I began to ‘eat healthy’ about 5 years ago around the same time I started exercising. I figured 45 minutes on the treadmill should be paired with a salad and a piece of chicken, not a plate of nachos. And yes, I started off by eating meat because protein will forever be all the rage in the world of working-out. As I continued to educate myself I gravitated towards a more plant-based diet and began getting creative in the kitchen to make up for the lack of…meat. While I’m not strictly Vegan today, my most favourite and simple recipes are all Vegan, like this Broccoli Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing.
It’s hard to give up creamy sauces and dressings when making the transition to Vegan, I know. I was sad at the thought of losing tuna salad sandwiches and caesar salad forever but there are vegan alternatives for both of these! Even what you’ll find with this broccoli salad is that soaked nuts can mimic that creamy texture beautifully. In this recipe I use cashews, which are my favourite when it comes to making thicker dressings and/or sauces.
It may seem strange to eat broccoli raw but the health benefits are so worth it! It’s full of dietary fiber, B vitamins, and a number of other nutrients. It’s definitely up there on the super foods list. Paired with raisins, red onion, and roasted almonds this cold salad is crowd-pleasing and perfect for summer. I also like to throw in a tablespoon of hemp seeds for added healthy fat, which I forgot this time around (oops!).
- 2 broccoli crowns
- 1/2 cup red onion
- 1/3 cup roasted almonds
- 1/2 raisins
- 1 tbsp. hempseeds (optional)
Creamy Cashew Dressing
- ¾ cup raw cashews, soaked
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup (or honey)
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. garlic
- 1/3 cup water
First chop the broccoli into bite-size florets. The red onion and almonds should be chopped finely. Throw the dry ingredients in a larger mixing bowl along with whole raisins and hemp seeds.
Soak your cashews for at least 30 minutes in warm water then throw them into a food processor, or high-powered blender, with the rest of the ingredients and blend on high until creamy.
Pour the dressing over the dry ingredients and toss to coat. Watch the video below for a simple step-by-step guide!
And there you have it: A super simple salad idea that will make for some great leftovers. You can enjoy this salad up to 5 days after preparation (depending on how fresh your broccoli is). This dressing is also extremely versatile and can be used on salads or as sandwich spread, if made a little thicker. Just scale-back on the water for a thicker consistency and enjoy!
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