Looking for a healthy broccoli slaw recipe that’s easy to make and cuts down on food waste? Look no further than this broccoli slaw salad!
I’m all about fast, easy, and delicious meals. Enter this super easy healthy broccoli slaw recipe. I’m certain your family will love it as much as mine does.
When it comes to broccoli slaw nutrition, each serving of this broccoli slaw salad recipe is only 243 calories. I really think you’ll love this recipe! It pairs well with other sides, such as potato salad. Ready to get cooking?
To make this healthy broccoli slaw, you’ll need a few ingredients:
Rice vinegar: If you don’t have this on hand, you can also use wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
Broccoli, carrots, and cabbage: These veggies are the star of the show! Utilizing broccoli stems cuts down on food waste.
Broccoli is one of my favorite foods. You may be thinking that as a registered dietitian, I have to say that. But really, it makes my top food list (along with my other staple, Greek yogurt).
I love the crunch of broccoli stems. All in all, broccoli is a tasty and filling veggie, at 89 percent water.
Broccoli can certainly help you get the vitamins and minerals you need: 1 cup, for instance, contains an excellent amount of immune-helping vitamin C, plus a good amount of your daily need for folate, important for pregnant women.
Avocado: You get satiating healthy fat from this ingredient.
Tomato: Add this for a bright burst of color.
Almonds, flax seeds, and hemp seeds: These add filling protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
If you’d like even more crunch, you can throw in a couple of Tablespoons of sunflower seeds.
Feel free to add diced red onion for extra tang, and dried cranberries also make a nice addition. You can also sub in toasted almonds for the almond slivers, if you prefer.
And if you have lemon juice on hand, you can feel free to squeeze a little into the salad.
Helpful kitchen tools
You may find these items helpful in whipping up this healthy broccoli slaw recipe.
Cancer-fighting benefits of broccoli
Another benefit of broccoli: Research by Johns Hopkins scientists, published in Cancer Prevention Research, amps up broccoli’s potential attributes: It may help lower your risk of cancer.
In the study, 291 healthy adults in China—a country known for high-level exposure to air pollutants—were separated into two groups.
One group drank a juice daily for three months made of broccoli sprout (the baby version of mature broccoli) powder, pineapple juice and lime juice. The other group drank a placebo beverage made of pineapple juice, lime juice, water and molasses.
The people sipping the broccoli drink excreted significantly higher amounts of two carcinogenic air pollutants: benzene and acrolein, both linked with lung cancer.
The broccoli sprout juice contained the phytonutrients glucoraphanin and sulforaphane, which may help excrete cancer-causing pollutants. “
By increasing levels of protective enzymes in our bodies, pollutants are chemically transformed to molecules that are excreted more quickly,” explains Thomas Kensler, PhD, co-author of the study. “The less time the pollutants have in the body, the less time for mischief.”
Pollutants are most likely to be excreted from parts of the body with higher cell turnover—such as the lungs, skin and liver—versus, say, fat cells, in which toxins from past exposures have been stored.
Now, you may be wondering how this links back to you, since there’s a big chance that (like me!) you aren’t going to prepare and drink broccoli-sprout juice daily. So let’s talk science for a moment.
Both broccoli sprouts and broccoli contain the phytonutrients that were found to help excrete air pollutants in the study, although broccoli sprouts are packed with between 10 and 100 times the amount found in mature broccoli.
To get the dose of phytonutrients that the study participants consumed daily, you’d need to eat about 3 cups broccoli daily or ¼ cup broccoli sprouts (available in some grocery and health food stores, about $3 per 2 cups).
Note that this is a rough estimate, since phytonutrient content of broccoli depends on many factors—including where and when the broccoli was grown and how it was harvested, shipped and stored.
There is no magic bullet for good health, but could broccoli help you stay healthy? Very possibly, as part of a meal plan that includes other equally important vegetables.
If you feel you were exposed to a particularly high amount of air pollutants, have an extra serving or two of broccoli that day.
Should you cook broccoli?
I’ve been thinking a lot about broccoli cooking, as I’ve been reading up on the best way to cook it for maximum nutrient retention.
A survey by nutritional ingredient company Brassica Protection Products found that 76 percent of Americans most enjoy cooked broccoli versus raw—and for people who cook their broccoli, 39 percent do so for 10 minutes or more.
Cooking broccoli for this length of time can decrease its nutritional offerings. One study shows that the amount of immunity-helping vitamin C in broccoli decreases continually with longer cooking times.
When boiled for 5 minutes, broccoli loses 62 percent of its vitamin C; that number continues to decrease at 10 minutes. When broccoli is microwaved for 1 minute, it loses 53 percent of its vitamin C; and this number grows when microwaved for longer.
Cooking also affects the amounts of phenols, a type of antioxidant that may help prevent disease, in broccoli. When broccoli was boiled for 5 minutes, the phenolic content decreased by 28 percent, progressing to 47 percent at 10 minutes and 60 percent at 20 minutes.
When microwaved, phenolic content decreased by 38 percent at 2 minutes but did not significantly change at 1 and 5 minutes.
Other research has found steaming to best preserve the phenols in broccoli, as well as glucosinolates—compounds containing sulfur that are thought to have many health benefits, including support of the body’s detoxification system.
So the bottom line on cooking broccoli?
A short cook is best to retain maximum nutrients—and microwaving may even increase amounts of vitamin C, while steaming is best to preserve it. If you sauté, cook in a small amount of liquid so that no nutrients seep out into water that you will toss.
I’m also gathering from this research that it may be most beneficial to eat your broccoli raw. And you’ll get those raw broccoli benefits in the broccoli slaw salad recipe that follows!
When it comes to making this healthy broccoli slaw recipe, you’re in luck.
Now that you’ve learned all about the benefits of broccoli, it’s time to chat about whipping up this broccoli slaw recipe.
First, you’ll make the dressing. In a small bowl, mix vinegar, oil, and honey. Set aside.
Then, you’ll make the salad. In a large bowl, combine broccoli stems, carrots, and cabbage with avocado and tomato.
Toss dressing with broccoli slaw mixture.
Top with almonds and seeds, and sprinkle with black pepper and salt to taste.
By the way, if you want to speed up making this healthy broccoli slaw recipe, you could also buy bagged broccoli slaw mix.
Broccoli slaw tends to be healthier than coleslaw because it’s packed with multiple vegetables including broccoli, carrots, and cabbage. It also has a nutritious dressing made of rice vinegar and olive oil. It’s packed with fiber and healthy fats!
It absolutely is! Each serving is just 243 calories and is packed with fiber-rich vegetables, as well as healthy fats from olive oil.
Make sure you store it in an air-tight container in the fridge. You can keep it this way for 3-5 days. It does not store well in the freezer.
More healthy salad recipes
If you enjoy this healthy broccoli slaw recipe, you will also like:
- Italian Lupini Bean Salad with Crushed Pistachio
- Grilled Corn Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
- Vegetarian Chopped Salad with Boiled Eggs
- Vegan Mediterranean Salad with Prunes
- Prune Orange Salad Recipe with Citrus Salad Dressing
- Rapid and Sustainable Detoxication of Airborne Pollutants by Broccoli Sprout Beverage: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial in China, Cancer Prevention Research
- Thomas Kensler, PhD, co-author of the study
- A survey by nutritional ingredient company Brassica Protection Products
- Antioxidant Properties of Green Broccoli and Purple-Sprouting Broccoli Under Different Cooking Conditions, Bioscience Horizons
- Cooking Methods of Brassica Rapa Affect the Preservation of Glucosinolates, Phenolics and Vitamin C, Food Research International
Healthy Broccoli Slaw Recipe
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp + 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tsp honey
- 3 cups broccoli stems julienned
- 2 small carrots julienned
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 plum tomato, diced
- 2 tbsp slivered almonds
- 1½ tbsp flaxseeds, ground
- 1½ tbsp hemp seeds
- Black pepper, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- In a small bowl, mix vinegar, oil, and honey.
- Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine broccoli, carrots, and cabbage with avocado and tomato.
- Toss dressing with broccoli slaw mixture.
- Top with almonds and seeds, and sprinkle with black pepper and salt to taste.
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