Healthy broccoli salad with chia seed dressing is packed with eight different nutrient-rich ingredients for a wholesome and satisfying dish!
Are you looking for a salad to give you a healthy boost? I’ve got just what you need! I’ve taken my classic broccoli salad and packed it with chia seeds and cherries. Fresh seasonal summer ingredients inspired the flavors, so you don’t have to add any additional sweeteners unless you want to.
All of the natural sweetness of ripe bing cherries and juicy oranges makes this salad shine. It’s the base for the salad dressing too! This straightforward and satisfying salad is just right for any party, picnic or even lunch on those busy weekdays. Just a few steps and you will be ready to dig into this wholesome and tasty salad!
I’ve been all about blender salad dressings this summer. It’s so quick and easy! After creating my peach and poppy seed dressing, I knew I had to find another fruit to puree. The cherries add a luxurious flavor and sweetness only found in these fruit gems. I found some beautiful caracara oranges to add some fresh citrus flavors and acidity to the dressing.
Have I told you about my secret natural thickening method that is also a superfood? Chia seeds are my new favorite fiber-filled ingredient. When mixed with a liquid and given some time (at least 10 minutes), you will immediately notice your dressing thicken, and it has a neutral taste.
It’s like magic! This helps to reduce some of the oil needed for traditional thickening the dressing. The dressing is low fat, delicious and healthy, win for all!
Superfoods are nutrient-rich ingredients that are considered to be especially beneficial for well-being. Leafy vegetables like kale and broccoli are high in fiber, vitamin C, E and beta-carotene, folic acid and calcium. Cranberries, cherries, and oranges are also filled with antioxidants, vitamins and add a natural sweetness.
Chia seeds are a complete protein, contains dietary fiber, and an excellent plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids. Almonds and sunflower seeds also contain fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, but are used more sparingly.
Salads don’t have to be boring or bland. You know how good broccoli is for you, I’m sure your parents have been trying to convince you since you were a little sprout! Take the reigns over your nutrition and try this delicious salad that is mommy approved (I am one so does that count?).
It’s all about unlocking the potential of various health beneficial ingredients and make their flavors and texture work for you. I’ve done the testing, now all you need to do is blend, blanch, toss and enjoy!
How do Chia Seeds naturally thicken the dressing?
Chia are the most intriguing teeny tiny seeds. They are very compelling from a health and texture perspective! This cherry chia dressing contains 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. That’s 5 grams of dietary fiber just in a spoonful. Amazing! The fiber in the seeds is what helps to create a gel-like substance when allowed to absorb the liquid. It can absorb almost nine times its weight, impressive for sure! It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to see and feel the thickness of the dressing change. The longer you allow the chia to sit in the mixture the thicker it will become. You can always puree the dressing for a few minutes to make it pourable or add some more liquid like orange juice to reduce the thickness if needed.
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Broccoli Salad with Chia Seed Dressing
Chia Seed Salad Dressing
- 1 cup bing cherries, pitted
- ¼ cup orange juice, plus 2 tablespoons, plus zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds, plus extra for topping on salad
- 5 cups broccoli florets, cut into small pieces (about 2 small heads)
- 2 cups kale, thinly sliced
- 10 bing cherries, pitted and cut in half
- 1 large orange, peeled and cut into segments
- ¼ cup cranberries, dried
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
Chia Seed Salad Dressing
- Blend together cherries, orange juice, orange zest, and lemon juice until smooth, about 15 seconds.
- With the blender running on low, drizzle in the olive oil and puree until dispersed, about 30 seconds.
- Add ⅛ teaspoon of salt, taste and add more as needed.
- Add chia seeds and blend for 10 seconds to combine.
- Allow the dressing to sit in the blender while you prepare the salad. If you are not eating the salad right away, add the chia seeds about 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
- Fill a large bowl with cold water and 2 cups ice, set aside.
- In a pot large enough to fit the broccoli, submerge the florets completely in water (about 1-inch above) and bring to a boil. Blanch broccoli for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until bright green.
- Transfer immediately to the ice bath and allow to cool until no longer warm. Drain florets well, set aside.
- In a large bowl toss together the broccoli and kale. Toss with the desired amount of dressing.
- Transfer to a large serving bowl and top with sliced cherries, oranges, cranberries, sunflower seeds, almonds, and a sprinkle of extra chia seeds.
- The chia seeds will thicken the dressing as it sits, so right before serving the salad puree the dressing to make it pourable again, about 15 seconds. You can add more orange juice if needed right before serving to thin out the consistency if needed.
- MAKE IT WHOLE30: Use extra-virgin olive oil, and use sea salt for kosher salt.
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