Kale Salad with Cranberries
Massaged Kale Salad is a terrific way to enjoy this healthy, flavorful green! An easy manual technique will make you a kale fan. Or grab some baby kale and save yourself a step!
Before the days of baby greens, putting kale in a salad could give your jaw a workout. But a simple trick makes this Kale Salad with Cranberries a winner!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- It’s a yummy way to introduce kale to your family.
- The frilly leaves make a gorgeous salad!
- The kale salad dressing is simple and the citrus brings brightness to the greens.
- Kale is packed full of nutrition, but since baby kale is so tender, your family won’t know they’re eating a high-fiber, vitamin-packed salad!
- Baby Kale – You may use regular kale, but will need to chop and massage so it’s not too tough.
- Lemon – Always use fresh lemon juice, never bottled. The taste is superior.
- Honey – The sweetness balances the tart lemon juice nicely.
- Grape Tomatoes – May use cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes. The original recipe called for mangoes, so those will also work well.
- Salted Sunflower Seeds – May substitute slivered almonds, pine nuts, or other nuts.
- Dried Cranberries – Adds a nice contrasting texture and sweetness. May use dried tart cherries or even raisins instead.
- If you need to massage your kale, note that even a wee paper cut will create a strong stinging sensation from the lemon juice.
- PRO-Tip: To avoid the extra step of massaging, purchase baby kale that is already tender.
- Dip a kale leaf in your salad dressing before mixing. You may need to adjust with more lemon juice, more honey, and more salt or pepper. Start with the smallest amount if a range is given, taste, and tweak as needed.
- PRO-Tip: Gently warm your sunflower seeds in a skillet to bring out their essential oils and enhance their flavor.
- Add or swap out ingredients like cucumbers, dried cherries, and almonds….the recipe is meant to be adjusted to your palate. Mangos and pepitas were used in the original recipe so those are tasty options.
Frequently Asked Questions
Kale is a member of the cabbage family, considered “nonheading” since it doesn’t grow in a head like traditional cabbage. It has a mild, cabbage-like flavor.
Regular Kale should be kept in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Its flavor gets stronger as it ages. Baby kale has a longer shelf life and will stay fresh for over a week.
Kale is high in Vitamin A and C, folic acid, calcium, iron, and fiber. Note that kale is also high in Vitamin K which can interfere with some anticoagulants like Coumadin.
Kale can be used as a spinach substitute in most recipes. If using regular kale, wash it well and remove the center stalk and large ribs.
Baby kale is very tender, but ordinary kale can be tough and bitter. Gently massaging the kale with your hands for about 2 minutes with some olive oil and fresh lemon juice will break down the fibers, making the kale tender. This process also aids in removing some of the bitterness. Since baby kale is inherently tender, it does not require massaging.
You May Also Like:
- Winter Salad Recipe
- Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Pecans
- Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Pomegranate Arils, and Feta
- Blue Cheese Salad Dressing
- More of the Best Salad Recipes
Massaged Kale Salad
A massaged kale salad with cherry tomatoes and sunflower seeds
- 10 ounces baby kale or regular kale with stems and ribs removed*
- Juice of one lemon
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1-pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 2-3 tablespoons salted sunflower seeds
- ½ cup dried cranberries (Crasins)
- In a glass measuring cup, whisk the lemon juice with the honey and black pepper to taste. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly to allow for emulsification.
- Drizzle the kale with the dressing and toss. Add tomatoes, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries, toss again and serve.
- If using regular kale*, massage with half the lemon juice and some of the olive oil for about 2 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients.
*Massaging is optional when using baby kale.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 444Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 2038mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 7gSugar: 22gProtein: 11g
Thatskinnychickcanbake.com occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although thatskinnychickcanbake.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on thatskinnychickcanbake.com recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.
64 Comments on “Kale Salad with Cranberries”
Kale with lemon juice and honey plus some tomatoes sounds very refreshing and healthy! Just love the ingredients you’re using for the dressing on this salad!
Lizzy, interesting that the kale is massaged! It sure looks like a tasty salad.
I still haven’t jumped on the kale bandwagon yet but I think it’s time for me to get on it!
I am totally behind on this trend also! thanks for giving me some inspiration!
this salad is definitely going to be a win at our home,bet our fussy eater will gladly chew this gorgeously green creation,thanks for sharing 🙂
I don’t think I have ever had massaged kale! And I’m intrigued! It reminded me of a spinach dish my Mom used to make. Looks scrumptious Liz. Pinning!
Haven’t tried kale ever. But your post has ignited my interest. It sounds like somewhat bitter greens. Love the combination of ingredients in the salad…beautiful 🙂
The salad looks so inviting, Liz.
Hey Lizzy! …I’ve never even heard of massaged kale before…does massaging it release the flavors and juices? You know, I don’t actually believe I’ve had kale…well, I’m sure I have, probably just didn’t realize it…all those green veggies look the same to me. Although, I do looove my bok choy! 😀
Thanks for visiting me! It was so nice to see your lovely comment…it’s always nice to get a visit from you!
Have a wonderful evening.
All I saw was the word massage in my side bar and I jumped right over Liz. Little did I know that there was actual massaging going on and it wasn’t on my stiff neck, lol (busy fair weekend:) I guess I’ve been sleeping under a rock too because I knew nothing of this salad and now, I am so happy to make its acquaintance!
Thanks for sharing…
I’m new to massaging. I am not in a love affair with kale like 97% of the universe. I’ll try this and I’ll check for paper cuts first. 🙂
Better late than never I’d say! This looks delicious!
I made one of these a while back. I don’t think my massage skills were very good. I felt ridiculous and it didn’t turn out well to boot. My husband made me swear I would never serve one again. Maybe if I get him to read this he will allow another attempt.
What a great way to enjoy kale. I don’t eat it near enough and this recipe has made me want to go buy a big bunch. Thanks Liz!
I tend to shave my kale more than massage it, but this is a good method. And I agree on the baby kale! Really nice combo of flavors – thanks.
The massaging part brings out the kid in me and I chuckle each time I read it. It sounds like my kind of salad with or without the mangoes.
I love the idea of a ‘massaged’ salad this looks so delicious 😀
This sounds so nutritious and would be a nice addition to the topping on a sandwich.
I love massaged kale, and I find the smaller the leaves are cut, the more I like it. Trader Joe’s has it in a bag, all washed and cut, it’s wonderful! I love the simple freshness of your salad, sounds delightful!
I love baby kale in a salad and I was late too for the band wagon as we just starting eating this in salad not that long ago!! Your salad looks delish!!