Broccoli, bacon, red onions, sunflower seeds and raisins might be a bit extraordinary combination, but you will be surprised how great this ingredients goes together. This salad it’s a wonderful keto meal, excellent as a breakfast or even dinner – it’s very fulfilling. Don’t bother about raisins, there’s one handful for 500g of broccoli, so it doesn’t rise the amout of carbs significanetly, but it gives extra flavour to the salad. But of course if you are very restrictive you can skip the raisins.
We have here plenty of nutrients and fats. Broccoli is full of vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium. It’s also full of fibre and has more protein than most other vegetables. Another great benefits are antioxidants: sulforaphane andIndole-3-carbinol – helps to prevent cancer, carotenoids – are great for your eyes, kaempferol – protects againts infammation, and quercitin – lowers high blood preassure.
We have sunflower seeds – not only great source of healthy fats, but also high amounts of vitamin E and selenium and antioxidants which can play a big role in healing several chronic diseases. This study reveals that consuming sunflower seeds and other seeds five times a week can decrease level of C-reactive protein. So if you deal with chronic inflammation, eating sunflower seeds might be very beneficial for you. Although sunflower seeds shouldn’t be toasted in general, during roasting, the external structure of the sunflower seed is disturbed, which is accompanied by an improvement in oxygen diffusion into the grain. Oxygen diffusion is an adverse effect because, given the high content of healthy unsaturated fats in oilseeds (mainly linoleic and oleic acid), oxidation occurs under the influence of oxygen, which results in the loss of necessary unsaturated fatty acids and the formation of free saturated fatty acids and trans fats, which should be consumed in a small amount in the diet. There’s a theory that the healthiest way is to sprout the seeds first. Soaking nuts (and seeds) for 24 hours before consumtion, gets rid of enzyme inhibitors. They protect the plant against early germination, and after getting into the body, block digestive enzymes. In other words – through them we will absorb only part of the nutritional value found in grains and nuts. So soaking makes then not only more digestible but also let our body to absorb all the goodness.
I have to admitt that I’ve tried to soak nuts, but although everyone sais that they taste better, for me the taste was worse. So you can try yourself, and decide which way you like them more.
Apart from that we have smoked bacon from my local butcher, and crispy red onions which spice up the mix. All this mixed with mayonnaisse maybe doesn’t look amazing, but tastes great and that’s what’s the most important.
NOTES: I like to steam veggies to keep all the nutrients, but if you don’t have a steamer (I use very cheap stainless steell folding basket you put inside the pot), you can boil broccoli in salty water. Also don’t overcook broccoli, because you will finish with mushy watery mixture. It’s better to undercook it slightly than slightly overcook. That’s why also I don’t recommend using frozen broccoli – I tried couple of time and didn’t like the final taste. I also recommend to mix all the ingredients after broccoli cools down. If you want to quickly cool down broccoli, just put it to bowl with water and some ice cubes. Then drain toroughly excess water.
keto broccoli & bacon salad
- about 500g fresh broccoli florets
- 1 small red onion
- 2 handfuls sunflower seeds
- 5 smoked bacon slices
- handful raisins / blackcurrants / redcurrants / cranberries
- couple spoons mayonnaisse
- good pinch of coarse pepper
Steam or cook your broccoli, until it’s al dente. I like steaming, because veggies retain more nutrients comparing to boiling. But if you don’t have a steamer, you can boil them in salty water. I also use salt for each layer of broccolies when steaming. I use very simple folding stainless steel basket, you can put inside the pot. It’s very versitale, for smaller and bigger amounts of veggies.
So, steam broccoli florets until tender but still crisp. Don’t overcook them, because you’ll finish with mushy salad. Take the out of the pot / water and leave to cool down.
While broccoli is cooling down, toss sunflower seeds on a skillet and toast them on a very small heat, stirring from time to time. It’s not obligatory, but it makes sunflower seeds more crispy and aromatic, so I recommend not skipping this step. After toasting set them aside to cool down, and use the same skillet to fry bacon. Chop smoked bacon and fry slowly on a small heat until crispy. Last step is to chop the onion lengthwise making thin slices.
When all ingredients are ready, mix them together, adding handful of raisins. At the end add couple spoons of mayonnaisse, and sprinkle with coarse pepper. Salad is ready to serve. You can keep it in the fridge up to 3 days.