There are 3 items that are my absolute favorite when I dine at Souplantation, sourdough bread, clam chowder and broccoli salad. In fact, I have been known to make a meal out of the broccoli salad itself, much to the aggravation of those waiting in line behind me. Honestly though, who doesn’t absolutely love broccoli salad? It is almost as American as apple pie and is hugely popular at BBQ’s and get togethers all through out Summer. When we are diving into those wonderfully greasy hamburgers at least we know we can lean on broccoli salad to bring in some good for you nutrition. That is where this Super Healthy Broccoli Salad recipe comes in. I wanted to take the salad that already had the wonderfully healthy broccoli and amp up the nutrition without comprising the taste. The result? A salad that literally everyone gobbled up and was no-one the wiser that it had all the extra good for you ingredients in it. In fact, when you make this you will probably hear the same thing I did, “Ohhhh, I love the crunch!”
Tips about Super Healthy Broccoli Salad:
- “Heather, are you CRAZY? HEMP SEEDS!?!?!?” I am sure you may be saying. Yep, that is right. Hemp seeds are a wonderful source of vitamins and phytonutrients. They have been observed to help with elements such as regulating hormones, easing joint pain all the way to helping combat cancer (1). They really are an extremely easy way to boost nutrition because they have a wonderful nutty taste. If you are worried about the element of hemp and possibly getting high from eating them, cast your worries aside. As you will see from the linked article above, eating hemp is safe. (affiliate)
- Chia seeds is another great way to boost the nutritional profile as they are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber and vitamins (2). To get the most nutritional bang from the chia seeds make sure to let the Super Healthy Broccoli Salad sit for about an hour with the chia seeds before eating. For an extra thick dressing use the full 1/4 cup or for a looser dressing use just 2 tbsp.
- Here is a secret. If you really want to boost the nutritional profile and are ok with extra calories, add a 1/4 of either wheat germ or ground flax. Both are an excellent source of b vitamins (3) (4). However, if you are gluten free, stick with the flax. (affiliate)
- Pepitas are glorious little pumpkin seeds and are a wonderful source of zinc (5).
- Let’s talk cheese and bacon. Both can be eliminated to lower the calorie density but who doesn’t love the creaminess of cheese and the salty, savory flavor of bacon. If possible I recommend to buy grass-fed organic cheddar and the highest quality of bacon you can afford, preferably pasture raised without antibiotics.
- One of the best tips to keep the crunchy textures crunchy, add the almonds and crumbled bacon at the last minute.
- For the Salad
- 4 lg heads fresh broccoli *8-9 cups florets
- ½ cup red onions *diced
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup toasted pepitas
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- 8 oz cheddar cheese *diced into small chunks
- 8 oz bacon *crumbled
- ½ cup honey roasted sliced almonds
- For the Dressing
- ½ cup full fat plain yogurt
- ½ cup mayo
- 2 tbsp honey
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tbsp)
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2tbsp - ¼ cup chia seeds
- For the Dressing-In a medium sized mixing bowl mix together yogurt, mayo and honey thoroughly. Stir in lemon juice and vinegar. Once ingredients are thoroughly incorporated add chia seeds and refrigerate until needed.
- For the Salad- Bring a large pot of water to boil. While water is coming to a boil wash & cut broccoli into bite size florets. In a large bowl prepare an ice bath. Add 2 tbsp sea salt to boiling water and turn off heat. Add broccoli to water, wait 30 secs, drain and add broccoli to ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain again.
- Place blanched broccoli in a large mixing bowl with onion, cranberries, pepitas, hemp seeds and cheese. Pour in dressing and stir well. Refrigerate until needed.
- Place bacon in a cold large frying pan. Turn heat to med/high and cook until crispy, turning often. Drain, let cool and then crumble.
- Right before serving add crumbled bacon and sliced almonds.
This recipe is part of Meal Plan Monday.