Sesame Broccoli Salad (raw, GF, vegan, nut-free)
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I was one of those odd kids growing up. I just loved my veggies. If you couldn’t find me, it was always a safe bet to check the garden. I was like a pesky rabbit who was always nibbling on the fresh produce. :) As with most things out there in “Google Land” there is a ton of information about broccoli. Reading about it is much like watching a tennis game. The “ball” goes back and forth as to whether or not it is healthier or better for you to eat broccoli raw or lightly steamed. Those with thyroid issues should limit their intake, others say that it isn’t an issue. The ball is in your court to decide.
For me personally, I think the key is moderation. I am learning more and more that to maintain my health, I need to eat a large array foods so I can get the nutrients I need. Add a rainbow of color in your diet and at the end of the rainbow you will find a leprechaun sitting in a pot of fresh colorful veggies. :) The more color (variety of fresh produce) the better chance of getting all the vitamins we need. I eat a high percentage of raw but not 100%. Well, some days are 100% but not all the time. For me, I am ok with that. Everyone has to find what works for them. Anyway, enough of that. This recipe turned out yummy and darn-it I am going to enjoy it! haha I encourage you to give this Sesame Broccoli Salad a try tonight and if you do, please share with us what you think!
- 10 cups of broccoli florets
- 1 cup of sprouted mung beans
- 2 Tbsp Braggs Aminos
- 2 Tbsp Sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp raw honey
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds (I used black and white, untoasted)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: add cherry tomatoes or raisins or dried cranberries
- Break the broccoli into small florets. When I make raw broccoli salads I like to remove as much as the stem as possible so the florets will soften with the sauce. But don’t throw away the stems, they hold a lot of flavor and nutrients. Save them for a salad, use in flax crackers or juice them. Place florets in a large bowl and set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the Braggs Aminos, oil, vinegar, sweetener, sesame seeds, salt and pepper. Whisk together to taste it, adjust ingredients to your liking.
- Pour ingredients over the broccoli and toss together until well coated.
- Store in fridge in a sealed container. This salad will last several days.
- If you want to make this vegan you can use agave nectar or the sweetener of your choice.
- I used toasted sesame oil, which isn’t raw, but I am ok with that.
Nutritional Value: yields approx. 12 cups = calculation is per cup:
- Calories: 93 calories
- Fat: 6.5 grms
- Fiber: 2.6 grms
- Carbs: >1
- Protein: 3 grms
Here are some interesting facts about good ole broccoli:
- Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family.
- Broccoli is a cool-weather crop and grows poorly in the summer.
- Broccoli is high in Vitamin C and also soluble fiber.
- 1 cup of broccoli only has 30 calories.
- Cutting broccoli into smaller pieces breaks the cells and activates an enzyme called myrosinase. The myrosinase converts some of the sulfur-containing chemicals found in broccoli (call glucosinolates) into other sulfur containing chemicals (called isothiocyanates) which research has shown to contain cancer preventive properties not found in the glucosinolates .
- Since myrosinase is specifically activated by ascorbic acid (vitamin C), sprinkling your sliced broccoli with a little lemon juice, an excellent source of vitamin C, before letting it sit may also help increase myrosinase activity. Once broccoli is heated, even if it is just lightly steamed, the myrosinase enzyme will become inactivated.
- It is preferred by some to lightly cooking the broccoli because it tends to soften fibrous materials aiding digestion and increasing the potential assimilation of nutrients. Of key importance is the definition of “lightly cooked”. Lightly cooked broccoli has a bright green color and has not been steamed or boiled for more than 3-5 minutes. Overcooking any vegetable will decrease its nutritional value.
- The same cancer-preventing compounds that slicing helps activate in broccoli (isothiocyanates) may decrease thyroid function under certain circumstances. The jury is still out, however, on exactly how this process works, or how problematic it is for everyday eating.