Summer’s here and that means pool parties, lazy days at the lake, weekend barbecues or just leisurely hanging with friends. What’s a party without food? Stay tuned for the best broccoli salad recipe, which is the perfect addition for any occasion. It’s chock full of crisp, antioxidant-rich goodness, and the vibrant colors will add a delicious pop to any meal…
Broccoli Is A Nutritional Power House
Part of the cruciferous family, broccoli is a sulfur-rich vegetable containing sulforaphane. This compound blocks a key enzyme that is destructive and damaging to cartilage. Because of this, eating more broccoli may prevent or slow down the ravaging effects of osteoarthritis. Sulforaphane is also beneficial for the skin.
Broccoli contains phytonutrients and flavonoids which combat inflammation and allergies. It’s plentiful in potassium, calcium, vitamin C, and chromium. Chromium has been found to support healthy blood-sugar levels.
This nutrient-dense vegetable also contains high levels of the carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, both important for eye health. The high-fiber content of broccoli promotes better digestion and intestinal health.
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The Best Broccoli Salad Recipe
Broccoli salad is a versatile dish that can be prepared in a variety of ways. Here’s a rundown of the ingredients:
- The first ingredient is, of course, fresh broccoli. Two heads will work nicely for an average-sized salad. Chop the stems off, and break the florets into bite-sized pieces.
- Next add some chopped vegetables. Favorites include onions, celery, carrots and cauliflower. Add as much or as little as you like. Feel free to throw in any other vegetables that you love. There is no right or wrong here.
- Some people love to add bacon to this salad, which is a great source of protein and fat. Fry up 6-8 strips until crispy, and set aside. Crumble the bacon after it’s cooled, and toss in the salad just before serving. In a hurry? Sprinkle bacon bits on top instead.
- Next add some cheese. Any type works so use your imagination. The cheese can be cubed, crumbled, or shredded. Blue cheese would be awesome! Experiment with various cheeses to determine what you like best!
- Fruit is a great addition to this salad, and boosts the nutrient content even higher. Add raisins if you like. Craisins would be beautiful in this salad, and add a touch of sweetness. Grapes, cranberries, and chopped apples are all good choices. You can even add canned mandarin oranges, and dried fruit would be delicious.
- If you love crunch, try adding sunflower seeds or nuts to the mix, I love nuts and grind them into small pieces using a nut grinder. I can’t live without this handy little tool. Almonds, walnuts, cashews and pecans are all good choices, and are a great source of healthy fat.
- As an alternative to chopping fruit and nuts, keep it super simple, and add some trail mix instead. See how versatile this salad is?
Consider adding canned or fresh vegetables, such as, peas, corn or beans. Black, kidney, great northern, or garbanzo beans are fabulous sources of protein and fiber. Mushrooms, chives, bean sprouts, green beans, cucumbers and bell peppers could all be used. The sky’s the limit when it comes to this salad.
Add A Zesty Salad Dressing
Choose which dressing most appeals to you. Better yet, make up your own!
1. The standard dressing for this salad is a basic mayonnaise/vinegar/sugar mix:
1/2 cup mayonnaise – make your own if you’re ambitious for a healthier version
1/2 cup full-fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup vinegar – use apple cider or wine vinegar
1/8 cup sugar
Lemon or lime juice can be used in place of the vinegar.
2. An oil/vinegar dressing can also be used:
1/2 cup oil – olive, avocado, or any nut oil could be used. Macadamia nut oil would be delicious!
1/4 cup vinegar – again use apple cider or wine vinegar
1/8 cup sugar (optional) – Lakanto – made with monk fruit is low glycemic
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Try adding spices such as celery seed, onion powder, basil, garlic, or oregano. A splash of mustard adds zing!
3. Your favorite bottled salad dressing can also be used. Any creamy or Italian style dressing will work fine.
Coat your salad with dressing, and refrigerate for two to four hours before serving.
There you have it – a delicious, nutritious broccoli salad just in time for summer!
Do you have a favorite broccoli salad recipe? Let me know in the comments:)