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This vegan broccoli salad is super easy to make and it has a delicious, creamy, oil-free dressing! It makes a great healthy salad for any meal.
Why I love this broccoli salad
This broccoli salad is perfect because it combines numerous healthy ingredients with delicious flavour! It is:
- Whole-foods plant-based
Health benefits of broccoli
Raw broccoli is the main ingredient in this salad. Broccoli isn’t known as the most popular vegetable, but I have personally always loved it! The dressing for this broccoli salad is good enough to get almost anyone to enjoy it, even those who aren’t broccoli lovers.
And the benefits are so worth it!
Broccoli is one of many cruciferous vegetables, which have the potential to prevent DNA damage, defend against invaders such as pathogens and environmental pollutants, slow or prevent cancer spread, and more!
In his book, How Not to Die, Dr. Greger recommends at least one serving of cruciferous vegetables everyday, as well as two servings of greens per day. Broccoli fits the bill for both, so this salad can help you get in those servings!
If you are interested in learning more about the health benefits of various whole plant foods, I highly recommend the book mentioned above, or check out Dr. Greger’s website, NutritionFacts.org.
Ingredients for this vegan broccoli salad
This easy broccoli salad recipe is filled with wholesome ingredients. Here is what you will need:
- Red onion
- Red cabbage
- Apple cider vinegar
- Maple syrup
- Almond milk
- Garlic powder
The great thing about salads is that they can usually be adapted to suit your personal taste.
The dressing for this recipe should be made as is, however you could switch out the almond milk for another plant-based milk. I would not use coconut milk however, because that often gives a strong coconut taste.
As for the salad ingredients, you could omit or add anything you want, other than the broccoli of course. The broccoli is a must!
If you don’t like raisins, you could just leave them out, or substitute with another dried fruit such as cranberries.
For the apple I recommend Gala, but if you have another favourite type of apple, give it a try!
The amount of red onion can be adjusted to your preference. Some people like a lot of onion, while others may think just ¼ cup is enough.
You can also add some nuts or seeds to this salad if you’d like!
Making the creamy, oil-free dressing
The dressing for this vegan broccoli salad is really what makes it a crowd pleaser!
In order to get a smooth, creamy texture, you will need to soften your cashews first. There are two options for doing this:
- Soak them at room temperature: Just put the cashews in a bowl and add water until they are all completely covered. Let them sit on your counter for at least 2 hours. You can even soak them overnight if you have the time. The longer they soak, the easier it will be to blend them!
- Boil them (faster method): If you want to make this recipe right away, you can add the cashews to a pot and fill with water until they are completely covered. Heat on the stove top until the water boils, then lower the heat and let the water simmer for about 15 minutes.
Once your cashews are softened, drain the water and they are ready! Add them to a food processor or high-powered blender with the other dressing ingredients.
To get the dressing nice and smooth, blend for a few minutes, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
Other salads you may enjoy:
Easy Broccoli Salad (Vegan + Oil-Free)
For the salad
- 4 cups broccoli (chopped into small florets)
- ⅓ cup red onion (chopped)
- ½ cup red cabbage (chopped)
- ¼ cup raisins
- ½ Gala apple
- Start by chopping and washing your broccoli. Make sure you cut the broccoli into fairly small florets. Add the broccoli to a large bowl.
- Prepare and add all other salad ingredients to the bowl.
- If you have soaked your cashews, drain the water and add the cashews to a food processor. If your cashews aren’t soaked and you want the process to be faster, you can boil them on the stove (see notes below).
- Add all other dressing ingredients to the food processor and blend until smooth.
- Pour the dressing onto the salad and mix thoroughly.
- Chill before eating.