This raw broccoli salad is packed with healthy nutrients that your body craves, takes just a few minutes to make, and is Whole30 compliant!
Broccoli is a favorite vegetable in our house - we steam it weekly and keep it in the fridge, heating it up for meals.
We'll top it with any number of sauces, but our favorite is my Dairy Free "Cheese" Sauce. Melted over steamed broccoli, it can take this sometimes ordinary vegetable to something extraordinary!
This raw broccoli salad came to life on a day I didn't have any steamed broccoli ready. We were craving something fresh and easy, so I threw this together, and surprised myself.
If you've ever eaten raw broccoli, or any raw vegetable, you know it's a bit more chewing work than a steamed or cooked veggie will ever be. But for the health benefits it offers, its worth it every once in awhile!
Cooked vs. raw broccoli
It's said that boiling broccoli destroys up to 90 percent of the nutrients in it. To that, I say, "why even eat it?"
On the flip side: roasting, steaming, microwaving and stir-frying, by contrast, retain much of its nutritional value. (If you're looking for an easy and delicious stir-fry recipe, try my Easy Weeknight Chinese Stir-Fry!)
And the one way to retain ALL of the nutritional value of broccoli? Eat raw broccoli salad.
Let's get ready to chew
There's no denying that this raw broccoli salad requires quite a bit of chewing. While it can be a bit more work, there are benefits that go along with chewing your food well and thoroughly.
Cooked food can be easier to swallow without thoroughly chewing it, but raw fruits and vegetables don't typically allow this shortcut.
The physical process of chewing food in your mouth helps to break down larger particles of food into smaller particles. This helps to reduce stress on the esophagus and helps the stomach metabolize your food. When you chew each mouthful properly, you also release a lot of saliva, which contains digestive enzymes.
Plus, you'll feel like a superhero when you're done eating it, with jaws of steel!
What goes in raw broccoli salad
You know me, I'm all about simple recipes. I like things that pack a punch of flavor, but don't require a lot of legwork, because who has time for legwork?
I used sliced almonds here - I like the texture and light crunch it provides, without adding extra chewing that might come from whole almonds or almond pieces. Almond slivers would work well here too, although not quite as thin as the sliced ones.
When fruit gets dried, the sugars get concentrated, which makes them sweeter than their non-dehydrated cousins. Cranberries tend to be on the tarter side anyway. Instead of the kind with added sugar, I prefer to use the ones sweetened with apple juice. I purchase the Eden Organic Apple Sweetened Dried Cranberries from Amazon as pictured below, but there are other brands available as well.
You will need the fruit juice sweetened kind if you are looking to keep this recipe Whole30 compliant!
Truth be told, I'm a mayonnaise snob - for my own homemade mayonnaise recipe. I've yet to find anything store bought that can compare to the flavor of it. That being said, I realize not everyone has the time for or wants to make their own mayonnaise.
If you're looking to keep this Whole30 compliant, you'll need to either make your own or purchase one like the Primal Kitchen mayo pictured below, that is labeled as Whole30 compliant.
If you're not sure, read your ingredient list! The front labels on packages exist to get you to pick it up. The truth is on the back. When in doubt, read your labels!
If you're looking to make this salad pack an even bigger punch of flavor, consider turning your mayo into ranch dressing before adding it to the salad! YUM.
I used toasted flax seeds in this salad - they add a depth of flavor and even more texture. They're subtle and pack a big punch in terms of health benefits.
If you don't have flax seeds on hand, you could always use something like sunflower seeds or pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds) as an alternative.
- 6 cups raw broccoli florets
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon toasted flax seeds
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, combine broccoli florets, mayonnaise, and salt, tossing to coat.
- Add cranberries, almonds, and flax seeds.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 234Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 228mgCarbohydrates: 18gNet Carbohydrates: 0gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 5g
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