This Oil-Free Broccoli Salad is one of Amelia’s all-time favorites and now it’s one of mine too. It certainly fits Amelia’s fresh and delicious requirements, but it’s also nutritious. It has 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and 161% of your RDA of Vitamin C.
Broccoli is considered by many to be a superfood. A controversial term, I know, but if there is such a thing, broccoli would be it. According to Dr. Greger, “Broccoli can be considered a dark green leafy vegetable, and may help lower the risk of mouth throat, lung, breast, ovarian, endometrial, cervical, and prostate cancers. Raw broccoli specifically may also help bladder cancer survival. Broccoli may even protect against DNA damage, affect gene expression, and boost liver function.”
Broccoli is best consumed raw or lightly steamed to maximize the nutrient value. We like to lightly steam the broccoli because we don’t like it as much raw. Plus, steaming brings out the bright green chlorophyll colors!
This cruciferous vegetable is also loaded with sulforaphane, which is an important phytonutrient that has been shown to help prevent and fight several forms of cancer. However, the sulforaphane appears to be deactivated by cooking unless you chop the broccoli into small pieces about 40 minutes before cooking.
That requires a little extra planning, but it’s not difficult. You can chop the broccoli during your fruit and veggie prep and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to make it, or just chop it up about 40 minutes or so before you want to start cooking and leave it on the cutting board until you’re ready.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts are potent immunity boosting and cancer fighting foods so it’s a good idea to consume a least some of them every day. We put kale in our Easy Garden Salad, and broccoli would be a nice addition to that recipe, too.
If you have a discerning eye, you may notice that we used walnuts instead of pecans for our photos. We prefer pecans in this recipe, but we haven’t been able to find any here in Ecuador. Plus, walnuts are very affordable here compared to most other nuts, so we eat them far more often. Feel free to use your favorite unsalted, raw or dry-roasted nuts in this recipe.
We love this Broccoli Salad on a hot summer day with fresh broccoli and tomatoes, but it’s good all year round. We generally eat it as a side dish with something like a Vegan Lentil Burger, but it’s great as a lunch meal with a slice of bread or a small bowl of White Bean Soup followed up with some fresh fruit.