Skip to main content

If you’ve ever been to Whole Foods and tried their Sweet Summer Kale Salad, then you know how incredibly awesome and yummy it is. If not, then just trust me on this one. You want to try this at least once. AT LEAST.

Now, I can neither confirm nor deny if this is the actual secret recipe that Whole Foods uses, but comparing the ingredients on their label to this recipe, it’s pretty dang close. So, go ahead and make this salad over the weekend. You’ll probably love it.

If you’re cutting back on added sugars (which is a GREAT idea… hint hint), then use as little added sweetener as you can tolerate. You’ll probably need some to handle the sour of the citrus, but I bet you don’t need the full 1/8 cup that the recipe calls for ūüėČ

If you have a recipe that you ADORE and would like me to share, just shoot me an email or leave a comment below ūüôā

Sweet Summer Kale Salad

Recipe and photo courtesy of Marin Mama Cooks

Serves 4-6


  • 1 bunch kale (of any kind), de-stemmed, and thinly sliced:¬†Click here to see step-by-step¬†instructions on how to de-stem and thinly slice kale
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 apple sliced and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1.5 ¬†juicy lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup (OR LESS) maple syrup, agave or honey¬†(pick your poison. try to use as little as possible)


  1. First toast up the sliced almonds by putting some sliced raw almonds in a dry skillet set over medium heat, and swirl them around in the pan for a few minutes until they become golden brown in color. Reserve them to the side.
  2. Zest and squeeze up your lemons.
  3. Wash, de-stem and thinly slice your kale.  If you’re not sure how to de-stem and slice kale then you can check out this post on how to de-stem and thinly slice kale, or you can watch the beginning part of this lacinato kale salad video for instructions as well.
  4. Put your lemon juice, zest, olive oil and maple syrup in a blender and puree until smooth and creamy.
  5. Put your sliced kale into a bowl. Pour in 1/2 of the dressing.
  6. Massage the dressing into the kale. Yes, you heard right, ‚Äúmassage‚ÄĚ the dressing into the kale. ¬†You literally want to massage the kale with 2 hands making sure to squeeze the kale as you go along, do this step for about 1-2 minutes. ¬†The volume of the kale should reduce by about 1/3 and the kale will¬†wilt and have a cooked texture. ¬†Keep adding the dressing to taste as you massage it.
  7. Taste the salad and add more dressing¬†if you’d like. ¬†This part is to taste. ¬†The dressing makes enough for a double batch of this salad, so if you have extra dressing, then you can store it in a sealed container for up to a week. ¬†Just make sure to stir or shake it before you use it next.
  8. Add in your cranberries and let the salad sit for at least an hour to soften.  This salad can be made hours ahead of time (even in the morning).  The longer the kale sits, the softer the kale will become.  Note: If you are going to let this sit for more than an hour, then you will want to put it in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.  
  9. When you are ready to serve your salad mix in your toasted nuts and diced apple.
  10. Serve, enjoy, and be happy!

Leave a Reply