Cranberry is a classic addition to many holiday feasts in everything from sauces to desserts! The cranberries in this delicious recipe add soft, juicy texture with just the right amount of sweetness. In combination with the other tasty ingredients, this cranberry kale salad with goat cheese and walnuts is perfect as a meal and will have you going for seconds!
Not only are cranberries in season, these red gems are packed with health benefits. Fresh cranberries a great source of vitamin C, but may not be the best choice for salad making because of their tart flavor. Where dried cranberries lack in their vitamin C content, they make up in their high antioxidant content which include ursolic acid and proanthocyanidins – tough pronunciation and even tougher on cancer cells! Research shows that these antioxidants work together to decrease growth and destroy several types of cancer cells – that’s pretty crantastic!#Cranberries contain powerful #antioxidants that are tough on #cancer cells! Click To Tweet
The only thing to watch out for when purchasing dried cranberries is the added sugar content, which is used to reduce tartness while improving texture. Your best bet is to choose dried cranberries lower in added sugar by comparing the nutrition facts table (pay attention to the serving size!) and using small amounts in recipes, approximately no more than about 1/4 cup.
This salad is even more of an antioxidant powerhouse with the addition of green leafy vegetables, kale and arugula. Green leafy vegetables contain carotenoids, which some research has shown to inhibit the growth of certain types of breast, skin, lung, and stomach cancer cells. Rather than using strongly flavored fully-grown kale, tender and mild baby kale is used instead. This is one of my personal favorites to use in salads because the kale gets coated in the salad dressing rather than absorbing it, preventing the not-so-fun soggy salad. The goat cheese is also a great final addition to the salad for some extra creaminess.
Have you ever tried using cranberries in a salad before? What other ways do you enjoy using cranberries? Share in the comments below!
Thank you to my student Jacqueline Vykoukal for creating and photographing this gorgeous Cranberry Kale Salad!
Cranberry Kale Salad – Gluten Free!
Cranberry is a classic addition to many holiday feasts such as sauces to desserts! Even if you’re not big on salads, the cranberries in this recipe add a juicy texture with just the right amount of sweetness. In combination with the other tasty ingredients, this cranberry kale salad is perfect as a meal and will have you going for seconds!
- 2 cups baby kale
- 2 cups arugula
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries ((reduced sugar if possible))
- 1/4 cup raw walnuts ((broken into pieces))
- 1/8 cup light goat cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey ((can replace with maple syrup if vegan))
- 1 tbsp water
- pinch salt
- pinch pepper
- In a small bowl, whisk together salad dressing ingredients until combined. Set aside.
- Place baby kale, arugula, dried cranberries and sliced walnuts together in a large salad bowl. Drizzle with desired amount of salad dressing and toss to combine. Top with goat cheese.
- Store leftover salad dressing in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days.