I loving taking classic recipes and putting my own spin on them, and that usually includes trying to make them just a wee bit healthier. I don’t think you have to go overboard in your quest to eat healthy food. I’m a firm believer that very small changes really add up and, over time, make a big difference. For me these small changes include replacing refined sugars with natural sweeteners, and steering clear of processed oils, like vegetable oil, in favor of healthy fats like olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil. So whenever I scan a recipe I will automatically make my own modifications to reflect these healthier preferences and that’s exactly what I’ve done with Apple Cranberry Walnut Coleslaw. This coleslaw is made with homemade avocado mayonnaise (and Greek yogurt) and contains no added sugar. It’s wholesome, crunchy, and makes a great summer-time salad for picnics and barbecues. The apples, cranberries, and walnuts make it a little bit different but don’t overpower the classic coleslaw taste.
Making the mayonnaise for this recipe is fast and easy as pictured above. An immersion blender makes quick work of this mayo but you can use a food processor or blender too. Feel free to substitute 2/3 cup of store-bought mayonnaise in a pinch but make you own if you have the time – it’s so much healthier. Commercial mayonnaise is usually made with low quality oils that are manufactured using a highly intensive refining process whereby chemicals are used to extract the oil from various seeds. Factory refined oils such as soybean oil (the most common oil used to make mass-produced mayonnaise) are thought to cause widespread inflammation in the body and have been linked to diabetes, cancer and heart disease in multiple studies. There are, however, a few brands of mayonnaise that use olive oil and avocado oil instead of refined oils so be sure to buy these if you don’t make your own.
When reworking a classic recipe, it’s important to keep in most of the dominant ingredients and since caraway seeds (commonly found in coleslaw) pair so well with cabbage, not only did I decide to keep them in, but I increased the amount typically called for in coleslaw recipes. There’s 1 tablespoon in this recipe, which is a lot, but it imparts a subtle, savory quality that works well with the other flavors in this dish.
Apple Cranberry Walnut Coleslaw is crunchy, creamy, sweet, tangy, healthy, and delicious – this dish has it all!
- ½ cup avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 egg (If you're concerned about using raw egg, you can substitute a pasteurized egg product.)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 apple, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 14-ounce package of coleslaw mix
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- Make mayonnaise (see note below). Put the avocado oil, egg, salt and pepper into the beaker that came with your immersion blender, the carafe of a blender, or the work bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is emulsified and is the consistency of mayonnaise.
- In a large bowl toss the chopped apple with lemon juice. Add the coleslaw mix, mayonnaise, Greek Yogurt, walnuts, cranberries, and caraway seeds. Mix well.
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