Blueberry Kale Salad with Cinnamon Honey Dressing (Paleo, AIP, GF)
Some nights (or most nights), it's just nice to have something super easy to throw together at dinner time. This Blueberry Kale Salad is one of those “somethings”. It is so simple, light, and fresh and takes minimal effort to make. Yay! It makes a great side salad or main dish with a little protein thrown in. It’s Paleo, AIP compliant, gluten-free, dairy-free, and easily made vegan by swapping out the honey for maple syrup.
I get such a kick out of the adorable little cucumbers you see in the picture. A friend of ours brought us a gorgeous basket full of farmers' market veggies and these cucumbers were perfect for this salad.
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Kale the Superfood
Kale is high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals making it good for you in so many ways. Plus it has about 3 grams of protein per cup! I love that you can get protein from veggies; I think that’s easy to forget. I’m always in search of a new kale salad because it is just one of my absolute favorite veggies and I like to eat it in as many ways as possible.
Types of Kale
There are several types of kale- Lacinato Kale aka Dinosaur kale is by far my favorite. Lacinato kale is smooth-skinned with little bumps...basically like a dinosaur! Curly Kale is the other big type of kale- it's a little tougher with curly edges. This is the main type I usually find at my grocery store (I don’t have any Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, or Whole Foods near me that I can scout out for unique foods).
Either works fine for this salad but if you’re debating between the two, go with Lacinato! I think I just like it because it’s a little smoother, softer, greener and prettier overall.
Tenderize Your Kale
You’ll want to tear the kale into teenie tiny pieces (you can tear it by hand or use kitchen shears) and add a little bit of the dressing, then massage it by hand for a couple of minutes. This gets it nice and soft before adding the other ingredients. It’s also quite therapeutic! Kind of like a stress ball or something.
Sometimes I’m feeling lazy and I’ll just get the pre-cut, pre-washed plastic container of baby kale and use that for our salads. It's fine if you’d like to go this route. If you do use baby kale for this recipe, you can probably skip the “tenderizing” step where you add a little dressing to the kale and massage it before adding the other ingredients.
I say this because baby kale is so much softer than large kale leaves. It doesn’t take much to soften it up, so it’s ok to just toss all the salad ingredients together at once and add the dressing. Just make sure the baby kale is torn or cut into tiny pieces- even though it comes pre-cut, I still cut it further with kitchen shears.
The Cinnamon Honey Dressing is a super easy mixture of freshly squeezed orange juice, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, avocado oil, honey, and pink Himalayan sea salt. It gives a slightly sweet and tangy flavor to the whole salad and pairs perfectly with the fruit.
If you think you will have some salad left over, don’t pour all of the dressing on the salad. Instead, set some aside for later. Store the dry salad and the dressing separately in the fridge for a day or two and eat it as leftovers for lunches or other dinners.
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I hope you love this recipe. If you made it, leave a comment below and let me know what you thought. I'd love to hear from you.
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This recipe is shared on the Paleo/AIP Recipe Roundtable.
Kale Blueberry Salad with Cinnamon Honey Dressing (Paleo, AIP, GF, Vegan Option)
- 2 cups kale leaves, torn into small pieces
- 2 cups brussels sprouts, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup cucumbers sliced
- 1 orange peeled and separated into sections
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice, about half an orange
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
- 3 tsp honey or maple syrup
- In a small bowl, stir together the dressing ingredients. Set aside.
- Add the kale to a medium-sized bowl. Make sure it is torn or cut into very small pieces. Massage 1-2 tbsp of the dressing into the kale for about 1-2 minutes. Reserve the remaining dressing for when it's time to serve.
- Add in the brussels sprouts, oranges, cucumbers, and blueberries. Add remaining dressing, toss to distrubute the dressing evenly, and serve.