This Cranberry Apple Harvest Salad has baby greens and is topped with apples, lightly candied seed clusters, and a delicious cranberry salad dressing. It’s a simple harvest salad that looks and tastes impressive!
It’s November which means it’s time to think about holiday menus! 😉 My holiday philosophy may be a little different than others, in that I while I won’t deny anyone their favorite holiday indulgences (hello green bean casserole and pumpkin pie!), I personally prefer dishes that have simple, quality ingredients that are allowed to shine.
Just like this Cranberry Apple Harvest Salad! It’s fairly simple and allows the flavors of two fall fruits to really shine. In fact, the two more time-consuming elements of the salad, the maple cinnamon candied seed clusters and the cranberry salad dressing, can be made in advance.
Plus, this Cranberry Apple Harvest Salad provides a great option for those who are vegan, vegetarian, or who have food allergies or sensitivities. (You know, those high maintenance family members like me. 😉 ) While it’s impossible to account for every single food sensitivity, I will tell you that this Cranberry Apple Harvest Salad is vegan and very allergen-friendly being free of the top eight most common food allergens (wheat/ gluten, soy, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, and eggs). Even if your friends or family are just looking for a lighter side to balance out all the heavier fare, this will work fantastic! It’s light, but still feels festive, flavorful, and delicious.
If you end up making this tasty Cranberry Apple Harvest Salad, please be sure to share your experience with me! Nothing makes my day more than when I get a comment or message on the NTF Facebook page from someone who has tried a recipe and loved it! Same goes for Instagram! When I see you tagging me (@nutritiontofit) and #nutritiontofit on your photos of my recipes, my heart does a little happy dance. 🙂 I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!
Cranberry Apple Harvest Salad
For the Maple Cinnamon Candied Seed Clusters:
3 Tbsp raw sunflower seeds
3 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp raw hemp seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp olive oil
For the Cranberry Salad Dressing:
1 c. fresh cranberries
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c. water
For the salad:
8 oz bag of baby kale greens blend
1 medium-sized apple, core removed and thinly sliced (can use any type, I used honeycrisp)
Prepare the maple cinnamon candied seed clusters by toasting the sunflower, pumpkin, and hemp seeds and cinnamon in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes, or until slightly toasted. Remove seeds from pan to a plate and set aside. Combine maple syrup and olive in the same pan over medium-low heat and stir briefly until the syrup mixture is bubbling. Add the toasted seeds back to the pan and quickly stir until seeds are evenly coated. Transfer to a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Allow to cool at least ten minutes; the seeds will harden as they cool. Once cool to the touch, break apart into clusters. Set aside (or save in an enclosed container on the counter for up to 24 hours).
To prepare the salad dressing, combine the cranberries, maple syrup, olive oil, and cinnamon in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, or until cranberries have softened and burst and mixture has thickened. Transfer cranberry mixture to a food processor. Add 1/4 cup water and process on high for 60 seconds, or until a smooth, even cranberry dressing has formed. Set aside (or refrigerate in an airtight container up to 24 hours).
Assemble the salad prior to serving. To assemble, place the baby kale greens in a serving bowl or platter, top with apple slices, seed clusters, and drizzle the thick cranberry dressing on top. Serve additional cranberry dressing on the side.