Susan's Blog

Best Healthy Coleslaw Ever

Best Healthy Coleslaw Ever

In my practice, I encourage my clients to eat the colors of the rainbow.  Each type and color has its own role in supporting our health and this recipe hits many rainbow colors!

Today I am sharing a make-ahead salad recipe I call the Best Healthy Coleslaw Ever!  It can be stored tightly covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. In fact, some extra fridge time allows the flavors to blend together even more.

I like to shred my own cabbage for coleslaw, rather than using pre-shredded. In my dietetics training many, many moons ago, the amount of nutrient loss from chopping or shredding produce ahead of time was hounded into me so much that I try to chop, slice, or dice things as close as possible to when they are consumed!

There is one exception, however! Cruciferous veggies such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale contain a substance called sulforaphane that helps you detox, and if you chop those sulforaphane-containing veggies and then let them sit (covered and in the fridge) for about 90 minutes, you will have made the sulforaphane in those cruciferous veggies much more available for your body to use.

If you eat the cruciferous veggie raw, there are enzymes in your mouth that will convert the sulforaphane to the more available form. However, if you put something acidic on it (such as the vinegar in this recipe), it will halt the process.

So, when you make this recipe, to reap the most benefit from the sulforaphane in the cabbage, chop it up ahead of time, let it sit tightly covered in your fridge for 90 minutes or more, and then mix in the rest of the ingredients!

Best Healthy Coleslaw Ever
serves 8

1/2 medium head of purple cabbage, shredded (about 3 cups shredded cabbage)
1/2 medium head of green cabbage, shredded (about 3 cups shredded cabbage)
2 heaping cups of shredded carrots
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced, optional
1/2 cup green onion (green part only)
1 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

  • Dressing:
    3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, depending on how sweet you like your slaw
    1 clove garlic, finely minced
    ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
    ½ teaspoon salt
    Freshly cracked black pepper


Add all slaw ingredients except for the pepitas to a large bowl.
Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
Cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour (and up to 5 days) to allow flavors to marinate together.
Before serving, sprinkle with pepitas and toss again.


(Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen)


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