Oct. 24. 2013
McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian, Founder

A great fall salad using apple, and pairing it with delicious, fiber-rich, antioxidant powerhouse, and nutrient-dense kale.

Hail kale, yes more kale! Kale is my favorite hearty and nutrient dense dark leafy green that I’m always sneaking into everyone’s diet; it’s perfect to use in this Fuji Apple Kale Salad with Maple Spiced Hazelnuts with the beautiful balance of sweetness and zest. I adore apples especially this time of year in everything from variations of my Stripped Green Smoothie, soups, sandwiches, salads, and of course sweet desserts.

I want to challenge all of you to increase the amounts of raw plant-based foods you have in your diet- this recipe is a perfect way to do this because it tastes delicious and embraces fall. Fuji Apple Kale Salad with Maple Spiced Hazelnuts is great for making a large batch on your batch cooking days as it keeps well throughout the week.

It’s perfect for a quick lunch by simply taking several handfuls and putting in your tupperware (BPA free of course) to-go, it’s also great for a quick dinner side dish or turn this into an entree by adding your favorite vegetarian proteins to it such as chickpeas, tempeh, organic tofu, lentils, nuts, seed, or animal proteins if that’s yo thing (just make sure they meet the Nutrition Stripped philosophy!). This salad can also be served chilled, room temperature, or even slightly warm which I’ll share below.

Make it an Entree | *the addition of any ingredients below may change the flavor of the recipe, these are suggestions.

  • Proteins: tempeh, lentils, organic tofu, almonds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, organic eggs, etc.
  • Carbohydrates: quinoa, roasted sweet potato, millet, buckwheat, wild rice, brown rice, larger portions of apple, etc.
  • Good fats: avocado, additional nuts/seeds, drizzle of olive oil

Fuji apples are my all time favorite type of apple, although I do enjoy other varieties, Fuji apples taste like fall in my opinion! They’re the epitome of a seasonally fresh apple with it’s deep, crisp, bold, and sweet flavor. Of course if you don’t have access to Fuji apples a couple others, use your favorite apple- I would suggest for this recipe would be Gala, Honeycrisp, or Cortland. Walnuts are another delicious and nutrient packed component to this recipe. Hazelnuts are a beautiful crunchy addition to this sweet salad. Since hazelnuts have an earthy, mild, nutty, and slightly sweet taste, they pair beautifully when toasted to perfect with added spices.

Consume organic. As I’ve mentioned before, when purchasing both kale and apples, make sure they’re organic. Kale and apples are both on the list for highest fruits/vegetables with the greatest amounts of pesticide residue. Even when organic, wash them thoroughly before eating.

Fuji Apple Kale Salad with Maple Spiced Hazelnuts
Recipe Type: salad, entree, side
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A fresh, hearty, and warming fall salad with bright and bold flavors from hazelnuts, apples, kale, and citrus.
  • 5 cups organic kale, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (1 large) organic Fuji apples, chopped
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (Raw and unpasteurized!)
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt (I like pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 meyer lemon (or you may use an orange)
  1. KALE //
  2. De-stem the kale leaves from the stem by simply placing your index finger and middle finger (in the shape of a claw), and “claw” down the center of the leaf to de-stem while simultaneously pulling the leaf away from you with your other hand.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the de-stemmed kale leaves with juice of 1 lemon, sea salt, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  4. Using a massaging action (similar to kneading bread dough), start to tear the leaves apart and massage.
  5. Continue massaging for about 2-5 minutes or until the leaves are softened, the leaves will also turn a more vibrant green.
  6. Set aside.
  8. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  9. In small mixing bowl, combine 1 tablespoon maple syrup, cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of sea salt.
  10. Stir hazelnuts into this mixture until well coated.
  11. Lay evenly on a greased or lined baking sheet.
  12. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown- be careful to not allow these to burn.
  13. Set aside.
  14. DRESSING //
  15. Combine 1 tablespoon maple syrup + 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar + 1 juice of lemon + 1 tablespoon olive oil + minced garlic + black pepper + sea salt to taste
  16. ASSEMBLY //
  17. In a large bowl, add olive oil, garlic, and seasonings and combine with a fork until you create a paste where no garlic chunks are remaining.
  18. Add in the “massaged” kale greens.
  19. Add Fuji apples and Spiced Walnuts with remaining ingredients.
  20. Store in the refrigerator if not eating immediately and consume chilled.
  21. Consume warm by lightly sautéing the massaged kale greens in a skillet for 2-3 minutes or until leaves are slightly warm and tender. Continue with remaining steps.
  22. Enjoy!

Be sure to “save” this recipe in your Recipe Box above for later keeping and share with loved ones (especially those who have not tried kale before!). I know I asked this question to all of you lovely people who follow me over on Instagram, but what is your favorite apple? Share below!

With love and gratitude,

xo McKel