Fall Ingredient Kale Salad

Fall is in the air ladies and gents and I am ready for it. I absolutely love fall and everything that comes with it. Basic? Maybe, but I’ll claim every bit of it. My favorite part of fall though, is all of the incredible produce that’s in peak season. This fall ingredient kale salad reflects all of the seasonal flavors we love – forever leaving boring salads behind.

kale salad with apples, sweet potatoes, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds in a white serving dish

Seasonal Eating  

This fall ingredient salad perfectly captures the idea of eating with the seasons. I always try to gain recipe inspiration from what produce is in season. Fall is my favorite season for recipe inspiration because it is packed full of seasonal all-stars, and let me tell you they do not disappoint.

But why eat seasonally? There a variety of reasons why seasonal eating is important. However, the impact on our carbon footprint and the nutrient density of the produce always stick out to me. By preventing food from having to travel far to reach us, we reduce our carbon footprint, lending to fresher produce. Additionally, the ability to retain nutrients begins to decrease after harvest, so in-season produce also contains a higher nutrient content.

preservation potential

But what if I’m craving something out of season? Great question – let me take you back to our primitive roots of preservation. While many of the original preservation techniques have been lost or are simply outdated, things like freezing and canning are still widely used. Freezing (fresh-picked blueberries) can be a simple way to always have seasonal produce on hand year-round (read: blueberry crisp alllll year). When done correctly, canning can also serve to give us the year-round benefits of seasonal foods.

For more on seasonal eating and preservation, author Lisa Graham McMinn has a great chapter on this topic in her book, To the Table: A Spirituality of Food, Farming, and Community (one of my all-time favorite reads).

Abundant Ingredients 

whole sweet potato, pomegranate seeds, and pumpkin seeds on a white surface

All five main ingredients in this salad are a seasonal gift of fall. Besides the benefits mentioned above, this also means that the flavors are the most rich this time of year (count. me. in.). This means the kale, apples, pomegranates, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin seeds will be at their absolute best. Sooo, even if you’re not a salad person, with peak flavor and nutrient content, does this salad deserves the old college try or what ?!

Though full of flavor, this fall ingredient kale salad is lacking in protein so would serve as a great side to your favorite meat/protein dish, or last week’s whole roasted chicken !

The (Kale Salad) Process

massaged kale in white serving dish

The process is simple: first, tackle the sweet potato. All that’s necessary is to dice the sweet potato, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and pop in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. Once that’s in the oven, begin to make the dressing. Due to all the flavors in this salad, I chose to stay simple with the dressing using only lemons, oil, garlic and apple cider vinegar.

After the dressing is complete, wash and dry the kale, then massage it with the dressing. I used to skip this step and quickly realized that kale salads without the massage step are gross. There’s no sugar coating it. The point of massaging is to infuse the kale with the flavors in the dressing and to break down the tough and fibrous characteristics of kale. This process lends to easier chewing and helps out your digestive system in breaking it down as well.

Once the kale has been thoroughly massaged, transfer to a serving bowl. After the apple is diced, add the apple, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds and cooled roasted sweet potato to the kale. And that’s it – toss and enjoy the flavors of fall !!

kale salad with apples, sweet potatoes, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds in a white serving dish

Fall Ingredient Kale Salad

Satisfy all your seasonal cravings with this fall ingredient kale salad that packs a flavor punch and is forever leaving boring salads behind.
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 bag kale
  • 1 -2 medium apples
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (more to you liking)

Lemon Garlic Dressing

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp olive or avocado oil
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Dice the sweet potato into 1/2 inch cubes. Add to a sheet plan, drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Then toss and add to the oven to roast for 30 minutes flipping with a spatula halfway through.
  • Add the water, oilve oil, apple cider vinegar and salt to a dressing vessel or jar. Grate the 3 garlic cloves and add to the same jar. Shake well.
  • Remove kale from bag, wash well and dry well. Once completely dry, move to a serving dish and pour over half of the dressing.
  • Then 'massage' the kale (just like it sounds, massage the kale leaves by hand by repeatedly squeezing the kale until visibly more tender). Add the rest of the dressing and then massage more or toss.
  • Dice the apple into 1/2 inch cubes.
  • Once the sweet potato is complete, remove from the oven and let cool. Add the apple, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds and cool sweet potato to the kale, toss and enjoy!




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