Broccoli Raisin Salad Done the Raw Food Way

by Susan on October 24, 2009

Raw Food Recipes: Broccoli Raisin SaladI love to make raw food versions of traditional recipes. One of my favorite salads from the “old” days was broccoli, raisin salad.It is a favorite that appears everywhere. You will find it at salad bars, and potlucks. The original is filled with bacon, mayo and sugar. That no longer fits into my needs for healthy, raw food. I still find myself craving this salad so I decided to make a raw food recipe version. The bacon has been eliminated and the sugar and fat laden dressing is replaced by a healthy cashew based dressing.  I am pleased with the results and hope you will be too. No one will ever guess this is raw!

Broccoli Raisin Sunflower Seed Salad


  • 1 C Cashews, soaked at least 2 hours
  • Juice from 1 1/2 lemons
  • 2 T Oil
  • 1/4 C Water
  • 1 shallot (2 T chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 T Agave or liquid sweetener of your choice
  • 1/2 T Mustard Powder
  • Pinch Celtic Sea Salt

Combine all ingredients in vitamix. Mix until silky smooth.


  • 6 C Chopped Broccoli
  • 1/2 Red Onion, medium, chopped
  • 1 C Raisins
  • 1 C Sunflower Seeds
  • Dressing

Mix together broccoli, raisins, onion, raisins, and sunflower seeds. Top with dressing and combine until well coated.

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{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam October 24, 2009 at 1:52 pm

That looks really good!


A-K October 24, 2009 at 2:07 pm

I agree, that looks tasty! Will have to give it a try next time I get some broccoli.


Marillyn @ just-making-noise October 24, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Susan! This looks great! I remember trying some a while back and really like it, BUT hated the processed mayo. I’ve been trying to come up with a way to imitate the salad, but a healthier version… you got that down! Thanks so much for sharing!!


Angela October 24, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Oh, wow… this is so my cuppa yum! Looks great, and I just love these flavor combos together! Way to go, Susan!


El October 24, 2009 at 6:14 pm

I love that you cook with fresh, raw food. This sounds like a great combination. Can’t wait to try it out!


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) October 24, 2009 at 6:24 pm

I grew up in Minnetonka and my mom used to make this ALL THE TIME for Easter, Xmas, graduations, I swear, it’s an MN thing. When I told my husband I loved brock salad he was like huh??!! I love your raw vegan version and if you can tolerate soy and/or non-raw status, Veganaise dressing + a little agave + ACV makes a really nice dressing/glaze to mix everything together with. And the other seasonings of course, just if you wanna quick way without the cashews.
Anyway what a MN memory, thank you!!!!!!!!!!


Andrea October 25, 2009 at 3:07 am

This is excellent, thanks!


Veggie Wedgie October 25, 2009 at 11:27 am

This looks awesome, i am definitely making it


Lindsay October 25, 2009 at 7:52 pm

great recipe!


Alani October 26, 2009 at 1:39 am



Polly Raichert October 26, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Absolutely trying this one tomorrow. You just have one idea after another! Thank you!
Made your sweet potatoes last week. With the chipotle mayo. Awesome! Then tried your corn chip recipe with some guac and salsa. Wonderful! Even my non raw food family loved it. Bye the bye took some of my left over fries and cooked them up for the nonraw kiddos. They gobbled them up and begged for more. I tasted them and the flavor the marinade gave them made them out of this world. Looking forward to more classes:)
Looking forward to doing some soaking too!


Polly Raichert October 26, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Forgot to mention- FINALLY sucess with the dehydrator. Thanks!


Susan October 27, 2009 at 1:54 pm



Lynda October 27, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Wow, this looks fantastic! I’m going to try this out, though perhaps with olive oil based mayo since I don’t have a bunch of cashews.


Diane December 25, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Just wanted to say I made this for Christmas dinner today and everyone loved it. I knew that all broccoli might be a digestive problem for a few of us, so I “thinned it out” with some other sturdy vegetables, namely celery and jicama. I ran out of enough raisins, so I threw in some currants, and being short a lemon, added a dash of vinegar, I think it was balsalmic – not raw, but I’m not a purist. Next time I think I might cut down on the agave because for my palette it was just a touch too sweet, but I think for all the other guests it was spot-on, and so much like the “traditional” mayo-laden broccoli salad without the ill feeling afterward.

Oh – and here’s a good tip for a bacon flavor substitute with the sunflower seeds – we have this great raw cafe and food co-op in the basement of the Detroit Zen Center monestary, and on my last visit I picked up a bag of their sprouted, dehydrated, spiced sunflower seeds, so I used those instead of plain raw. I’m not sure what the spice mix was, but it was a good stand-in for bacon because some of that saltier, heartier flavor stood up in the dish, vs. being more just texture.

I’ll definitely make this one again. Thanks for the recipe!! :)


Isabel March 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Susan, is there another nut I can use in this recipe for the dressing instead of cashews? I’ve heard from other raw foodists that they are fungus forming in the body? Any info on that?


Susan March 8, 2010 at 10:40 pm

It is quite hard to find nuts that will replicate the cashew especially in desserts. They are soft, and creamy and don’t have a lot of taste which lends nicely to desserts. There are quite a few desserts that don’t have them. You might want to try them if you have concerns.


Shivie March 28, 2010 at 3:37 pm

@Isabel perhaps pine nuts or macadamias would work for you (or a combination of both)…just a thought as I often sustitute between the three depending what I have in the kitchen


Susan March 28, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Hmmm…I am guessing I thought that comment was for a dessert..sorry. You could actually use brazil nuts, also. They are quite mild in flavor.


Katie August 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Yumm-o. I used goji berries instead of the raisins and walnuts in place of the cashews – all I had – but boy did it work out. So pleased to have a crunchy and filling salad that’s delicious and easy to prepare. Thank you!
Aloha from Oahu


Jeani December 31, 2010 at 11:48 am

Wow, I can’t stop eating this. I made it so it would be ready for my New Year’s Day dinner tomorrow, but I haven’t put it away yet!
I like what Diane mentioned about the bacon-y sunflower seeds. Might have to try that somehow.

Thanks for sharing all this with us, Susan. I hope you have a great 2011.


rayne February 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Just made this – awesome! And I forgot the agave and it was perfect without it!


Heather March 9, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I just made this. It is brilliant! I am so impressed! I am new to the raw food world, and I have to say, with recipes like these, I’m sure I can do it! Thanks a lot!


Heather March 9, 2011 at 8:17 pm

P.S. Will your eggplant bacon go well in this?


Susan March 9, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Hmmm….I don’t think I would put it in, but you could try! It might be interesting!


Heather March 10, 2011 at 12:47 pm

OK thanks! I haven’t tried the bacon yet, so I wasn’t sure. Question: Nama Shooyu- is this raw? Is there a certain brand to look out for? Anytime I see it in the stores I only see Shoyu not Nama Shoyu and it says that it is brewed. Is this the same thing? Thanks!


Caterina May 11, 2011 at 11:01 pm

This salad is sooo fantastic! My honey and I make it as a full meal with a few little extras/changes:
Dressing – onion instead of shallot (only because I didn’t have any) + bit of raw apple cider vinegar for extra zing, Salad additions – 1/3 C raw unhulled sesame seeds, 1/3 C raw hemp seeds, 4 grated carrots, 1-2 diced ambrosia apples. I also kind of massage the dressing into the salad to get the flavors incorporated quickly. Yummy, energizing and filling!


Barbara August 27, 2011 at 4:40 pm

I love this salad! I was forever a fan of the broccoli salad with the mayo and sugar, but this one is just as good if not better. It is super easy to make and all my non raw friends all loved it. I am just beginning my raw food journey and find your recipes to be so easy, delicious and of great help to me. Thank you so much!


Anita Otten September 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm

AMAZING! I love it…I added chopped apple, too and substituted 1 T honey. YUMMY>>>THANKS


Fiona September 18, 2011 at 5:46 pm

This salad is AMAZING! I love the dressing, and I think it is way better than the non raw version with all the mayo and bacon. This is going to be a regular occurrence on my menu.


Kenda May 29, 2012 at 9:00 pm

This looks so delicious! I am going to make it for a cook out block party in my neighborhood this coming weekend. I’m the only Vegan and raw foodie in the bunch, but they will all love it!! Thanks for sharing!!!!


ccriv June 28, 2012 at 11:54 am

I’m EXTREMELY new to this whole raw eating thing. Am really interested in the concept and being healthier. Any recommendations for websites? I like a lot of your recipes. Quick question on this recipe (remember, I’m a newbie so this may seem like a very dumb question for most) , why do you soak the cashews and what do you soak them in? :-/


Susan June 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I would recommend this website! Also, if you have questions, you can always start with the search function at the top right of the page. Just type in “soaking nuts” and you will get links to articles on the site related to soaking nuts. Cheers!


Wanda July 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I made this for dinner tonight. YUMMY! I didn’t have a shallot, so I just left that out, and I didn’t have a red onion, so I used a Vidalia (sweet)onion. (what exactly is a shallot? – is it just a small onion?) Everything else was exactly as you wrote it and I will be making this again. Thank you!


leslie December 1, 2012 at 5:58 pm

I have a nut and soy allergy as well as gluten/wheat, shellfish, strawberry, corn and tomato. Any suggestions on how to make the dressing without cashews?


Andrew Crawford December 26, 2012 at 9:37 am

I brought this dish to Christmas dinner with a few changes, swapped out the sunflower seeds for pine nuts and added pomegranate seeds instead of raisins. It was a total hit! I over head that this was the best dish on the table!!! I thought so too. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful dish. I look forward to eating more live raw foods. It is totally changing my life. Keep up the great work!!!


Bevin January 13, 2013 at 10:36 pm

My husband asked me to make this for him, as he is new to the raw lifestyle. It was SUPURB! Just perfect. We both licked the bowl. If raw food can taste like this, I might make the switch too!


Brooke January 28, 2013 at 7:16 am

What form does the agave come in? Where do you get it? Also can u please explain your measurements … does T stand for tspn or tblspn?


Susan January 28, 2013 at 1:37 pm

It is agave nectar. T-tablespoon, t – teaspoon.


Gina January 31, 2013 at 3:16 am

This recipe sounds absolutely fabulous, but because I’m unfamiliar with vitamix, could someone please explain to me how to use it?
what is it, and where I can get it?
(refering to ‘combine all ingredients in vitamix’)


Susan January 31, 2013 at 12:38 pm

A Vitamix is a high-speed blender. You can see them in the Rawmazing store. Cheers!


Vanessa Hersh February 1, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Do you soak the Cashews in water?


Susan February 2, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Yes, water. :-)


Kay Wilson February 2, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Looks wonderful and shopping for ingredients today. Any idea on nutritional info on this?


Susan February 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm

You can get nutritional data by using one of the many nutritional calculators online. Cheers!


Susan April 11, 2013 at 11:44 pm

What are you supposed to soak the cashews in?


Susan April 12, 2013 at 11:08 am



Kelly May 13, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Very good except too much Mustard powder for me- I would reduce next time by half at least. Thanks for sharing!


Shauni May 14, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Thank you so much for creating this recipe! I love broccoli salad and I made this the other day and it’s amazing! So happy to have a healthy version!


Susan May 14, 2013 at 2:55 pm

So glad you liked it, Shauni!


Jennifer White June 19, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Made this tonight, soooo good! This was actually my first attempt at a raw/vegan meal that was any more than a salad or smoothie. So easy and delicious. I actually made an extra batch of the dressing to dip carrots and other veggies into. I am going to make this a new staple in my kitchen and this will be my new go-to recipe for parties, etc. Thank you so much for sharing.


Jenn August 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Made this and it was delish! Any idea on calories?


Chrissy December 19, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Hello!! How early ahead of time can you prepare the dressing? I would like to serve this Saturday, but would like to prepare ahead of my guests arriving? Thanks for any input!!


Monique February 15, 2014 at 4:38 am

I made this the other night and it was really great! I soaked the broccoli in warm water for about 20 minutes just to take the edge off the crunch. Highly recommendable!


Daphne March 2, 2014 at 6:16 pm

I made this today and it was so yummy. The cashew dressing is so much better than the traditional recipe of using mayonnaise.


Nancy May 6, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Have made this twice for groups and everyone has enjoyed it. I like it because it is easy to put together and I can make it a day ahead.


Sasha January 8, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Thank you! I made it, and it’s delicious. I ordered 2 of your books, can’t wait!


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