pretty.

  30. If you chop the kale up really small, that will also reduces bitterness. I like mine w seasoned rice vinegar, EVOO, red bell pepper, red onion, apple, avocado and goat cheese. Yum!!

  31. We also do feta, red grapes and sunflower seeds. I often use balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar.

  32. My favorite kale salad is just kale, sheep’s milk feta,chickpeas, olive oil and fresh ground black pepper, I toss it and eat it for breakfast nearly everyday!

  33. I just read on another website that Kale has oxalic acid and should not be eated raw but lightly steamed instead. I can apparently do harm to your kidneys etc.
    Do you know anything about that?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Pat. To my knowledge which is limited, kale is not one of the “leafys” that is highest in oxalates. One of the concerns with oxalic acid is that it can bind with calcium, hindering absorption or creating stones. Spinach and chard along with others are high. If you are worried about its levels, it wouldn’t hurt to steam before eating. ~Amy

  34. I make a similar salad, but massage 2 bunches of kale with 2 tbls of lemon juice, 1 tsp of chili powder, and a pinch of salt. The flavor of the chili powder is delicious with the apples and blue cheese! You can store the massaged kale in a gallon sized ziplock for about 5 days-quick and healthy lunch for an entire work week!

  35. Kale salad is a staple in our house — we grow lots of it and even our three-year-old loves it! We eat it pretty much daily during the season. The blue cheese is a hard sell though. :) We usually put sunflower seeds and date pieces (the little pieces rolled in flour) — both affordable and healthy options to add that nutty/salty/sweet mix to a kale salad!

  36. Will have to try this combo. I love kale salad and my almost 5 year old will eat it too. To make it appealing to her I just keep it simple: kale, homemade croutons (that she helped me make) and Ranch dressing. She’s also a big fan of homemade kale chips.

  37. This sounds so good. I think I will have to substitute Parmesan cheese to satisfy my father and my three year old though.

  38. Looks delicious! I will try this salad using baby kale and feta cheese or chopped parm cheese this weekend.

  39. Thank you for spreading the Kale Love! Truly a versatile food. :) Anyway, to make this less grown up (or without “stinky cheese”), a salad I love is almost like this – minus the cheese, plus avocado. Massage 1/2 the avocado into the leaves with the EVOO, the other 1/2 avocado you cut up and put on top. Oh, and no vinegar required. You will love it.

  40. Sounds good! But you’re right about being a grownup dish – not just the stinky cheese but the kale. Something about kids and bitter. Happened to me too.

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