If you’ve always thought of slaw as something that comes in a greasy plastic tub from the supermarket, it’s time for a refresh. Enter in this Rainbow Super Slaw. Crunchy cabbage, sweet carrot, spring onions, green apple, parsley, all mixed with the most delicious creamy cashew mayo.
Here’s why you’re going to want to make this slaw part of your regular routine:
- Done in 15 minutes
- Simple affordable ingredients
- Creamy and sweet, yet entirely dairy and sugar free
As a nutritionist and naturopath, I’m always looking for ways to get more vegetables into people’s diet. One way of doing this is by having a core collection of quick and easy salad recipes at your fingertips. This slaw totally fits the bill, as it only contains non-starchy vegetables, making it a fantastic alternative to your regular side salad routine.
How to make this Rainbow Super Slaw
Ingredients for this slaw
To make this summery slaw, you’ll need:
- Green cabbage – one of the cheapest most underrated ingredients on the planet. Easy to find, affordable, subtly sweet, and can be used raw, massaged, fermented or cooked. For the best value, grab a whole cabbage rather than the plastic wrapped halves or quarters. Cheaper, less plastic, and you can cut it in half yourself – it will last for two weeks in the fridge. Sauté any leftovers in a little coconut oil with salt (my kids love this). Or ferment a batch to make homemade sauerkraut (recipe in my book Be Good).
- Red cabbage – stronger and more peppery than green cabbage, so you need less. I recommend using two parts green to one part red. It does however contain more phenolics, vitamin C, and anthocyanins than green cabbage (1), so worth adding in. Plus it makes your salad look pretty.
- Carrots – I’ve used two big carrots; if yours are small increase to three.
- Spring onions – these add a sharp, spicy, peppery flavour to the salad.
- Red capsicum – again we’re adding another colour variant here. Red capsicum is also sweeter than green which adds another delicious flavour contrast to this salad.
- Green apple – sweet yet tart, this is the piece de resistance of this slaw (hot tip from my mother in law). It adds sweetness to this salad, so you don’t have to add the sugar or honey that’s normally found in mayo dressings.
- Parsley – an incredible source of antioxidants (2), and also very easy to grow. Buy one of the potted herb versions from the supermarket, then keep it on your bench top. Or plant in a large pot outside for endless parsley all year.
- Cashews – a pantry staple in any plant-based diet, these add an incredible creaminess to our homemade mayo, without dairy, eggs or oil.
- Lemon juice – squeezed from a fresh lemon, or, try this tip. When you have an abundance of lemons, squeeze them into ice cube trays and put in the freezer. Most ice cube trays hold about 2 tablespoons per cube, but measure yours to be sure. You can then keep the cubes in the freezer, ready to pull out pre-measured whenever a recipe calls for lemon juice.
- Dijon mustard – Dijon has a more intense and sharp flavour than regular mustard, but without the grainy texture of wholegrain. I always keep both Dijon and wholegrain in the fridge.
- Pumpkin seeds – toast these lightly in a pan before adding to amplify the flavours. Or, pre-activate them to retain maximum antioxidants whilst still achieving a crunchy texture (I teach you how to do this in Cooking School).
- Choose a rainbow of vege – even if you don’t have ingredients above, you can still make this salad work by choosing a rainbow of different coloured vegetables. Not only will they make the salad look enticing, they’ll enhance the breadth of antioxidants and fibre you’re consuming too.
- Get a mandoline if you make this often – while you can make this salad with a simple knife and grater, if you find you’re making it often, you might like to invest in a mandoline. It’s a flat plane which enables you to quickly slice veges into super fine sheets, achieving a resturant-quality texture.
- Blend your dressing for one minute – whenever you make a sauce from cashews, blend for a full minute. Any less and you’ll end up with cashew chunks, and not achieve that super creamy result we’re looking for.
Substitution ideas for this homemade coleslaw
There are so many subs you can use in this slaw. As long as you have your cabbage base, creamy dressing, sweet apple, and see topping, you can get pretty creative with what else you mix in. Here are a few of my favourite ideas.
- Red cabbage – try adding 2-3 pink radishes finely sliced, for a similar spicy purple addition.
- Spring onions – sub for half a red onion, finely sliced.
- Red capsicum – use an orange or yellow capsicum instead. Or try sliced snow peas or green beans to add this semi-sweet crunch.
- Green apple – try a red apple, or very firm pear.
- Parsley – chives, mint, and coriander all work well here.
- Cashews – swap for hemp seeds or sunflower seeds. You can also use blanched almonds, but I typically opt for cashews as they’re no more expensive and get a creamier result.
- Lemon juice – 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar also tastes great, and you can always keep this in the pantry.
- Dijon mustard – wholegrain or any other mustard will work here, but I love the sharp pungent Dijon flavour if it’s available.
- Pumpkin seeds – any nuts or seeds will work as a topping – walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds are my top picks. Toast them lightly in a pan or roast in the oven for 5-7 minutes at 160ºC fan bake, then chop roughly. Or activate them.
What are the nutritional benefits of cabbage?
Cabbages are members of the brassica family, which also includes broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens and brussels sprouts. Cabbages are a rich source of antioxidants and flavonoids, and phenolics (3) – compounds which help reduce inflammation, offset free-radical damage, and encourage cellular regeneration in the body. Studies have shown cabbage consumption to protect against a wide range of diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hepatic disease and cancer. They can also reduce oxidative stress (4).
Cabbages are also a great source of vitamin C, with between 57 mg and 696 mg per 100g (vs an orange at 53 mg) (5). This means one serving can contribute between 125% and 1500% of your recommended daily intake (45 mg) (6). Cabbages are also a fantastic source of vitamin K, an important vitamin that helps our blood clot when needed. Again one 100g serve provides over 108% (76 ug) of our daily recommended vitamin K requirements (7).
Serving and storage
You can serve this salad straight away, but it will also last up to five days in the fridge.
Salads like this with a cabbage or kale base rather than mesclun, iceberg or fancy lettuce, are great to batch cook in advance, as they last so well. Keep any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge, then serve alongside lasagne, fritters, or your favourite main. Or use this slaw as the base of a meal in itself by simply adding some pan-fried tofu, chickpeas or avocado on top.
Want more simple salads? Try these:
If you make this Rainbow Super Slaw, let me know. Leave a comment and rating below, or post your version on Instagram, TikTok or Facebook, and tag me @begoodorganics. I can’t wait to hear how you find it.
- ¼ green cabbage finely sliced
- ⅛ red cabbage finely sliced
- 2 carrots grated / julienned
- 2 spring onions finely sliced
- 1 red capsicum finely sliced
- 1 green apple grated / julienned
- Handful of parsley chopped
- ½ c cashews
- ¾ c water
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ c pumpkin seeds toasted / activated
- Finely slice all the veges and place in a large bowl. If you have a mandoline you can use this for slicing, otherwise just grate the carrot and apple, and use a sharp knife for the rest. Finely chop the herbs and add in also, reserving a few for the top.
- Blend the mayo in a blender for 1 minute until smooth and creamy, then add to the veges. Toast the seeds in a small pan on low until golden and fragrant, then add to the bowl, reserving a few for the top.
- Mix gently until fully combined, then sprinkle with reserved herbs and seeds. Serve straight away, or keep in the fridge for up to 5 days in a sealed container.
- Nut free: Use hemp seeds or sunflower seeds in the mayo and to top. Sunflower seeds in the mayo will however go a little grey after a day or two.
- This salad is super versatile, so use whatever veges you have on hand to make it colourful. Other additions that work well are red onion, orange or yellow capsicum, pink radishes, snow peas, and finely sliced green beans. Herb subs can include mint, chives, or coriander. Or swap your green apple for a red one, or a very firm pear.
- For the seeds, you an either lightly toast them in a pan, or use pre-activated ones.