Healthy Broccoli Salad

Healthy Broccoli Salad

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Summer is here! I don’t know about you, but around my house, that means lighter meals, outdoor grilling, and lots of light and refreshing salads. Although I love the packaged broccoli salads that you can find at Costco and other stores, I prefer my homemade Healthy Broccoli Salad instead.

Using fresh ingredients, and leaving out the sugar and mayonnaise (usually found in packaged broccoli salad) means you can enjoy the taste, without the added calories. So take my Healthy Broccoli Salad challenge and see if you don’t prefer my healthy version over the store-bought kind.

healthy broccoli salad in a silver bowl

The Health Benefits of Broccoli

Broccoli is known for its numerous health benefits. It is loaded with vitamins, especially C and K. It also a good source of fiber, which not only aids in digestion, but can also help lower cholesterol levels. Let’s take a quick look at the nutrition value of one cup of raw broccoli.

  • Calories: 31
  • Potassium: 288 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 6 g
  • Fiber: 2.4 g
  • Sugar: 1.5
  • Vitamin A: 11%
  • Calcium: 4%
  • Vitamin C: 135%
  • Iron: 3%
  • Vitamin B-6: 10%
  • Magnesium: 4%

*Based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Photo by CJ Dayrit on Unsplash

Broccoli Salad Dressing

Don’t you hate it when you eat something that’s supposed to be healthy (like broccoli salad) but don’t reap the health benefits because of added sugars and fats that are added? Almost always it’s in the dressing. That’s why making your own dressing is definitely the way to go!

When I want to control extra added sugars found in many salad dressings, I use my Citrus Salad Dressing instead. The sweet and tangy flavors pair perfectly with broccoli. Prefer your salad sweeter? Feel free to add an additional packet of Truvia. Or alternatively, you can add more honey to the dressing before mixing in with the salad.

salad dressing with whisk in white bowl

Broccoli Salad with Bacon

So what can take this Healthy Broccoli Salad to a whole new level? BACON! Of course, if you are a vegetarian, feel free to leave it out.

If, however, you appreciate deliciously crispy bacon, just mix-in four crumbled bacon strips into the salad before serving. Since this recipe yields four servings, that’s one strip per person. That’s how we can still get away with calling it “Healthy Broccoli Salad.”

bacon in a pan

Broccoli Salad with Grapes?

The beauty of making your own food is that you get to decide what goes into the food you’re making. It’s also an opportunity to use up ingredients that you have on hand. Grapes are just one example of what can be added to this recipe, especially if pomegranates are not in season.

You won’t want to stop there; If you don’t like blue cheese, for example, replace it with feta cheese. Although I used pumpkin seeds, the nut or seed options are endless. Some examples include pistachios, walnuts, pecans, and sunflower seeds. Instead, substitute ingredients that you do love, especially to suit your family’s taste.

Don’t like onions? Leave them out, or leave them on the side as an add-in option. Don’t have craisins? Add raisins instead, or chopped dried apricots. As you can see, you can experiment with all kinds of combinations, so get those creative juices flowing!

healthy broccoli salad

Roasted Broccoli

Yet another idea for this broccoli salad is to roast the broccoli before tossing it in with the other ingredients. If you’ve never had roasted broccoli, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Roasting the broccoli brings out a sweeter, intense flavor. The end result is tender broccoli florets with crispy, browned edges. If you prefer a crunchy texture, you can skip this suggestion. To learn more about roasting broccoli, check out this link.

You may also enjoy the following salad recipes: Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad, Tabouli, Fattoush Salad, Oil and Vinegar Coleslaw, and Pomegranate Quinoa Salad.

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4.25 from 4 votes
broccoli salad with dressing and red napkin
Healthy Broccoli Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

Healthy Broccoli Salad without the extra fats and sugars.

Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 298 kcal
Author: Hilda Sterner
Ingredients
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • ½ medium pomegranate
  • ¼ cup red onion (chopped)
  • 3 T Craisins
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds (peeled)
  • ¼ cup Gorgonzola cheese (crumbled)
  • cup citrus salad dressing

  • ¼
    tsp. salt (optional)
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper (optional)
  • 4 slices crispy crumbled bacon (optional)
Instructions
  1. Chop broccoli into small sections.

  2. Add to a medium-sized bowl.

  3. Remove seeds from half of a pomegranate and add to the broccoli.

  4. Add diced onion, Craisins, pumpkin seeds, and gorgonzola cheese.

  5. Mix in the dressing and taste to see if it needs the salt and pepper.

  6. Add bacon, if using.

  7. Serve immediately, or wait for the flavors to meld together.

Nutrition Facts
Healthy Broccoli Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 298 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 6mg2%
Sodium 462mg20%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 17g34%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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