Raw Brussels Sprout Salad with Tangy Mustard Dressing; All About Sacha Inchi Oil

by Gena on April 30, 2012

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Readers often ask me whether there are vegetables that one should not eat raw. Though I’ve heard some rumors that green beans may be toxic, my usual response is to say that, while you probably can eat most vegetables raw, you may not want to eat them all raw. Eggplant tastes much better to me cooked (with the exception of eggplant bacon), as do cooked winter squashes, cooked potatoes of all varieties, and cooked legumes. Additionally, there are some vegetables that I like raw, but only with certain kinds of preparation: raw beets are great, for example, but I have to chop them or slice them thinly. And until recently, I’d have told you that I’d never, ever eat raw brussels sprouts. But this raw brussels sprout salad changes everything.

Inspiration for this salad comes from my friend Andrea. In January, she posted a recipe for raw brussels sprout salad entitled “this salad will convert you to raw brussels sprouts.” No stranger to blog posts with bold promises embedded in the title myself, I was intrigued. In spite of how freaked out I was of the raw sprouts, all of the ingredients were ones I loved, and you can’t beat a tangy, apple cider vinegar based dressing. I decided to try it, and I am so glad I did.

To my version, I added some stoneground mustard and I omitted the cayenne. But I kept the rest the same, and I think it’s superb. I am indeed a convert, Andrea!

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Raw Brussels Sprout Salad with Tangy Mustard Dressing (raw, vegan, gluten free with appropriate mustard, soy free)

Serves 2 generously

Salad:

About a pound of brussels sprouts, any wilting leaves removed
1 honey crisp apple, roughly chopped

Dressing:

1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T maple syrup
1 T stoneground mustard
1 dash cinnamon
1 T sacha inchi oil (or flax oil, hemp oil, olive oil, or avocado oil)
salt and black pepper to taste

1. Place sprouts and apple in a food processor and process till the mixture resembles slaw. Alternately, you can use a mandolin or box grater for the ingredients.

2. Transfer sprouts and apple to a bowl. Add all of the salad ingredients and toss well to combine. Taste, season, and serve!

As you’ll see, there is a new ingredient in this recipe: sacha inchi oil. This is made possible by the wonderful people at Sacha Vida, a local, DC-based company that sells sacha inchi seeds and products.

Sacha inchi seeds come from the sachi inchi plant, which produces star-shaped green fruits in and near the Peruvian Amazon. The seeds are a good source of protein and antioxidants, but their main benefit is the fatty acid profile. We’ve spoken about Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids in some detail at CR; the main idea is that most of us get too many Omega-6 fatty acids and not enough Omega-3s. The fatty acid composition of sacha inchi seeds and oil is about 48% Omega-3, 35% Omega-6, and 9% Omega-9: a fairly ideal, and practically unheard of ratio! This means that sacha inchi oil is, in my opinion, one of the oils that you can file into the “healthy with discretion” category. And the high protein, Vitamin E, and antioxidant content make these little seeds legitimate “superfoods”—at least in my opinion.

The first sacha inchi seeds I ever tasted were from the Sacha Vida company, and now that I’ve been spoiled by how good their products taste, I can’t imagine a better resource. Additionally, I have tremendous personal admiration for the company. The founder, Carlos Campos, is passionate about supporting fair trade practices in the Amazon, protecting the region from deforestation, and providing his consumers with only the highest quality products. You can read more about the company’s mission and story here, but I can give you a personal testimonial: not only were the Sacha Vida folks kind enough to seek me out as a local blogger, but they actually took the time to hand deliver this precious bottle of sacha inchi oil to me at the Georgetown library while I was studying for an exam! It was SO kind, and it was a joy to meet them.

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The taste of sachi inchi oil is lovely; it’s decidedly nutty, but not as aggressive as the taste of flax or hemp oil. In fact, I really recommend it if you want a healthier salad oil (salads, smoothies, and other cold dishes; like flax and hemp oil, sacha inchi oil cannot be heated) but can’t tolerate the intense taste of hemp oil. It’s really subtle, yet flavorful. I suspect I’ll be using it often! I also cannot wait to sample more products from this generous and admirable company.

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So now I have a new favorite high-quality oil, and a new favorite slaw/salad. This recipe is a winner all around!

Get curious about sacha inchi seeds and their health benefits by visiting the Sacha Vida website. I’ll be sure to bring you more recipes and reviews soon! And in the meantime, I hope some raw brussels sprouts are in your futures.

xo

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsay April 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm

This salad sounds fantastic!

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Carrie April 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Interesting! I’ve never tried to eat brussel sprouts raw. And the dressing sounds fantastic!

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Ela April 30, 2012 at 3:05 pm

That sounds wonderful, and I love recipes that “convert” people. Very low-calorie–I’m assuming you’d pair it with something else.

Obviously, too, if brussels sprouts were unavailable, this would still work with cabbage.

I love the story of your hand-delivered _gorgeous_ bottle. Companies like that are part of what’s right with the world, which is proven even more emphatically by the fact that they’ve sought you out.
love
Ela

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Gena April 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Ela,

Oh, definitely. I didn’t have time to do my “balance your plate” feature on this one, but I did tag it as a “side dish,” which is how it would be served — an accompaniment to an entree, not a meal salad.

So gorgeous, the bottle!

G

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daphna April 30, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Gena, did you see my message on the last post? No need to respond if you’re crazy busy, just wanted to throw another option out there. :)

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Gena May 1, 2012 at 6:19 am

Just responded now; thank you so much for chiming in. I met with my advisor yesterday so was waiting for her input ;-)

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daphna May 1, 2012 at 11:55 am

I’m glad that you’re looking into all of your options. :) I also wanted to add that I’m not sure that there’s an advantage to being in a post-bacc program vs. taking the classes on your own (assuming you can get letters of rec from your old college profs and bosses). I believe that G-town also has a program for students who don’t quite meet traditional pre-med cutoffs where you can take the first year of classes w/ med students and if you do well you can continue at the school as a full-fledged med student.

Carrie (Carrie on Vegan) April 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Gena, I feel so bonded to you today. First, we connected over the movie “Tell No One” and now over brussels sprouts. I posted a brussels sprouts stew today! I’ve tried raw sprouts before and haven’t loved them, but your version looks delicious. I’m fascinated by sacha inchi seeds, I think they’re delicious. Thanks for an awesome looking recipe, my movie/sprouts soul mate! :)

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Gena April 30, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Ha! I cannot wait to go read about your stew in five, four, three, two….

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Averie @ Averie Cooks April 30, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I don’t blog about very many raw veggie salads anymore but honestly, on a near daily basis last week I ate raw or nearly raw brussles with a mustard-balsamic sauce and I put some nooch in, too, and just whisked to combine. So tasty. I love the tang! Great post, Gena!

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Mizpah @ The Raw Food Solution April 30, 2012 at 10:07 pm

It looks lovely and the addition of the apple is fantastic. It really makes sense to prepare Brussels sprouts as a slaw.

I actually don’t mind the taste of hemp oil but am interested in Sacha inchi oil. It looks like a nice product.

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Hannah May 1, 2012 at 4:11 am

For five days straight in Munich, knocked out by a flu of proportions I can’t remember ever encountering before, having lost all sense of smell and taste, staying in a hostel with no kitchen, ears aching deep inside my head, the only vegetables I could find were bags of raw brussel sprouts and bags of raw carrots. Every night, I ate 200g of raw brussels sprouts, and while at first they kind of burned…. I grew to love them.

And that is the end of my own raw brussels sprouts story, which I now hope to replace with a story about a raw brussels sprouts salad with delicious maple syrup and vinegar dressing.

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Kathleen May 1, 2012 at 6:06 am

I am going to make this subbing tahini for the oil since I follow Dr. Fuhrman’s guidelines. Looks good, thanks!

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wendy (healthy girls kitchen) May 1, 2012 at 6:44 am

I LOVE raw Brussels sprouts! With the right dressing, they are absolutely addictive.

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Jan May 1, 2012 at 9:33 am

Hi Gena.
A very tempting recipe but as I have thyroid issues, I have to avoid the raw brussel sprouts.
I’m to NY in June and wondering if there’s any great places to shop for supplies…a Trader Joe’s or health food stores that I should check out? From Canada so it’s great for us to get a look at some different options.
I love brussel sprouts so I’ll have to get some and steam/roast them.
Thanks for your inspiration, Gena. Jan.

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The Delicate Place (@misathemeb) May 1, 2012 at 10:40 am

i have never heard of that oil before…interesting! i did buy some barlean’s flax oil 2 weeks ago and have been massaging it into my salads. i actually like the taste and am hopeful this will assist in some balance for me :) i bookmarked this recipe to try, it’s full of stuff i love so i have a tiny feeling i might become completely enraptured very soon with it haha.

i’m really sorry to hear about your struggles with orgo, it is absolutely no joke even for those who have an apt for all things science. i know whatever the outcome you will use it as a learning experience for the bettering of yourself/career. best of luck!

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April May 1, 2012 at 3:36 pm

This is an interesting recipe. I have never loved Brussels sprouts but maybe I should try them raw and see how I like them.

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RawGuru May 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Wow, i have never heard of sacha inchi oil. That omega 3 fatty acid profile is impressive! So many amazing superfood plants come from South America. Thanks for sharing the recipe! I pretty much love all vegetables in their raw state but have yet to try a salad with raw brussel sprouts. The dressing sounds delish!

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Bess @ I Dream of Greenie May 2, 2012 at 11:15 am

What convenient timing! I happened to spy pre-shredded brussels sprouts at Trader Joes yesterday and currently have a raw brussels sprouts salad with a dressing I made with tahini, miso, lemon juice, dijon, garlic and nooch marinating for my lunch!

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Anastasia@healthymamainfo.com May 2, 2012 at 9:52 pm

I’ve never tried Sacha Inchi, but remember reading somewhere that It is very rich in unsaturated fatty acids, and has the lowest content of saturated fatty acids. Sounds like a perfect oil to me!

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Cheryl January 2, 2013 at 5:05 pm

This was delicious, thanks! I used olive oil.

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Deb March 13, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Yum! Great salad, she typed right after licking her plate clean.

I subbed the maple syrup for honey (I’m a beegan!) and used balsamic vinegar for the apple cider vinegar, and the flavors blended really well.

Oh, I also added some chopped walnuts for some extra holding power and texture. <—-highly recommended!

Who knew Brussel sprouts could be such a treat!!

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Olivia Welte November 2, 2013 at 9:32 am

I just had this for lunch – so divine! Gena, your recipes are the best. They’re always so easy to make, delicious, inventive and beautiful!

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Gena November 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Oh gosh, thank you, Olivia! I’m flattered.

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