Healthy Creamy Broccoli Salad Recipe

Creamy Broccoli Salad Recipe – Gluten Free and Paleo Friendly!

Broccoli Salad is one of those dishes that always makes it’s appearance at family gatherings and holiday parties.  And, my eyes light up when I see it… every single time.

This particular variation of Broccoli Salad (because there are many) is how we do it in the South – it’s Creamy, Rich, and Bursting with Flavor!

However, your standard Broccoli Salad recipe uses ingredients that are FULL of chemicals, GMOs, antibiotics, artificial flavors, etc.  So, to make this salad healthy without losing any of the amazing flavor, I’ll be swapping low quality ingredients for high quality alternatives.

Why Choose Hormone-Free Bacon?

For instance, instead of using factory farmed bacon that’s been pumped with antibiotics, growth hormones, etc., I will be using Uncured, Hormone & Antibiotic Free Bacon (I found mine at Whole Foods).  Remember, not all meats are created equally.  When you eat factory farmed bacon (which is most of the bacon in grocery stores), you are basically eating from a pig that was most likely A) injected with growth hormones, B) injected with antibiotics, and C) fed a diet of GMO grains.  Not to mention the fact that most bacons contain nitrates and/or nitrites, which have been linked to cancer.

Eating meat from a sick animal will not magically make you healthy.  It doesn’t work that way.  Whatever the animal was fed/given will most likely end up in the meat as well.  And, that’s what your eating.  Instead, opt for meats that are grass-fed, pasture-raised, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, uncured (no nitrates/nitrites), etc.  Believe me, this will make a world of difference in your overall health and waistline.

Why Not Blueplate or Hellman’s Mayo?

Many mainstream mayonnaise brands contain GMOs and artificial ingredients.  For instance, Blue Plate and Hellman’s mayonnaise both contain soybean oil.  Given that over 90% of the soybeans produced in America are GMO, both of these brands are very likely to contain GMO soy.

Instead, opt for an organic brand of Mayo or the Primal Kitchen brand (which is paleo friendly & contains safe ingredients).  Or, even better, make your own mayo (recipe below)!

Why Xylitol instead of Sugar?

I think this one is pretty obvious.  So, instead of telling you all of the bad things about sugar (we all already know!), let me tell you why I choose xylitol over other natural sweeteners.  The main reason I like Xylitol is because it’s low glycemic, so it keep your blood sugar in check.  I also like the fact that it’s one of the only sweeteners (other than Stevia) that doesn’t feed candida.  And, of course, it tastes great and leaves no bitter aftertaste.  But, keep these two tips in mind…

1 – Opt for a Xylitol that’s derived form Birch, not corn, to avoid GMOs.

2 – Don’t eat too much at one time because it can upset your digestive system (i.e. bloating, gas).  Having said that, I’ve never had this issue with Birch Xylitol.

Why Organic?

Organic produce isn’t sprayed with many of the toxic herbicides, pesticides, etc. used in conventional farming.  These chemicals have been shown to disrupt hormones, cause tumor growth, irritate the gut lining, and can lead to many other types of illnesses.  Not only that, but by buying organic, you also avoid ingesting GMOs.  My rule of thumb (if I’m trying to save money) is to always buy my greens organic.  And, anything with a hard shell or a shell that I won’t be eating (i.e. avocados, melons, etc.), I will occasionally buy conventional.


Products I Used in This Recipe:

Primal Kitchen Mayonnaise (Paleo Approved)

Braggs Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Xylitol Natural Sweetener (derived from Birch, not Corn)

Healthy and Creamy Broccoli Salad

This recipe is Gluten Free and Paleo Friendly!

For the Salad

  • 6 C. Organic Broccoli Florets (about 2 heads of broccoli)
  • 1/2 Organic Purple Onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 C. Organic Dried Cranberries (nitrate & nitrite free)
  • 1/2 C. Unsalted Sunflower Seeds (raw or roasted)
  • 1/2 – 1 C. Organic Shredded Cheddar Cheese (optional… leave out for Paleo)
  • 8 Slices Uncured (Hormone and Antibiotic Free Bacon)

For the Sauce

  • 4-5 Tbsp Birch Xylitol (Coconut Palm Sugar, or any healthy sugar alternative)
  • 3 Tbsp Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 – 1.5 C. Paleo Approved Mayonnaise… I used 1 1/4 C. (I used Primal Kitchen brand… see Recipe Card below for a Homemade Paleo Approved Mayo Recipe)
  1. Add all sauce ingredients to a large bowl and whisk until well blended and all lumps are gone. Set aside.
  2. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until fully done. You’ll want them to be a bit crispy (be careful not to burn them though). Let bacon cool completely.
  3. Chop your onion.
  4. Once bacon has cooled completely, crumble into slightly small pieces (not too small).
  5. Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl. Toss a bit to mix ingredients.
  6. Pour sauce over salad ingredients. Mix sauce into the salad very well (use your hands for best result)
  7. Cover with foil and let marinate in refrigerator overnight or for at least 8 hours.

Be sure to stir salad every few hours because the sauce will sink to the bottom. This will ensure that all ingredients have been marinated for at least a few hours.

Homemade Paleo Mayonaise

  • 1 Organic (Pasture-Raised Egg)
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt or Himalayan Rock Salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar (to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp Dry Mustard (optional)
  • 1-1.5 C. Avocado Oil (Extra Light Olive Oil, or melted Coconut Oil)
  1. Bring egg and lemon juice/ACV to room temperature.
  2. Add the egg, salt, lemon juice/ACV, and dry mustard to a food processor and blend for 5-10 seconds (just long enough to let the egg yolk break and blend with ingredients)
  3. Slowly (very slowly) drizzle the oil through the chute of the food processor. Drizzle about 1 Tbsp at a time at first to ensure that the oil emulsifies correctly. Once you’ve drizzle (very slowly) about 3-4 Tbsp worth of oil, then begin drizzles the rest a bit faster until all oil is gone.
  4. Depending on how thick you like your mayo, you can use only 1 C. or you can use 1.5 C. The more oil, the thicker it will be.
  5. Store mayo in the refrigerator.

Mayo will expire the date your eggs will expire, so be sure to make a stick note on your mayo container.


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