As the holiday weekend approaches, I’m willing to bet several of you may be going to pot lucks or cookouts with friends, family or neighbors. I’m also willing to bet that many of those people will see coleslaw on the food table.
Now before I go any further, let me say right off the bat, I do not mean to offend anyone, because I too was so very guilty of this as well….But, have you ever noticed that everywhere you go, cook outs, potlucks, family gatherings…The coleslaw is exactly the same! It’s not too hard to figure out why…because it is pretty much the same coleslaw. That is grocery store deli coleslaw. It’s cheap, and easy to grab and go to add one more offering to the menu. No matter what store you shop at, the coleslaw is pretty much identical. Even before we changed our diets, I began to stray away from that coleslaw. Not because of any dietary concerns, but simply because I was sick of that same old coleslaw. You pretty much can tell at first glance, some people may try to disguise it in their own tupperware or dish, perhaps sprinkle on some spices, but you can still tell from a distance, that is the grocery store stuff.
Conversely, what I can also spot from a distance is anything that is not the grocery store variety and, in that case, I am all over it to give my taste buds a delightful new sampling. The most exciting part is that you don’t know what it will taste like…creamy, vinegary, salty, sweet??? Oh, the excitement of homemade coleslaw. My great-grandmother used to make a wonderful coleslaw, heavy on the vinegar. I don’t even care for vinegar too much, but I loved her coleslaw. But it is sad to say, not many people seem to make their own coleslaw these days…at least not at the events we are frequenting. Which is a shame because now that I have been making my own, I realize it really is so easy, especially with the help of my food processor. It is also a very budget friendly side dish…exactly why I’ve been making it regularly.
But now that I am more label conscious, I was curious what was actually in that grocery store bucket. Cabbage, mayonnaise (soybean oil, water, corn syrup, egg yolk, distilled vinegar, spice, salt), sugar, apple cider vinegar, dextrose, carrots, citrus fiber, salt, citric acid, spice.
While compared to many labels, it is shorter than most, but a few key things jump out at me.
Soybean oil = likely GMO.
Corn syrup = really? Must they put that in everything?! Likely GMO and it makes my kid go crazy.
Dextrose, citric fiber and citric acid = all things that I don’t stock in my pantry. Where could I even get this stuff and why do I need it in my coleslaw?
Ok, so anyway are you ready for the basic clean homemade version!? This recipe was originally adapted from the book “Where’s Mom Now That I Need Her” by Frandsen, which my mom gave me when I moved away from home many years ago. I had no idea how valuable it would be for me years down the road as I have found the need to quickly learn to make my own versions of many staples. You can find this book through the following Amazon affiliate link -> http://amzn.to/193U3W8. When you shop through Amazon using this link, even if you don’t buy the item I am linking to, it results in no additional cost to you, but I will receive a small commission which helps cover the costs of blogging and allows me to continue sharing with you.
Clean Classic Coleslaw
1 head of cabbage
1/2 large sweet onion diced
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
1/4 cup milk
1.5 Tbs vinegar
1/2 cup homemade (or organic) mayonnaise (find my recipe here)
First I section up my cabbage, then let my food processor shred it.
I then grate my carrots over the shredded cabbage.
Toss in the remaining ingredients (diced onion, mayo, sugar, milk and vinegar)
Combine thoroughly. You now have classic clean coleslaw!
What’s even more exciting is that with this same basic recipe, you can achieve so many differnt taste results by simply varying the oil used in your mayo, the vinegar you choose, more or less sugar, more or less milk…there are so many options…go ahead…tweek it…mix it up. Find your favorite combination, then proudly take it to your next potluck and surprise the masses. They will know from a distance, “that’s not grocery store coleslaw!”