Healthy Living

Healthy Cooking Series: Nutty Harvest Honeycrisp Kale Salad

December 19, 2022

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Let’s make a kale salad with apples, pecans and delicata squash! This salad is perfect for the holidays and winter season.

Did you know that kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world? Though low in calories, kale is full of key vitamins such as vitamin A, C and K, as well as micronutrients such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and B vitamins. Surprisingly, kale is one of the world’s best sources of vitamin C! Just one cup of kale contains more vitamin C than a whole orange.

Kale’s nutrient composition means it offers several health benefits, including the promotion of eye and heart health and protection against certain forms of cancer. Kale is also loaded with powerful antioxidants that work to reduce damage to our bodies and to keep us feeling our best. 

Topping kale salads with nutritious ingredients such as fruits, nuts and seeds and other vegetables essentially creates a multivitamin in a bowl! Apples and winter squash are added to this salad. Like kale, they are also full of vitamin C and can help support your immune system and other essential body functions. Adding these kinds of toppings also packs a fiber-rich punch, making the salad more satisfying and filling.

Lastly, garnishing with nuts and seeds, like pecans, can provide further nutrients to protect against potential diseases. Overall, utilizing kale as your salad’s green base and loading it with other vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds is a nutritious and delicious start to a wholesome and nourishing salad. It is sure to impress any holiday gathering this season!

Check out the full recipe for Nutty Harvest Honeycrisp Kale Salad:


Sweet and spicy toasted pecans

  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cinnamon Shallot Vinaigrette

  •  2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil


  •  4 to 6 cups chopped Tuscan kale
  • 2 honeycrisp apples thinly sliced
  • 1 delicata squash


Sweet and spicy toasted pecans

  1. Heat the pecans in a nonstick skillet over low heat, stirring often, until fragrant and toasty. Stir in the honey, red pepper flakes and nutmeg. Let the honey bubble and stir for a few minutes, then transfer the pecans to parchment paper and let them cool completely.

Cinnamon shallot vinaigrette

  1. Whisk together the vinegar, honey, mustard, shallot, garlic, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. This keeps great in the fridge for a few days!

Roasted squash rings

  1. Cut delicata squash into rings.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle sea salt. 
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. 


  1.  Massage the kale with a tablespoon or so of the dressing and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Season the kale with salt and pepper, too. Slice the apples and combine the apples, pecans and roasted squash rings with the kale and toss well. Serve with the vinaigrette!

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