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Hi, I’m Alyssa! AKA, The PCOS Nutritionist Alyssa!

I’m a Registered Dietitian dedicated to helping you eliminate your PCOS symptoms with sustainable and realistic nutrition changes.

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Fall Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Apples, and Pepitas

This delicious fall kale salad with apple cider vinaigrette is everything you think of when you think of fall. It includes butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, apples, and pomegranate seeds, and is perfect for lunch or a dinner side.

Closeup photo of a fall kale salad with butternut squash, goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, pepitas, and apple

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Why You’ll Love This Fall Kale Salad

There’s certain foods that just scream fall to me, and kale salads with seasonal produce are one of them. It has sweet butternut squash, crisp apples, refreshing pomegranate seeds, and crunchy pepitas. It’s seriously the perfect blend of crunchy textures and sweet, seasonal flavors. 

This fall kale salad is packed with nutrition too to keep you feeling full and satisfied. One serving gives you a whopping 9g of fiber, which is ⅓ of what you should be aiming for on a daily basis. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that’s digested really slowly so it helps you to feel full for a longer period of time. 

Fiber also slows down the rise in your blood sugar levels. After we eat food, our blood sugar levels naturally go up – this is what gives us energy. Most people with PCOS also have insulin resistance so we don’t want those blood sugar levels to go too high or go up too quickly – fiber does a great job at preventing this!

This kale salad is also packed with antioxidants thanks to the kale, apple, pepitas, pomegranate seeds, butternut squash, and olive oil! Antioxidants are chemicals naturally found in food that help to lower inflammation, something we definitely want to do when it comes to PCOS!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Photo of all the ingredients needed to make a fall kale salad in small bowls with labels

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • Kale – I used curly kale, but you could also use lacinato kale. Kale is one of those greens that people tend to either love or hate…and I get it! I used to not be a fan of kale, honestly…until this salad! It made me seriously change my stance on kale. Kale is a good source of fiber, vitamin K, calcium, and iron.
  • Apple – I chose to use a honeycrisp apple for this recipe since they’re really crisp and hold up well in any salad! Tip: once you cut your apple, give it a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to prevent it from browning.
  • Pepitas – these adorable little things are essentially pumpkin seeds without the hull or shell. They’re one of my favorite salad additions for that earthy crunch factor. Pepitas are also packed with zinc and magnesium, two nutrients that we need more of with PCOS!
  • Goat cheese – I’m a firm believer that goal cheese elevates any salad. This soft and creamy cheese perfectly compliments the sweet flavors of this salad.
  • Pomegranate seeds – These tangy and refreshing little seeds are a great fruit addition with the apple. They’re a great source of fiber, folate, and an antioxidant compound called punicalagins that reduce inflammation.
  • Butternut squash – Roasted butternut squash is one of the highlights of this salad. It adds fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C to this dish to help balance blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation. 
  • Olive oil 
  • Dijon mustard 
  • Maple syrup 
  • Garlic powder 
  • Salt and pepper 

How To Make This Fall Kale Salad

  1. Toss butternut squash with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper then spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for approximately 30min.
  2. Chop the apple. Remove the kale leaves from the stems and roughly chop the kale.
  3. Mix the dressing ingredients together. I love this salad dressing shaker because it has measurements on the side and I can use it to store the dressing too.
  4. Combine the roasted butternut squash with the remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl
  5. Add the dressing to the bowl and toss everything together to combine.
  6. Serve right away or keep in the fridge for later. This salad keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Closeup photo of a fall kale salad with butternut squash, goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, pepitas, and apple prior to it being mixed up

How To Make It A Balanced Meal

This salad is a great side dish but if you want to make it a meal, add some extra protein in. Chicken, salmon, shrimp, tofu, or chickpeas would all go great in this dish!

Another idea is to pair this kale salad with some soup. A white chicken chili comes to mind – especially as the weather gets cooler!

This salad keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days so it’s a great option if you like to meal prep in advance.


Preparation Tips & Variations

  • Don’t like kale? You can sub any leafy greens like baby spinach, butter lettuce, or spring mix but you may want to plan to eat it immediately so it doesn’t get soggy in the fridge.
  • Substitute the goat cheese for feta cheese 
  • If you’re vegan or dairy-free, omit the cheese entirely
  • Use any type of apple you have on hand – gala, fuji, or pink lady are great options
  • Don’t like butternut squash? Substitute another type of squash, like delicata or acorn, or sweet potato
  • Add some dried cranberries for even more flavor

You’ll Also Love These PCOS Friendly Recipes

Sweetgreen Crispy Rice Bowl (Healthy Copycat Recipe)

Triple Berry Oat Tropical Smoothie (Copycat Recipe)

Peanut Butter Banana Baked Oatmeal Cups

Photo of a fall kale salad with butternut squash, goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, pepitas, and apple

Fall Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Apple, and Pepitas

This healthy kale salad has roasted butternut squash, crisp apple chunks, pomegranate seeds, and crunchy pepitas. It's absolutely delicious and packed with nutrition to keep you feeling full and satisfied! Add a protein source to make it a well balanced meal.
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Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy, healthy
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 359kcal

Ingredients

Salad

  • 6 cup kale stems removed, roughly chopped (or 8oz bag of pre-washed kale)
  • 1 honeycrisp apple chopped into ½" cubes
  • ½ cup pepitas or shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 2 oz goat cheese crumbled
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ½ butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into ½" cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Apple Maple Vinaigrette Dressing

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tbsp dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Toss butternut squash cubes with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Line in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes or until fork tender
  • While the butternut squash is roasting, prepare the rest of the salad. Start by preparing the salad dressing: add all of the dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together
  • Remove the stems and roughly chop the kale into bite sized pieces and chop the apple into ½" cubes.
  • Add kale, apple, pomegranate seeds, crumbled goat cheese, pepitas, and butternut squash to a large bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine.

Notes

This salad can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
 
Add a protein source to make it a complete meal.

Nutrition

Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 569mg | Potassium: 868mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 20181IU | Vitamin C: 118mg | Calcium: 333mg | Iron: 4mg

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