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Kale, Date, & Almond Salad

This Kale Date Almond Salad with earthy kale, dates, and protein-rich almonds and hemp hearts tossed in a sweetened lemon dressing is a delicious combination of savory and sweet!

top down view of healthy kale salad with dates and almonds.

Kale, kale, and more kale!

I hope you all love it as much as me because I have another kale recipe for the collection. And if you don’t love it, maybe this simple and easy salad will make you a kale lover!

On a recent trip to Trader Joe’s, a packaged Kale & Hemp Seed Salad with Dates caught my eye. After doing a quick google search, I came across a similar salad from Epicurious with great reviews.

I love finding gems like this with such positive feedback (even non-kale lovers loved it). I’ve brought the two inspirations together, creating a simple, classic kale salad to enjoy time and time again.

Whether serving for a crowd or simply for yourself, you’ll love the ease of this kale salad. Pair it with a slice of whole-grain bread and you have yourself a nice light, healthy lunch or dinner.

top down view of ingredients used to make healthy kale, date, and almond salad recipe.

What Type of Kale Should I use?

My favorite kale for this recipe is baby kale. It’s tender and can be eaten without the need of ‘massaging’ to tenderize it.

If using full-grown kale, the lemon dressing will help to soften it. The full-grown kale you find in bunches will benefit the most from a little marinating. It can really make a big difference for those who have a hard time eating raw kale. For the most tenderizing effect, I would suggest leaving the kale in the lemon mixture for an hour or so, even overnight, covered, in the fridge.

Dates

Use your favorite dates. I’ve used 8 medjool dates here. Use as many as you like. I like to get at least one piece of date in every bite.

Tip: Only add the dates when ready to serve, or they’ll get soggy and mushy. Dried figs would also work well here.

Almonds

Almonds and hemp hearts are rich in protein and essential vitamins. The almonds add texture and the hemp hearts add a dose of healthy omegas.

top down view of lemon juice mixture at bottom of a bowl with baby kale being added.

How To Make Kale Date Salad

Start with adding the lemon, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, and pinch of salt to the bottom of a large bowl (shown above), giving a good stir to combine.

Add the kale and onion, and toss to coat (shown below). This helps ‘massage’ the kale, making it soften and ease the bitterness. Let rest for at least 10 minutes, tossing every so often.

When ready, assemble your salad in individual bowls by adding a portion of greens and topping with dates, almonds, and an optional dusting of vegan parmesan.

top down view of kale and onion in a bowl with lemon juice.

It’s simple, light, and refreshing – even on a chilly day, it was a perfect fresh salad!

Enjoy this healthy salad as a light lunch or dinner. We hope you love it as much as we do!

More Healthy Salad Recipes!

top down view of freshly made kale salad with dates and almonds in bowl with items surrounding.

If you try this kale date salad recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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KALE, DATE & ALMOND SALAD + LEMON DRESSING

Savory and sweet, this vegan kale salad with dates and almonds is an easy way to love your kale. Makes for a light lunch or dinner and pairs great with a slice of whole grain bread.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: mix
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of red pepper flakes or fresh cracked pepper
  • 5 oz. package baby kale or 1 large bunch lacinato or curly kale (stem removed and julienned)
  • 1/8 red onion (or 1 small shallot), thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, optional
  • 8 dates, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 3 tablespoons hemp hearts
  • almond parmesan or Violife Vegan Parm

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, maple syrup, salt and red pepper flakes, add the kale and shallots, mix well. If using large leaf kale, let set for at least 20 minutes (or overnight in the fridge) making sure to toss a few times. If using baby kale, serve right away as baby kale is tender ready.

Before serving add a drizzle of the optional olive oil, toss well. Add in the dates, almonds, hemp hearts and light dusting of almond parmesan or shaved vegan parm.

Serves 4

Notes

Try toasting the almonds on the stove if you like. To do this, place almonds in a pan over medium heat (no oil needed), stir frequently until almonds change color slightly, about 1 – 2 minutes.

Do not add dates until serving time. If you add them before they may become soggy.

Try using dried figs in place of dates.

For the most tender kale (if using large leaf), let marinate in the lemon juice mixture, covered, in the refrigerator overnight, tossing once or twice.

Keywords: kale date salad, kale date salad recipe

Updated: This recipe was originally published in January 2016. It has been retested and updated with new photos and helpful tips in August 2021.

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10 Comments

  1. My husband said he could eat this salad every day! The simple lemony dressing is perfect and a delicious change from the standard vinaigrette . This will be at our Thanksgiving table (and probably any other Thursday throughout the year.) Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      That makes my day, thanks for sharing, Ann! Happy Holidays to you and yours! Cheers

  2. This salad is DELICIOUS! The combination of flavors and textures is so refreshing and elegant. I loved it, my husband loved it, our friend from France loved it. She said it was very much like the types of salads they make, with the shallots and nuts and fruit. I’ve never used dates in a salad before, but now I will do it all the time! Well done, Julie. A hit, as always.

  3. Amy | Lemon and Coconut says:

    I must try this, I never eat kale in a salad as mad as that sounds and it’s about time, it looks beautiful! xx

  4. Ana @ Ana's Rocket Ship says:

    Kale kale and more kale. I’m in heaven!

  5. rachel pugliese says:

    I made this last night, substituting arugula for the kale and it was delicious! Will be on my rotation list for sure.

  6. genevieve @ gratitude & greens says:

    I am all about kale salads! Medjool dates are my favourite, too. This sounds so simple and refreshing- can’t wait to add it to my roster of kale salads! :D

  7. Marlies Gierls says:

    By the way, on your foto is ROCKET and NO Kale, Excuse me please.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Hi Marlies, now that you mention it it sure does look like rocket but it’s kale alright. I used the packaged Earthbound Farm Deep Green Blend Baby Kale. I made this salad a few times using 3 different tubs of this kale and each one was filled with what you see here. It was delicious too! Thanks for mentioning it in case anyone else may be wondering the same thing. :)

      1. Marlies Gierls says:

        OK, thank yoe for information. i have never seen a kale like this, and its looks like our normal rocket. I now see the site of earthbound, in Germany totally unkown.
        Greetings Marlies

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