Sweet Kale Salad

You know that salad kit with kale, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and poppyseed dressing everyone raves about?! I have heard about it from my friends, neighbours, sister in law; seen it on Instagram etc. OK, so I found it at the grocery store, automatically turned around to read the ingredients list and. I don’t want to sound pessimistic but I was short of being impressed.

What made me most mad about this sweet kale salad is a big claim of 7 superfoods inside. OK, fine I get it, it’s better than eating a Big Mac but holding this bag I felt like being tricked by creative marketing brains, once again.

Close-up of Store Bought Sweet Kale salad bag and list of ingredients

My #1 issue is the poppyseed dressing, which I assume why everyone likes this salad so much, is full of GMOs, sugar and frankly crap. This sweet kale salad dressing is the one health professionals warn us to stay away from. McDonald’s also sells superfood salad with 500 calorie dressing that will kill benefits of 20 superfoods. As soon as I see soybean oil my radar goes off like crazy – the cheapest GMO oil ever. Then egg yolk from GMO fed chickens and white refined sugar from GMO sugar beets.

#2 issue is none of those sweet kale salad ingredients are organic or at lest non GMO project verified. At least one, come on! A bunch of organic kale at the grocery store is $2.50, wholesale my guess is probably 2 – 3 times less. Organic pumpkin seeds are cheap too. Then those cranberries coated in more sugar and GMO oil. No, this is not a good salad to buy.

I decided to see how hard it is to put a healthy version of Sweet Kale Salad Recipe together. Well, about 10 minutes, from scratch, all organic and truly healthy!

Container of organic cranberries, pumpkin seeds and greek yogurt

I have used 1/5th of those organic cranberries and pumpkin seeds for the salad and paid $8 for both in total. The rest my kids will happily snack on. I didn’t add brussels sprouts because I do not love them and cleaning/shaving process that much, neither I am in love with endive. But you can add them. I sampled the poppyseed dressing (literally licked a tiny drop of it) at someone’s house and it wasn’t hard at all to recreate at home (another version of my healthy poppy seed dressing). This salad came out delicious!!!

Another idea to healthify this superfood store bought monster is by throwing out packaged sweet kale salad dressing and making your own. At least you won’t have to buy and chop veggies, and measure bulk items if you are really short on time.

Add some homemade sourdough croutons for an extra special touch!

Collage of organic bagged apples, purple flowers and scene of moutains

However, still I would stock up on organic produce as much as possible. My recent grocery trip I spent $30 for organic: 3 lbs Gala apples (our favourite), 5 lbs potatoes, 5 lbs carrots (my kids love to snack on long peeled carrots), 4 lbs onions and a bag of celery.

I have also been enjoying spring in full swing by walking or running every day. Fresh air helps to clear your mind, supply blood with oxygen, increase good spirits and improve sleep. Flowers are popping up here and there.

Happy first days of Spring! Treat mom to this salad for a healthy brunch along with healthy french toast casserole!

sweet kale salad poppyseed dressing recipe

Sweet Kale Salad

Sweet Kale Salad Recipe is a healthy version of famous salad kit: kale, cabbage, broccoli, pumpkin seeds & cranberries with homemade sweet kale salad dressing.
5 from 12 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 140
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 bunch kale ribs removed and finely chopped (about 4 cups packed)
  • 2 cups cabbage shredded
  • 2 cups broccoli finely chopped
  • 2 cups brussels sprouts shredded (optional)
  • 1 cup endive chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

Poppyseed Dressing:

Instructions 

  • Add kale, cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts and endive (if using), cranberries to a large salad bowl. Toast pumpkin seeds in a small skillet on low-medium heat until lightly brown, about 2 minutes. Stir frequently and watch closely not to burn. Transfer to a salad bowl.
  • In a small bowl or salad dressing shaker, add Poppyseed Dressing ingredients and whisk or shake to combine. Pour over salad, gently stir and serve.

Notes

Store: Refrigerate assembled salad for up to 24 hours. Dressing can be refrigerated for up to 5 days and added to salad as needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.67cups | Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 241mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. My son brought me bag’s of eat smart beyond salad, chopped salad kit Mediterranean mixed with raw vegetables, how to l keep them without them going bad.

  2. Wow I’ve been eating this salad now for almost two years and I mean faithful at lunch everyday for that long! I’ve only recently thought about how unhealthy the salad dressing must be. I’m now gonna make the dressing, will probably still buy the salad in the bag for convenience. Will all the sugar in the dried cranberries should I avoid those?

  3. 5 stars
    Great salad. Kale is hard to fall in love with but your recipes make it easy to love kale. My kids love kale thanks to you.

  4. 5 stars
    This is my go to salad recipe. I buy a bag of plain chopped kale at Aldo and remove the tough stems. Then I make the dressing except I use a tablespoon of frozen orange juice concentrate to give a stronger orange flavor. The dressing can weigh down the kale sometimes but it’s still delicious.

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