Autumn Kale Salad is an easy 15-minute healthy harvest detox salad with dates, toasted almonds, edamame beans, kale and radishes with a zippy Citrus ginger jalapeño maple dressing.
Why You Need this Autumn Kale Salad!
You know how sometimes your body just craves healthy…but your taste buds want something more? This easy fall salad has just what you need to balance the healthy greens with a lip-smacking sweet spicy and sour citrus dressing that will have you going back for seconds and thirds.
The best part is that this side dish just screams fall with fresh seasonal harvest vegetables. A wise man, our dad, used to tell us when vegetables and fruits grow together, they blend well together in a recipe. He has never been wrong. Take his advice and give this easy fall harvest salad a try.
This Fall salad has so much going for it...
- Great textures from the crunchy toasted crush almonds, crispy radishes, tender protein packed edamame beans and chewy dates.
- The world’s best Thanksgiving meal side salad.
- Vegan, paleo and gluten-free
- Great way to clean out the refrigerator and use up all those little bits and bobs of vegetables in the crisper.
- Warming vegetables and therapeutic
- Zippy Citrus Ginger Jalapeno Maple Dressing
- Whips up in less than 15 minutes
- Can be made in advance and is great dish to pass.
- Budget friendly – kale is super cheap
What our family loves most about this kale salad is all of the great textures. You have the crisp kale leaves, crunchy almonds, tender edamame beans and chewy dates. It is alike a party going on in your mouth. Feel free to try Easy Roasted Pepitas seeds, pecans or even sunflower seeds in exchange for the almonds. We are all about using what you have on hand. Be sure to wait to add your toasted nuts until you are just ready to serve so they stay crunchy.
Thanksgiving Side Dish
How beautiful would this Autumn Kale Salad be on a Thanksgiving dinner table with all of the other fixings!?! After all, you need to balance out all of that Roasted Turmeric Spiced Turkey Breast , Grandma’s Apple Pie and Grandpa’s Secret Stuffing with something green.
Detox Salad with Health Perks
Not that we planned it this way, but our Fall harvest salad is happily vegan, paleo friendly and gluten-free. However, you can certainly make this salad a hearty main dish by adding a little grilled chicken, tofu or salmon. If you need to watch your carbohydrates, then swap maple syrup in the citrus dressing with a sugar alternative of choice and cut back on the dates.
According to Harvard University, kale has many vitamins and mineral and glucosinolates. These glucosinolates are anti-inflammatory and can protect from cancers and heart disease.
Ingredients: Clean Out the Refrigerator
You can add any vegetable you would like in this kale date salad with ginger lime dressing. We just looked in the refrigerator to do a little clean out. Radishes, edamame beans, dates, limes and jalapeños were in the crisper and ready to be used. Some delicious roasted Spicy Rosemary Butternut Squash, kabocha squash or acorn squash would also go well here. How about some thin carrot slices? You see where we are going here. Open your refrigerator. See what you have. Put it in your salad. If vegetables are in season and grow together, they can be put in a recipe together. You can’t go wrong.
We love dried medjool dates as they are so nourishing but how about some Chinese red dates or maybe some dried cranberries. You could even add chopped apples or pears but be sure to add a little squeeze of citrus straight away as they can oxidize and brown.
Warming Vegetables and Nourishing
Kale is one super nutritious green vegetable with loads of antioxidants and minerals and is relatively easy on the pocketbook. As we transition from warm weather to cooler weather, we need a dish that can get us there without too much shock on the system. Integrating warming ginger and jalapeños is a great way to heat up this salad. In addition, dates and kale are warming foods in Chinese medicine.
Eating very cold or raw foods make it difficult for your body to absorb the nutrients. That is exactly why we serve this recipe at room temperature and massage the kale. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is built on the theory that the body must use a lot of extra energy to heat the body to digest the food. If a person already has a weakened spleen qi then they cannot digest the food properly. Please take a moment to read Feed Your Spleen: Nourish your Body to learn more about this.
Why you need to Massage your Kale?
With this delicious Autumn Kale Salad, the process of massaging your kale (with olive oil and salt) prepares it in a way that make it much easier to digest.
Please remove the tough stem from the kale leaves. You can do that by holding the stem and pulling off the leaves or you can do this with a knife or culinary scissors or well. Once you massage the kale leaves with a little olive oil and salt, they change from the pale light green blue color to a vibrant forest green color. We like to massage our kale for 2-3 minutes or just until the leaves change to a deep green and are tender. Do not over massage or your salad will be mushy.
Kale’s taste profile and texture changes after it is massaged. Before massaged this healthy green is really tough and difficult to chew and bitter. However, after kale is massaged is makes it tender and changes from bitter to more naturally earthy sweet notes.
Zippy Citrus Ginger Jalapeno Maple Dressing
This kale salad dressing recipe is going to change your mind about kale forever. We know that some individuals are like …kale? Really? Isn’t that something that you use to decorate around food? You need to trust us after you massage your kale and add this spicy, citrus and slightly sweet salad dressing, you will be YES for KALE.
These 5 little ingredients are balanced so perfectly. They complement the massaged kale well.
- Lime juice
- Maple syrup
- Fresh Grated Ginger
- Salt and pepper to taste
Frequent Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Curly Kale is best for a chopped massaged kale salad.
Wash and dry your kale. Next remove the tough stem from the leaves by holding the end of the stem and pull off the leaves. Discard the stem or you can save for soups. Chop your kale leaves into bite size pieces. Then, add a little olive oil and salt and rub and massage the kale leaves between your fingers for about 2-3 minutes. Raw curly kale starts out as a pale light green blue in color. However, after curly kale leaves are massaged, they turn into a vibrant green color. See our video to see a demonstration of this process. Do not over massage as your goal is to have a tender but still crisp salad.
Massaged kale will last for 3 days in the refrigerator but do not add the salad dressing as this will make it soggy. In addition, only add the toasted almonds when you are ready to serve.
More Delicious Harvest Autumn Salads
Autumn Kale Salad
Autumn Kale Salad
- 7 oz Kale 1 bundle (vein removed and leaves chopped finely)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup dates dried, pitted and roughly chopped
- 5 radishes sliced thin and julienned
- ½ cup edamame beans shelled boil for 5 minutes, rinse and cool
- ¼ cup almonds toasted and chopped
Citrus Ginger Jalapeno Maple Dressing
- 3 tbsp lime juice 1.5 limes (juiced)
- 1.5 tbsp maple syrup or to taste
- 1 inch ginger fresh knob grated (or ½ teaspoon dried ground)
- 1 jalapeno chopped finely
- pepper to taste
- Wash and remove stem fro kale. Chop kale leaves.
- Add olive oil and salt to the kale and massage between your fingers for about 3 minutes or until the leaves start to turn from a light green to a deep dark forest green.
- Add dates, radish and edamame beans to salad. (Don't add the almonds until ready to serve)
- Make the Citrus Ginger Jalapeno Maple Dressing: Add the lime juice, ginger, maple syrup and jalapeno to a bowl. Whisk well and then add salt and pepper to taste. Add the dressing and almonds to the Autumn Kale Salad. Toss well.
- Enjoy! (Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours with dressing one. Don't add the almonds until you are ready to serve so they stay crunchy)