Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fourth of July - Cleaning up Grandma's Freezer Slaw

Happy Fourth! 

I love the Fourth.

I love that the good old colors of the USA can be represented in things with fresh berries. I love that John (typically) doesn't have to work and can come home from wherever he is. Plus we have fireworks, beer, playing outside, grilling and more beer. What isn't to love?

In an effort to bring something a little more healthy to the table this year, I am taking my very favorite coleslaw recipe and cleaning it up by replacing the sugar with honey. I am also mixing in some broccoli slaw with the cabbage so at least there are some extra veggies in there.

Now I am not a creamy dressing girl. On anything, coleslaw included. I love me a good vinegar based coleslaw dressing - just like my Grandma made it.

Now my Grandma's recipe calls for 4 cups of sugar! 4 cups! That is a ton of sugar. When I was google searching vinegar based coleslaw for some other options, I didn't really find anything that would be close to the same. I was torn. Do I chalk it up to a "treat" and just go with it the way it is or do I experiment? Since I have been playing around with recipes (while standing on my soap box preaching about healthy eating) I decided it was in everyone's best interest to clean it up.

And I cheated and bought pre cut cabbage. I hate the cutting part and with the travel this weekend

So here is what I did:

1 bag angel hair shredded cabbage
2 bags of broccoli slaw

And those get dumped in my big travel bowl

 1/2 cup honey*
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed

Combine all these ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add to the cabbage while hot.

Refrigerate or freeze and thaw before serving.

*I played with the honey and didn't really measure it. I mixed everything up in a large pyrex measuring cup to make sure I got all the honey whisked in with the vinegar. The lowest measuremtne was 1 cup. I I tried to eyeball half a cup, but I think it was a little less. I whisked, tasted and added another large squeeze of honey. This did leave my dressing with some bite.

I did consider not cooking the dressing to help keep the health benefits of the honey & apple cider vinegar in tact. However, my love for wilty lettuce won that battle. I love how the hot dressing "cooks" the cabbage a little bit. The slaw still has a lot of bite and crunch but that little bit of heat makes it just a little wilty. (I seriously have a wilty lettuce obsession, borderline problem.) Plus the apple cider vinegar I had was pasteurized so it was already heated anyway. Some say the heating process destroys the benefits, some say it doesn't. It's another one of those health arguments that makes my head spin.

I did use apple cider vinegar because I like the taste it brings and just in case any of those enzymes that are so good for you aren't destroyed (it's like a bonus!) The orginal recipe did call for all white vinegar which is a little bit less acidic than apple cider vinegar. If you aren't hanging with people who are a fan of vinegar, you may want to stick to the white or do 1/2 and 1/2. I could eat vinegar on everything so we play it up in this house.

Happy eating (and drinking! Don't forget to toast to America and everyone who sacrifices to keep us safe.) Cheers!

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