Raw broccoli is not really something that is easy to be passionate about. Personally it took me a long time to warm up to the idea of eating raw broccoli. My digestive system is very sensitive and this is a food that requires a little special treatment to improve both its flavor and texture to make it enjoyable to eat in its raw state.
I’ve blogged before about my Marinated Broccoli Salad, which was the first recipe I created using raw broccoli. This delicious salad opened me up to the possibility of consuming this health promoting vegetable in its optimal state for obtaining its nutritional benefits.
However, even still, I rarely find myself craving raw broccoli and don’t really eat it that often. For me, it is much easier and more appealing to eat a bowlful of steamed broccoli, and I know I will digest it seamlessly.
But not wanting to give up on the idea of a raw broccoli salad I decided to give it another try, with a different type of dressing based on raw cashews. This is a creamy dressing with a touch of sweetness. The salt, lemon and vinegar act to break down the tough cellulose fibers in the broccoli, softening it and enhancing digestibility.
This is the main secret in the success of a raw broccoli salad, in addition to making sure you cut your broccoli into small pieces, which serves to increase the surface area available to the acid and salt in the dressing.
In this recipe raisins and cherry tomatoes add a nice contrast of flavors. If you have some fresh sweet corn this would be a fantastic addition as well.
The dressing makes enough for two salads and will keep for about a week so you can use the extra to make another salad during the week. It also would make a great sauce to add extra flavor to wraps or sandwiches.
Broccoli Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing
1 medium head broccoli, chopped into small flowerets
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup cashews
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons raw agave
1 tablespoon coconut vinegar
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons EFA oil (or hemp seed oil)
To make dressing combine all ingredients in a blender except the oil and blend until creamy. Then slowly add the oil in a drizzle with the motor of the blender running on low and blend until just combined,
To make the salad combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add about half of the dressing and mix well to combine. Place in the fridge and allow to sit for at least one hour. This will taste even better the next day!
We enjoyed it on a bed of lettuce tossed in a simple dressing of hemp seed oil and lemon juice with some fresh corn. You might also choose to serve it with baked potato.
This is a pretty sturdy salad that would travel well making it ideal for work lunches or for a picnic or potluck.
If you’ve been hesitant to eat raw broccoli so far I recommend you give this salad a try. You might discover that raw broccoli can actually taste good this way!