The Best Broccoli Raisin Salad (vegan)

by on March 15, 2012

Since all I did was talk about wedding stuff in my last post I thought today would be an excellent day to share a tasty recipe! Who am I kidding, every day is an excellent day to share a tasty recipe…

This one was inspired by a broccoli & cauliflower salad that my mom used to make all the time. It was sweet, crunchy and absolutely perfect for summer cook-outs. I loved that salad and used to request that my mom make it all the time. Alas, said salad is like most southern “salads” and has a good amount of mayo, 1/2 cup of sugar and bacon.

I decided to try my hand at a healthy version of this old favorite and found a variety of recipes online for raw broccoli salads. I used those as inspiration and came up with a mighty fine version. One that’s vegan and almost 100% raw.

The Best Vegan Broccoli Raisin Salad with a creamy cashew dressing

This version is still crunchy, rich in flavor and sweet but with much healthier ingredients like raw nuts, seeds and raisins. I even managed to sneak uber-healthy apple cider vinegar into the dressing! I think I’ll take it to my next family potluck / cook-out and see if my version is better than mom’s. ;)

The Best Vegan Broccoli Raisin Salad with a creamy cashew dressing

Raw Broccoli Raisin Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
The cashew dressing is creamy, nutty and delicious and makes this broccoli salad one of the best I’ve ever had! This recipe isn’t 100% raw because it does have dijon mustard. If you’re following a raw diet, you can tweak the recipe to your needs.
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 6 cups broccoli (two small to medium sized crowns), chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup raisins
Cashew Dressing
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 1- 2 hours
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1½ Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 Tablespoon shallot, chopped (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. Make dressing by combining all ingredients in a high powered blender or processor until completely smooth.
  2. Mix together broccoli, raisins, red onion, raisins, and sunflower seeds.
  3. Top with dressing and combine until all ingredients are covered.

The Best Vegan Broccoli Raisin Salad with a creamy cashew dressing

Oh and I have to mention the blue plate that I’m using in these photos. It’s from a new shop that opened in CaryTown called Modern Artifacts that carries a variety of hand-made items. We walked into the store last Friday evening and I decided I needed this little plate so Isaac bought it for me! Turns out we were their first customers!! It was a really fun experience – they even took our picture. They have these plates in all different colors so hopefully I’ll be able to buy some others to add to my collection.

Have a great day. If you’re on the east coast, enjoy the beautiful weather! The high is supposed to be in the mid-80′s here today, just like yesterday. I’m loving it!!

PS- Did anyone catch Modern Family last night? We missed it so we’ll probably watch it tomorrow, but I know it’s about Cam and his ex-clown partner so I’m excited. 

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren @ What Lauren Likes March 15, 2012 at 6:53 am

I need to try this! Looks amazing! :D

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Heidi March 15, 2012 at 7:01 am

Yay! My mom used to make this same salad! Thanks for the healthy recipe version of it.

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Megan @ Life As Megan Knows It March 15, 2012 at 8:22 am

aww this bring me back to my childhood because my mom use o make it a lot! :-)

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape March 15, 2012 at 10:15 am

Modern Family was hilarious last night!! Definitely don’t wait too long to catch up!

This broccoli salad looks fantastic! The perfect meal for the warmer temps lately :D

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Eating Bird Food March 15, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Ahh. I wanted to watch it tonight but the March Madness games were on TV so that didn’t happen. :/ Guess I’ll have to catch up tomorrow. :)

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Avery @ YoungAspirations March 15, 2012 at 11:23 am

This is awesome! I’ve had whole foods broccoli salad and LOVE it.. this is probably slightly healthier though. Can’t wait to try it!

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Elle March 15, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I love broccoli salads… try adding a cut up apple next time.

Nice dressing, I am going to try that. Thanks!

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Ginger March 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Is this like the one at Sweet Tomatos? yum

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Eating Bird Food March 15, 2012 at 11:11 pm

I’ve never been to Sweet Tomatos so I’m not sure, but possibly. :)

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James March 15, 2012 at 2:36 pm

OMG I used to eat this growing up too! So excited to see it made vegan, just wrote everything down for my shopping list. Yum.

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Eating Bird Food March 15, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Awesome! Let me know how it turns out! :)

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Justine Duppong @ Life With Cheeseburgers March 15, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I love how this recipe makes me think of spring! I need to start working on a few more of my own :)

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Laura March 15, 2012 at 5:55 pm

um just found the site and this isn’t bird food at all! YUM! trying to find new recipe blogs since being on Renee Stephens’ new method… check it out! http://www.reneemethod.com/fulfilled/

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Ami@dashofcurry.com March 15, 2012 at 7:07 pm

This recipe looks so fresh and tasty! I love that it is (almost) raw too, as I am trying to eat at least one raw meal a day!

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Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous! March 15, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Oh man that looks delicious! I am LOVING big refreshing salads right now. It’s like my body is already ready for summer! :) There were definitely clowns involved in last night’s modern family!

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jill March 15, 2012 at 11:58 pm

hi, this recipe looks delicious. my children are allergic to tree nuts, can you suggest an alternate dressing?

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Paige @ Healthy Hits the Spot March 16, 2012 at 10:02 am

Yummy! So cute you were their first customers :)

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dawn March 16, 2012 at 10:38 am

Can u put a pin it icon on your receipes….thanks

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Hillary {Nutrition Nut on the Run} March 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm

this recipe sounds delicious! perfect for upcoming summer picnics!

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Lisa Marie March 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm

I used to love broccoli salad, but stopped making it because it usually contains quite a few calories. I’m really digging your version. The cashew dressing is a neat idea. I’ll totally have to give this a try.

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Katharina March 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Oh my! That recipe looks SO good! I am bookmarking it now :) have you tried Whole Foods detox salad? I bet you know what I’m talking about hehe.

xo!

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Julia {The Roasted Root} March 17, 2012 at 7:17 pm

I am so pleasantly surprised that your cashew dressing doesn’t have mayo in it! YES! My boyfriend’s mom makes a broccoli salad similar to yours, but she adds mayo to it…although I like her salad, I hate the thought of mayo..it gives me the heebie jeebies! I’m bookmarking this recipe right now to make this week! Looks awesome! Hope you’re having a fun St. Paddy’s..

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Amanda March 19, 2012 at 6:49 pm

I just made this tonight and it is WONDERFUL! I made it in a $20 blender from target and it worked just fine. Yum!

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Eating Bird Food March 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Yay! So glad you tried and liked the recipe. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite recipes.

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healthy lifestyle March 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm

I love this salad. I tried it before but I never knew how to make it. Thanks so much for sharing this delicious recipe with us. I am going to make it today!

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Kate March 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I made this today to bring to work. It’s easy, wonderful and delicious! I had everything in my pantry, minus the fresh broccoli. Thanks for the inspiration to eat more veggies!

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Magda @DayBite.com March 21, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Brittany! You are very creative with all of your recipes…where do you find most of your inspiration?
Thanks for sharing!

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Colleen @ Culinary Colleen March 22, 2012 at 10:52 am

I used to love broccoli salads as a kid, but with lots of mayo and bacon! I can’t wait to try this healthy version!

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Nikki March 25, 2012 at 5:21 pm

I just made this! It is amazing! Didn’t have sunflower seeds, tossed in a few pine nuts instead.

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Eating Bird Food March 25, 2012 at 9:27 pm

So glad you liked it Nikki!!

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koko June 7, 2012 at 6:13 pm

thank you! this is amazing! I tried it 2 times and serve it in our cafe.
I find it too hard to digest completely raw brocoli, so I slightly steamed it. this also gives the brocoli a really brilliant green colour.
first time I didn’t have raisins, so I used chopped up dates.
second time I didn’t have cashews, so I used soaked sunflower seeds for the sauce.
both times it turned out incredible.

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samantha July 31, 2012 at 2:43 pm

This sounds amazing… I will be trying this before summer is over, my cousins love this stuff and always serves it during outings long story short I fell in love with it! Now I can make it healthfully!! Thank you!

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Eating Bird Food July 31, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Thanks Samantha. I hope you love it!

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gretchen January 24, 2013 at 5:04 pm

When you say to soak the cashews, what do you mean?

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Brittany Mullins January 24, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Just place cashews in a cup of filtered water and soak for at least 2 hours, then drain and use in the recipe.

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gretchen January 24, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Thank you s much! !! I assumed thst was it, then I was like hmmmmm surely it cant be that simple lol

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Jen February 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I’ve made this twice, and LOVE it!! I want to use this cashew dressing for more than just this salad. Are there any other dishes you’ve used the cashew dressing with?

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Brittany Mullins February 3, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Hi Jen. Thanks for your comment. I haven’t used this dressing on anything else but I’m sure it would be great on other dishes. Let me know if you experiment and find something tasty.

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Sabrina February 24, 2013 at 11:46 am

Can I use honey instead of agave or maple syrup?

I like your blog by the way! I’m going to try a bunch of your recipe this week!

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Brittany Mullins February 24, 2013 at 11:51 am

Honey should work fine! Enjoy the recipes.

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Stacy April 1, 2013 at 1:31 pm

What a delicious recipe! I just told my husband last night how I wasn’t a big raw broccoli fan but was very interested in this recipe. Made it today with some shredded mozzarella and it was great! Thank you. :-)

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Stacy April 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Oh and I used sliced almonds instead of cashews :-)

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Meaghan April 17, 2013 at 4:23 pm

OMG…this is AMAZING. I just finished whipping this up the dressing is to die for! I have not made one of your recipes I have not loved :)

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Brittany Mullins April 17, 2013 at 6:31 pm

So so glad that you’re loving this recipe. It’s one of my favorites. :)

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Emily May 11, 2013 at 2:40 pm

I am so excited to see this recipe! It’s also funny that I was looking on Pinterest for this recipe and then read that you too live in Richmond. I walked by Modern Artifacts just a few minutes ago.

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Alix December 21, 2013 at 12:43 am

Love this idea! Any ideas instead of the Dijon mustard? Not a fan!

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Becky March 9, 2014 at 9:57 pm

This was really good! We’re on the Eat to Live diet and this made a great veggie side dish. I omitted the salt and agave and it was just fine.

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