Your whole food, plant-based life.

Apple and Kale Salad with Oil Free Maple Dijon Dressing

When our CSA box arrived, full of kale and apples, this lovely fall salad almost created itself. I knew I had a hit when my daughter, her best friend and her boyfriend came to town and devoured the entire bowl in one sitting! It’s all fall with maple syrup, cranberries and apples. Maple pepper pecans are the perfect topping and add a great crunch. I am going to be serving this as one of the dishes on Christmas!


Kale Apple Salad with Maple Pepper Pecans


Make sure you don’t skip the first step of massaging the kale with lemon juice and salt. It softens the kale but most importantly, it removes the bitter edge. It’s like magic! This salad will hold well for a couple of days. You may have a little dressing left over, but I am sure you will find a use for it! If not, it will freeze well while it waits for the next salad!

Instead of using oil in the dressing, we are using a cashew cream. Let’s face it. Getting our calories from whole foods instead of processed foods is always a better choice. So, I decided this dressing would be a whole food dressing.

Did you know that cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts? They have antioxidants and fiber. They are a good source of copper, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. And they have been shown to help fight heart disease! Now, why wouldn’t we choose that over oil?

Enjoy this recipe and I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season!

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  1. Ruth wrote on January 7, 2015

    This sounds a really amazing salad.
    I wonder about using the maple syrup though? I try to avoid anything sweet – do you find that this can cause spikes in blood sugar or is it a more slow release sugar?

    • Susan wrote on January 7, 2015

      Pure maple syrup, while not raw is full of nutrients. It is said to be easier on your digestion. The GI of maple syrup is 54. If you have issues with maple syrup, you can use alternative sweeteners.

  2. Teresa wrote on January 4, 2015

    This is Devine. So yummy as your stuff usually is. Can I link this on my blog as a wonderfully healthy salad? I love your site and recipes. Thank you for sharing with us.

  3. Shari Z wrote on December 30, 2014

    Hi Susan! I wanted to make your new apple/kale salad but can’t get to the recipe on It says there is a database error. Am I doing something wrong? Thank you 🙂

    • Susan wrote on December 30, 2014

      If you click on the link on the home page…you should get the recipe. We are having issues with the site and have been working on it all day.

      • Shari Z wrote on December 30, 2014

        Thank you. It didn’t work, but I know it will be worth waiting for the fix.

  4. Uros of Fine Stay Slovenia wrote on December 28, 2014

    I absolutely love salad so much! This version looks very tasty! Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe!

  5. Cindy wrote on December 26, 2014

    I brought this salad to christmas dinner; it is mammoth and by far the BEST salad I have ever had. Pretty sure that I consumed half the salad myself. I will be making this again, soon and often. Thank you!!!!!

  6. AnnaLaura Brown wrote on December 22, 2014

    I wonder what it would taste like without mustard? I think this salad seems really yummy but I don’t like mustard.

  7. Savannah Hagen wrote on December 20, 2014

    OMG. I recently attended a neighborhood Christmas party and was wondering what I could bring that might appeal to everyone (vegan, raw, meat eaters) when your recipe for this amazing salad popped up! I kept meaning to try it prior to the party so I could make my adjustments (improvements) as I always do to recipes. Well, time got away from me and the day before the party I had not done my usual trial run with a new recipe. With no time left, I made the salad (doubled) exactly as you suggested. To say it was a hit would be an understatement – I am still getting requests for the recipe and I have sent them all to your website. The salad was perfect in every way, taste and texture and appearance. It was an incredible balance of sweet, tangy, crunchy…………..I could go on and on but for now I just want to say that this is a perfect, absolutely perfect, salad for the holidays. It was wonderful to bring something so fresh and delicious to a winter table and beautiful all at the same time. Thank you for a truly RAWMAZING recipe, Susan – you made me look good!

  8. Rhinda wrote on December 18, 2014

    Should I massage with lemon and salt tonight, though?


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