Summer Slaw Season!

By Brenna Thompson, MS, RD, LD
July 15, 2014


Make your own mayo and try this healthy cabbage slaw recipe

What I love even more than a big green salad in the summer is a hefty scoop of what my grandmother would call a vegetable slaw. A good cabbage slaw, broccoli slaw, or carrot slaw always reminds me of summer with my family. These dishes were frequently served at family gatherings and church potlucks. Who would have known just how good they were for us? Or I should say, how good they could be for us as long as they’re made the Weight & Wellness Way.

The right mayo—key to making veggie slaw healthy

One reason I love vegetable slaws so much is because they utilize one of my favorite condiments, mayonnaise. Like many Nutritional Weight & Wellness clients, I used to think mayonnaise was a “bad fat,” and to some extent it is; but only because most mayonnaise on the market is made with bad oils (refined corn, canola, or soybean oil). Now I know that mayo made with good quality oils is actually a nourishing fat. A few store brands that use better oils include Hain, Sir Kensington, Spectrum-Unrefined Canola and Just Mayo. Are the oils in these products perfect? Not necessarily, but they are better than the heavily processed genetically-modified soybean oil found in most other store brands.

When I can, I prefer to make my own mayo using expeller-pressed sunflower or safflower seed oil. Both oils are high in monounsaturated fats similar to olive oil, but with a more neutral flavor.

One thing that’s great about making your own mayo is the ability to play with different flavors. You can try other oils such as cold/expeller-pressed walnut, almond or macadamia nut. For a real brain boost you can even use MCT oil. Ready to make your own mayo?

Healthy mayo recipe

SummerSlaw_Mayo.jpgThis recipe will make approximately ¾ cup, but you can easily double it to make more.

  • 1 large egg yolk at room temp
  • ½ tsp. mustard, dry or prepared (optional)
  • ½-1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ c. expeller-pressed oil
  • White pepper to taste (optional)


  1. Beat egg yolk in a large bowl for 1 minute on low speed using a blender or hand-held egg beater until it is thick.
  2. Add the mustard, vinegar, and salt and beat for another 30 seconds.
  3. Slowly drizzle oil into the egg mixture with the blender/beater on high. This will take several minutes. Do not stop blending or beating until the mixture thickens.
  4. Taste your mayonnaise and season with extra salt, pepper and vinegar as desired.
  5. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Cabbage slaw recipe

SummerSlaw_CabbageSlawIngredients.jpgWhile living in Georgia, I was inspired by a local restaurant that served a delicious purple cabbage slaw alongside their entrees. I’ve learned to make my own version and have come pretty close to the original.


  • ½ cup mayonnaise or olive oil (if allergic to eggs)
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. prepared mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¾ Tbsp. poppy seeds
  • Juice of half a large lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 2 small carrots thinly sliced
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced (optional)
  • ½ c. chopped pecans or peanuts
  • ¾ of small to medium head of purple cabbage (approximately 3 pounds), thinly sliced


  1. Whisk together dressing ingredients.
  2. Combine dressing with salad ingredients.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Printer-friendly PDF of recipes for mayo and cabbage slaw.

Cabbage slaw or coleslaw should be considered a super food. Purple cabbage, in particular, is packed with six times more vitamin C than green cabbage. It is also much higher in the flavonoid anthocyanin, the compound that gives purple fruits and vegetables their color. By combining purple cabbage with the healthy fats from mayo or olive oil, you make the fat-soluble vitamins A and K in the cabbage and carrots more absorbable.

Try this healthy slaw recipe for your next get together this summer and enjoy the fresh, crunchy, flavor of summer. Use a healthy brand of mayo or make your own, and you’ll have a delicious, nutritious side dish your friends and family will love!

About the author

Brenna loves nutrition and its life-changing effects. With an active lifestyle, she knows firsthand how to use the power of good nutrition to stay energized. She is a registered dietitian and licensed dietitian through the Minnesota Board of Dietetics and Nutrition. She received her B.S. in dietetics from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and completed her dietetic internship at West Virginia University Hospital, Morgantown. Brenna also received a M.S. in applied nutrition, with an emphasis on education, from Northeastern University. She worked as a clinical and wellness dietitian for the Phoebe Putney Memorial Health System in Albany, Georgia.

View all posts by Brenna Thompson, MS, RD, LD



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