This isn’t the goopy pale coleslaw you’ll inevitably find at every backyard bbq or family reunion potluck. My version is loaded with colorful veggies, with a tangy yet slightly sweet tahini dressing in place of the gobs of mayonnaise usually used to make coleslaw, and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your next outdoor eating event.
You’ve probably read or been told to “eat the rainbow” every day in order to get a wide variety of antioxidants and nutrients into your diet. Well, it’s good advice! I get my color spectrum in with smoothies and salads mostly, adding as many fruits and veggies as I can without going completely overboard. You can determine some of the antioxidants a food contains by its color. For example, the deep purple in blueberries and cabbage is caused by anthocyanins which help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, improve memory, and slow the process of aging. Orange pigmented foods such as carrots and butternut squash contain beta-carotene, which helps maintain healthy skin and also plays a vital role in eye health. Tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit and other red foods contain lycopene, which may help prevent heart disease, atherosclerosis, and even breast and prostate cancers.
I used four different colors of carrots in this slaw. You can probably find heirloom carrots at your local farmer’s market (Trader Joe’s even has them), but if not, orange carrots will obviously work fine. You might want to add some red pepper or yellow pepper to get a true rainbow effect.
Carrots are amazing for their vitamin A content, mainly in the form of beta-carotene. They also contain vitamin C, potassium, calcium, magnesium and selenium. All of these nutrients make carrots helpful in supporting skin health and providing immune protection. Orange carrots, however, do not have as much of the potentially disease-preventing properties of darker varieties. Purple carrots are more nutritious than all other colors. They contain anthocyanins, and compared to orange carrots, they are higher in beta-carotene and other phytonutrients. They also taste sweeter! The greatest concentration of nutrients is found in the skin and tissue right below it, so don’t peel your carrots! Just scrub them gently. Another tip is to eat carrots with some type of oil or fat for the greatest absorption of beta-carotene. Other than having great health benefits, rainbow carrots add color and beauty to any dish.
- 4 colorful carrots
- 4-5 Italian kale leaves
- 1 cup green cabbage
- 1.5 cups purple cabbage
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1 small apple
- 2-3 green onions
- 2 Tbsp. hemp seeds (optional)
- 1/4 cup walnuts (optional)
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
- 1/2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- juice of half a lemon
- Prep your veggies: shred the carrots or use a mandolin peeler like I did to get long thin strands. Stack the kale leaves on top of each other, roll them up lengthwise and slice into a very thin strips. Shred the cabbage and apple, and thinly slice the green onions. Combine everything in a large bowl.
- To make dressing, whisk all ingredients in a bowl, or simply put everything in a mason jar with a lid and shake until well combined. You may need to add more water to thin. Season with salt and pepper. Pour half the dressing over the slaw, mix, and add more dressing as desired.