Looking at the ingredients in a typical coleslaw, you’ve got mayonnaise (which is mostly oil, eggs and sugar) mixed with more sugar. Obviously not the healthiest of ingredients. This is then poured over green cabbage, which has far less nutrients that red cabbage.
This situation just screams opportunity! An opportunity to create a classic dish in a way that works for us rather than against us.
First we we made the easy substitution of red cabbage for green cabbage. Red cabbage is packed with antioxidants. According to the USDA database of common foods, red cabbage actually takes the gold for most antioxidants per dollar. What’s better than a great price on antioxidants!?
Next, we swapped mayonnaise for a cashew-based dressing. This whole-food, plant-based dressing is amazingly rich and creamy.
Butttt.. nuts have a lot of fat. Shouldn’t we steer clear?! This is our first red flag and is often termed reductionism – looking at nutrients in isolation rather than the food as a whole. When looking at the research, eating nuts is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and premature mortality
Finally, rather than highly processed white sugar, we added a touch of pure maple syrup. Giving this classic side just the amount of sweetness that it needs!
To blend the dressing, we used this Food Processor. (Note this is an affiliate link.)
Plant-Based Simple Red Cabbage Coleslaw
An easy oil-free, plant-based red cabbage slaw with a creamy dressing made with cashews and maple syrup. Great for potlucks!
- 4 cups red cabbage, shredded
- 2 cups carrots, shredded
- 1 cup cashews, raw
- 2/3 cup water
- 3 T maple syrup
- 2 T apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried celery flakes
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- salt to taste
Soak cashews in hot water for at least 20 minutes.
Drain water from cashews, reserving 2/3 cup of soaking water.
Combine shredded cabbage and carrots in a salad bowl.
Place all dressing ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
Pour dressing over cabbage and carrots and stir to coat thoroughly. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate until serving.
Notes from the Chef
A 16 oz bag of pre-chopped coleslaw mix (found in the produce section), can be used in place of the shredded cabbage and carrots. Unfortunately, these are usually made with green cabbage, rather than red.
Slaw will keep for up to 5 days in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.