When you’re asked to bring a dish to the neighborhood barbecue, volunteer to bring the slaw—because after reading this, you’ll have some great slaw recipe ideas.
Not only is slaw easy to make, but you can also control what’s added to make sure you have a healthy, low-calorie option at any occasion.
Each slaw recipe has cabbage or broccoli—or both—and the many health benefits that come with them. Brassica vegetables like cabbage and broccoli are food powerhouses and veggies like kale and Brussels sprouts are part of this family.
Brasscias are studied for their many plant chemicals that may help prevent cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, the compounds they contain may help protect your cells from DNA damage, reduce inflammation, induce cell death in cancer cells, prevent the body from producing blood vessels to feed tumors and deactivate cancer-causing substances, including the ones created when you cook meat at high temperatures (think grilling).
Scientists at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry published a study suggesting that foods like cabbage and broccoli may help protect you from Alzheimer’s disease, too, by reducing levels of the damaging proteins that accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
The addition of the deeply hued red cabbage to your slaw recipe adds even more beneficial plant compounds. Often, the deeper the color, the more healthy chemicals a food contains. Think Napa and Asian cabbages or broccoli to add a slightly different texture and flavor to your slaw.
Try these four kitchen-tested slaw recipe creations that are as healthy as they are tasty:
Helpful Hint: Click on the recipe name to view the full recipe.
Rice vinegar, soy sauce, peanut butter and peanuts give this slaw a tangy-sweet taste that pairs well with barbecue and uses a slaw mix so it only takes minutes to prepare. On a Nutrisystem plan, it counts as one PowerFuel and two vegetables. Click here to see the recipe! >
Though it sounds like it comes from the wine country of California, Napa cabbage is actually a Chinese variety with a crisp, fresh texture that’s less bitter than the green cabbage you’re used to. This recipe makes it even more refreshing with the addition of zucchini shreds, apple chunks and fresh mint, all tossed in a honey-lime dressing. On a Nutrisystem plan, it counts as half a SmartCarb, one Vegetable and one Extra. Click here to get the recipe >
This riff off typical deli slaw substitutes a yogurt-based dressing for mayo and adds cilantro for a bit of an international flavor. The recipe calls for equal parts green and red cabbage which boosts the health benefits of this slaw. It also has a secret ingredient—a half teaspoon of hot sauce or siracha—that makes it anything but typical. On a Nutrisystem plan, this counts as one Vegetable. Click here to get the recipe >
This Broccoli Slaw with Cranberries and Lime is a sweet and tangy take on a stale old BBQ classic (no offense, cole slaw!). The best part is, this Broccoli Slaw is so easy to make and so delicious, even your pickiest dinner guests will be grabbing for seconds. Featuring a sprinkle of sweetness from honey and dried cranberries, and a touch of tang thanks to the addition of lime juice and cilantro, this nutrient-packed side dish is so tasty, it’s sure to steal the show at your next party or gathering. Click here to get the recipe >
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