Kale and Hazelnut Winter Salad with Warm Sweet Dressing

Winter Kale & Hazelnut Salad

So we’re back on the road of healthy eating in our home. We took a few turns down Chocolate Street, Cookie Ave, and Cheese Boulevard during the holidays, but my husband and I (the kids don’t have much choice, hehe) are committed to clean eating.

Yay, good for us right? I think so, but man does salad just not appeal to me at all during the winter months. I mean at all. 

Sure there are plenty of other healthy options, but salads do pack a bowl full of nutrients nicely. So, my goal is to try new and creative recipes this winter to reconnect with my love for salad. Starting with this amazing recipe featuring kale, carrots, dates, hazelnuts and a warm dressing drizzled on top.

It’s sweet and tangy with just the right amount of crunch.

Kale, Carrots, Dates, Red Onion Salad

Also, it’s super easy to whip up. I just chopped the kale, added matchstick carrots (the pre-cut ones in the vegetable aisle), chopped dates (which I keep on hand to curb sweet cravings, both for me and the kids), and the rest of the ingredients. It took less than 10 minutes to assemble. Then I heated up the dressing, poured it on top and enjoyed a big bowl for lunch. 

It really hits the spot!

Healthy Winter Kale & Hazelnut Salad

This recipe makes a big batch, so you can easily split it up into single lunch servings and just heat up the dressing each day (I used the stove top, but you can use a microwave, especially if you’re at the office). The warm dressing is a nice touch, because it softens the kale leaves and red onions, and really makes the salad more special.

Delicious Kale Salad with hazelnuts and dates

I hope you enjoy this winter salad as much as I did. Here’s to eating our greens all winter long!

xo Emily


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Kale and Hazelnut Winter Salad with Warm Sweet Dressing

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  • Author: Emily Smith


A sweet and tangy salad that is bursting with flavour.




  • 8 kale leaves
  • 4 cups of matchstick carrots
  • ½ cup chopped dried dates
  • ⅓ cup finely diced red onion
  • ⅓ cup crushed toasted hazelnuts
  • Dressing
  • ¼ cup turbinado or coconut sugar
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ⅒ tsp garlic salt


  1. Wash, dry and chop kale for the salad. Ideally, rolling each leaf up and slicing it into thin threads.
  2. In large serving bowl, mix together kale, matchstick carrots, dates, red onion and hazelnuts. Set aside.
  3. Dressing
  4. In a sauce pan, mix sugar, vinegar, olive oil, garlic salt and black pepper over low heat for approximately 1 minute. Stir to dissolve sugar completely. While dressing is lukewarm, drizzle over salad. Mix to coat and serve immediately.


  • Serving Size: 6


Emily Smith

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  1. Emily, what type of protein (aside from the hazelnuts) would you recommend on the Kale & Hazelnut Winter Salad?


    1. Hi Diana, sliced steak would taste great in this salad if you’re looking to beef it up a bit. Otherwise, you could add cooked lentils, chickpeas, cooked quinoa, or hemp seeds for more plan-based protein. Hope that helps!

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