While perusing the ready-made food section at Whole Foods Market, I spotted an aesthetically pleasing salad that I wanted to take home with me. However, after reading the salad’s ingredients and discovering that agave nectar is one of them, I changed my mind and decided to make my own crunchy cabbage salad at home.
Have I ever mentioned that I never cook with agave nectar? It is heated while processed so it is not truly raw. It also has a low glycemic index, but actually contains more fructose than high fructose corn syrup! No, thank you!
My natural sweeteners of choice are as follows:
1) Erythritol, a naturally-derived, sugar subsitute that contains almost zero calories and has a zero glycemic index. It is a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in some fruits and fermented foods. Erythritol tastes, bakes, and measures like sugar, but has 70% the sweetness of sugar. It’s safe for diabetics, has no digestive discomfort, has prebiotic activity, and does not feed the bacteria in your mouth. Compared to stevia, it doesn’t have a bitter aftertaste. I use the Swerve brand.
2) Pure, 100% stevia extract, a natural, no-calorie sweetener, which is extracted from the leaves of a plant. Beware, it can have a bitter aftertaste if used in high doses. Also, be sure to purchase the pure extract. Not all stevia products should be treated equally. Some are very processed and include additives like lactose!
3) Raw coconut nectar for its low glycemic index and because it contains much less fructose (about 20%) than agave (which can contain up to 90% fructose). Coconut sugar contains 12 of the B vitamins, including riboflavin, thiamine, pyridoxine, biotin, nicotinic acid, pyridoxal and inositol. It also has minerals including calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, phosphorus and boron. Although coconut sugar has many benefits, it should be eaten sparingly. It is high in calories and you would have to eat a large amount of it to satisfy your need for the nutritional benefits. However, when you do enjoy your sugar switching from regular processed white sugar to coconut palm sugar is a good idea. It could prevent blood sugar crashes that make us hungry and may lead to weight gain due to coconut sugar’s low glycemic index and lower fructose level.
Back to the cabbage salad (at Whole Foods it’s called “Cabbage Crunch”). This is my vegan and gluten-free version of Chinese chicken salad or Oriental chicken salad. It may not be the healthiest as it contains healthy fats and low fructose/low GI sugars, but it contains a lot of sesame seeds and tahini that are packed with essential minerals, manganese, copper, iron, phosphorus and calcium and Vitamin E. This recipe also includes almonds, which are high in protein and fiber. I use coconut vinegar in this salad because I personally feel that it tastes much better than apple cider vinegar, plus coconut vinegar has more nutrients—17 amino acids, minerals, vitamin C, broad-spectrum B vitamins, and has a nearly neutral pH.
I hope you enjoy this refreshing and delicious salad along with all of its benefits!
Oriental Cabbage Salad
DF, V, GF, GFV, SF, NF, R
Prep Time 10 minutes
4 cups green cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup sesame seeds (toasted sesame seeds is optional)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 Tbsp coconut vinegar (can substitute with apple cider vinegar)
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 Tbsp tahini
1/2 Tbsp filtered water
1 1/2 Tbsp coconut palm sugar
2 drops stevia (or 1/2 tsp more coconut palm sugar)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1. In a large bowl, add the shredded cabbage, green onion, sesame seeds and slivered almonds. Toss. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk together to combine.
3. Pour the dressing over the cabbage salad and toss well to coat.
4. Chill or serve on salad plates. Enjoy!Share on Facebook