By Chef Meg Galvin, Healthy Cooking Expert at SparkPeople.com
Cole slaw is a summer favorite, but boy is it unhealthy. Cabbage is full of healthy fiber but then we go and drown it in oil and mayo! These three cole slaw recipes are healthier and, although they're lower in fat, they're higher in flavor!
Here's a helpful tip:
Don't serve your slaws immediately after making them. Slaws taste better the longer they sit because the flavors meld. Let them sit at least an hour before serving, or up to one day later.
These three better-tasting and better-for-you slaws all have under 100 calories for a heaping one-cup serving! That's two servings of vegetables in every portion. Cabbage is also one of the lowest-price vegetables at the market, so these recipes are affordable, too.
One more tip for you: Take a close look at your vinegar bottle. I found several "salad vinegars" at the market that contained added sugar--yuck!
Chef Meg's Crunchy Cole Slaw
Everybody's favorite at family summer picnics is the Ramen Noodle Slaw. Once you look at the amount of fat and sodium it brings to the table, it will soon turn into a not-so-favorite dish.
My version cuts the sodium from 287 mg all the way to just 13 mg by using celery seed instead of the flavoring packet in the ramen noodles (mostly salt, MSG and chemicals).
The original had a cup of mayo (wow--that's 16 tablespoons!) to just 3 tablespoons of heart-healthier canola oil, and the sugar is left in the bag. A Granny Smith apple adds that sweet taste.
Total Fat: 5.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 13.1 mg
Total Carbs: 5.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.6 g
Protein: 1.2 g
Chef Meg's Tangy Broccoli Slaw
Tahini replaces mayonnaise for a creamy texture and adds a tangy flavor, plus some fiber, protein, and calcium.
You will love the unconventional flavors in this slaw. I used the tahini in place of oil or mayo and clementines to add a sweet taste.
Total Fat: 2.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 27.9 mg
Total Carbs: 12.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.2 g
Protein: 3.0 g
Chef Meg's Light and Creamy Cole Slaw
It'll be our little secret that this recipe isn't high in fat. It's so creamy no one will ever know!
In addition to cabbage, this recipe contains jicama and snow peas for crunch and nutrition.
Notes: Jicama is a large legume with brown skin and white flesh that's native to Mexico. Crunchy in texture, with a sweet nutty flavor, jicama is a great addition to any salad. When purchasing jicama, always look at the spot where the root was attached. If you see any mold, don't buy it. The flesh should be very firm and the skin fairly dry and not slimy, although the high starch content can make the thick flesh a bit sticky and slippery.
Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin of the jicama, thinly slice it and cut into one-inch strips. (You can also use a box grater or a slicing attachment on a food processor.) The jicama should be about the size of a small stick of gum.
Total Fat: 2.0 g
Cholesterol: 2.2 mg
Sodium: 54.2 mg
Total Carbs: 8.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.4 g
Protein: 2.1 g
Which of these slaw recipes is your favorite? Any tips for slimming down traditional cole slaw?
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SparkPeople Healthy Cooking Expert Meg Galvin is a World Master Chef, culinary instructor, and the author of " The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose the Weight." A farmer's daughter and marathon runner, she lives in northern Kentucky with her husband and three teenage sons.