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Kale and Quinoa Salad with Apples and Walnuts

Crunchy superfood hormone-supporting kale and quinoa salad with raw walnuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, dried cranberries and apple. This super simple, nutrient-packed salad is perfect for putting on repeat throughout the week. Make it in big batches and take it to work!

Hormone-Supporting Kale and Quinoa Salad with pumpkin seeds, apple, dried cranberries, and walnuts. This nutrient-dense salad is perfect for eating throughout the week.


One of the biggest topics in the health community today is hormone health. You can tailor your diet to help bring imbalanced hormones back into homeostasis, which in turn can help with so many hormone-related health issues, such as IBS (hand raised), endometriosis, depression, weight fluctuations, acne, and more.

As someone with IBS, paying attention to my hormones is a crucial part of managing my digestive system, and vice versa.

I get a bit of a kick out of naming recipes based on their health benefits. For instance, the Immunity Boosting Tropical Smoothie, Liver Detox Smoothie, Good Digestion Smoothie, and Aphrodisiac Smoothie all function as the titles proclaim.

As the title of this post suggests, this salad was engineered to be a gem for your hormones. Please take it for what it is: just one simple tool that can be put on rotation alongside additional simple tools, or just a really great healthy salad…but not a cure-all. 

Hormone-Supporting Kale and Quinoa Salad with pumpkin seeds, walnuts, apple, and dried cranberries. A superfood crunchy salad recipe.

A close friend of mine recently told me about Seed Cycling  to promote healthy hormones. The concept behind seed cycling is simple – you consume different seeds during different parts of your menstrual cycle to help balance your hormones.

Seeds contain fats, vitamins, and minerals that may help support the body’s production and metabolism of hormones. If you’ve been down the road of trying to get your hormones in check, you have probably read that getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids (especially in relation to your Omega-6 intake) can be pivotal in maintaining healthy hormone levels.  

Regardless of where you stand on self-medicating through nature’s readily available resources, your body truly needs certain nutrients in order to function optimally. Hormonal imbalances are no joke, so if you’ve experienced it or are in the thick of it, seed cycling may be another tool for your arsenal.

That said, I incorporated pumpkin seeds into this salad (as well as walnuts, because: additional omega-3 + yum) to offer up a hormone-supporting meal for your follicular phase

Lettuce discuss the remaining aspects of this salad that help support healthy hormones.

Hormone-Supporting Kale and Quinoa Salad with apple, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts. A superfood crunchy salad perfect for making throughout the week

Did you know your body needs fiber in order to eliminate excess hormones? It’s true. In addition to creating balance and regularity in your digestive system, the female body requires a great deal of fiber to get rid of bad estrogen. For women who are estrogen dominant: fiber is queen. In this sense, if you have a troubled digestive system, chances are you also have issues with your hormones. Everything is interrelated. I repeat: everything.

So, fiber: kale + apple = you’re welcome.

The role of the quinoa is to provide some plant-based protein. Protein is mega essential for hormone health. Not only are amino acids the building blocks of hormones, but getting enough protein ensures satiety, which helps curb your craving for simple carbohydrates, which in turn keeps your blood sugar levels at an appropriate level, which allows your body to create and destroy hormones efficiently.

Being mindful of your carbohydrate intake is very important for keeping a balanced lifestyle. You never want to go too low in complex carbs, and for some of us, going too high in simple carbs is a surefire way of throwing off your hormones.

If you’re like me and metabolize salad as though it never happened, you’ll want to add a dose of protein to this situation. Sure, the quinoa contains complete protein, but its satiety factor is a drop in the bucket for me. I’ve been eating the salad with chopped hard-boiled egg to keep it vegetarian, but some roast chicken would work marvelously as well. If you’re vegan, adding chickpeas would be a brilliant idea.

One cautionary note: If you have a history of thyroid issues, proceed with caution when it comes to kale. Eating too much kale can exacerbate thyroid problems if you already have existing issues.

Meal Prep Options: While this salad comes together really quickly and does not require advance prep, you can make this in bulk and bring it to work throughout the week. Kale is super hearty and doesn’t get soggy the way regular lettuce does.

How do we dress this salad? By keeping it super simple. I drizzle avocado oil and lemon juice (healthy fat + antioxidants) over the salad, sprinkle it with sea salt, and call it good. If you’re looking for something fancier, feel free the salad dressings from  the Crunchy Quinoa Cabbage Spinach Salad or Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Salad recipes I posted recently.

If you’re brand new to the hormone world, my biggest (and most suggested) resources have been Dr. Brooke Kalanick’s website and podcast, and the book, Woman Code. I also got a lot out of this this and this episode of Harder to Kill Radio. There are so many resources available on this topic, so as always, go wild with research!

Love your hormones!

If you make this recipe, please feel free to share a photo on Instagram and tag @The.Roasted.Root!

Hormone-Supporting Kale and Quinoa Salad with pumpkin seeds, apple, dried cranberries, and walnuts. This nutrient-dense salad is perfect for eating throughout the week.

Hormone-Supporting Kale & Quinoa Salad

A nutrient-dense plant-based salad recipe that's here to support your hormones 🙂
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
2 people


  • 2 heads lacinato kale, chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 2/3 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 large fugi apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries, *
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts

For Dressing:


  • Place chopped kale in a large serving bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Use your hands to massage the kale leaves with lemon juice until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Allow leaves to sit 10 minutes to allow lemon juice to break down some of the fibers.
  • Add remaining salad ingredients to the serving bowl. Drizzle desired amount of avocado oil and lemon juice over the salad, and sprinkle with sea salt. Toss well until combined. Serve and enjoy!


*Use juice-sweetened dried cranberries rather than sugar-sweetened


Serving: 1of 2 - Calories: 487kcal - Carbohydrates: 58g - Protein: 19g - Fat: 23g - Fiber: 21g - Sugar: 20g
Course: Lifestyle
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy recipe, hemp seeds, hormone supporting recipes, kale and quinoa salad, kale salad recipe, paleo, pumpkin seeds, seed cycling recipes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 487kcal
Author: Julia
Crunchy Kale and Quinoa Salad with apples, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries. A healthy hormone-balancing vegan salad recipe
Recipe Rating

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Wednesday 7th of March 2018

Hi Julia, I have been following your blog for a while, but quietly. I love kale and this salad looks so wonderful! I really appreciate your in depth explanation about the digestive system. I too have some IBS issues along the line of Ahem, plugged up issues. It is embarrassing to talk about!!☹️. I have learned a lot from reading your blog and it has helped me tremendously! Thank you so much!


Wednesday 7th of March 2018

I'm so happy to hear you're interested in the salad! I'm sorry to hear about your battle with really is a tough situation to be in, but the upside is food can be our medicine! It's also great that we can turn the ailment into a learning experience and dive deeper into understanding our own bodies. Thank you so much for the sweet note - I really appreciate it! My warmest wishes go out to you, and best of luck on your journey! :D


Wednesday 7th of March 2018

I prefer to use food and natural remedies instead of medication, so I like that you title your recipes with how it can help your body! That's really interesting about seed cycling too...I've never heard of that. This salad is something I would enjoy every single day so it's nice to know that it can help my crazy hormones too! :)

Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health

Wednesday 7th of March 2018

I love this post so much! You do such an awesome job providing nutritional information to go along with your fabulous recipes. And I like that you put a disclaimer that this salad isn't going to be the answer to all of one's hormone problems. There is so much that goes into our hormone production and food is definitely a huge factor but not the only factor.

Also, I heard about seed cycling on a podcast and thought it was fascinating! Healthy fats are so crucial for hormone production. I've been trying to eat more avocado, nuts, seeds and eggs everyday and I feel like I've noticed an improvement. Now I just need to get my stress in check, ha!


Wednesday 7th of March 2018

Thanks so much for all that feedback, girly! Yup, a ton goes into hormone health, and while it was overwhelming at first, I love learning more and more and experiencing first-hand what is effective. I actually just started seed cycling today, so I'll let you know how it works! xoxo


Tuesday 6th of March 2018

You forgot to put the quinoa in the recipe!


Tuesday 6th of March 2018

I had that eerie feeling I was forgetting something, and lo and behold, you discovered it. Thanks for letting me know! It's in the recipe now. xo :D


Tuesday 6th of March 2018

Amazing information! I always learn something from your posts. The salad looks so healthy. Yum!

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