Our new favorite summer salad recipe is here!
Meet the Sunflower Crunch Salad with Creamy Sunflower Vinaigrette. Crunchy cruciferous vegetables like purple cabbage, broccoli and arugula pair beautifully with carrot, sunflower seeds and a creamy sunflower salad dressing for a light, crisp and flavorful salad that you won’t soon forget.
I speak from experience. This recipe was inspired by the Sunflower Crunch Salad at Salt’s Cure in Los Angeles. Sadly, we live in Atlanta and Salt’s Cure’s locations are in L.A. and New York City. Unwilling to wait until our next trip to either coast, I set out to make a salad with a similar flavor profile as the original salad at Salt’s Cure. You can read more about our extraordinary experience at the L.A. farm-to-table restaurant in my article, Salt’s Cure: An L.A. Eatery That Lives Up to the Hype.
It’s the combination of the crunchy salad and the creamy sunflower dressing that keeps me coming back for more.
Sunflower Crunch Salad Recipe Ingredients
This is a healthy sunflower seed salad recipe you can truly feel good about eating. The ingredients are fresh and lean on healthy whole foods for a plant-based meal that packs a punch when it comes to nutritional benefits (and flavor!). Here’s what you’ll need to make this gluten-free salad recipe with creamy vinaigrette.
Sunflower Crunch Salad:
- Purple cabbage
- Sunflower seeds
Creamy Sunflower Vinaigrette:
- Sunflower butter
- Fresh lemon juice
- Rice vinegar
Sunflower Crunch Salad Health Benefits
This Sunflower Crunch Salad packs a serious nutritional punch. The three primary ingredients in the salad – purple cabbage, broccoli and arugula – are part of a group of vegetables known as “cruciferous” vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables are often touted for their high nutritional value and the health benefits that accompany their status as part of the Brassicaceae family of plants. Cruciferous vegetables are also known for their heart-healthy fiber content. They’re high in folate, vitamins C and K, among many others. Other cruciferous vegetables include radishes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale. They also make for a deliciously crunchy salad!
Though not a part of the cruciferous vegetable family, carrots are nutritional superstars in their own right and contribute to the “crunch” in this crunchy salad. Carrots are high in fiber and beta carotene, also known as vitamin A, which carry important health benefits, including lowering the risk of diabetes and managing blood sugar levels. The calcium in carrots can also help improve bone health, among other benefits.
The “sunflower” in Sunflower Crunch Salad comes from the sunflower seeds and Creamy Sunflower Vinaigrette that features unsalted, zero added sugar sunflower butter. Sunflower seeds come with a long list of nutrients that include healthy fats, antioxidants like vitamin E and compounds like linoleic acid and phytosterols, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Sunflower seeds are also rich in nutrients like folate and magnesium, which can promote brain and skin health.
What’s more, this Sunflower Crunch Salad with Creamy Sunflower Vinaigrette leans solely on plant-based foods with no added sugars, salt or preservatives. This is a truly plant-forward salad recipe that tastes good, feels good and is good for you.
Sunflower Crunch Salad: Frequently Asked Questions
Is this a gluten-free recipe?
Yes, this sunflower seed salad recipe leans on plant-forward whole foods that are naturally gluten free.
Is this a vegan salad?
Yes, this Sunflower Crunch Salad is a plant-based vegan salad recipe.
What proteins pair well with this salad recipe?
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, and shelled edamame are tasty plant-based proteins; however, you could also pair this recipe with grilled chicken or shrimp.
Is this a low-sodium recipe?
This sunflower salad recipe is naturally low in sodium with no added salt. The sunflower butter used in this recipe is free of sugar and salt. There are several brands; we prefer the Sprouts brand of unsalted and unsweetened sunflower butter.
Can I make this salad in advance?
Yes, the ingredients in this salad with sunflower seeds hold up well when prepared in advance. Do not add the dressing until you’re ready to serve to ensure the veggies stay crisp. Store the salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator and store the Creamy Sunflower Vinaigrette in a separate container in the refrigerator.
Sunflower Crunch Salad
This healthy sunflower salad has all the elements we love in a summer salad recipe: light, fresh, easy to make and bursting with flavor. Thanks to the cruciferous veggies, this crunchy salad is the perfect make-ahead meal prep recipe. Prepare it once and enjoy it all week!
- Total Time: 20 mins.
- Yield: 4 1x
Sunflower Crunch Salad:
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 cups purple cabbage, shredded
- 1 1/2 cups broccoli, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, finely shredded
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
Creamy Sunflower Vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup sunflower butter
- 4 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
- Create the Creamy Sunflower Vinaigrette by combining all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisking until combined. Next, add the salad ingredients to a large bowl along with the sunflower dressing and toss to combine all ingredients.
- Divide the salad between four bowls, serve and enjoy!
- Prep Time: 20 mins.
- Cook Time: 0 mins.
- Category: Salads
- Method: By hand
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
Keywords: sunflower seed salad, salad with sunflower seeds, sunflower crunch salad, sunflower salad, crunchy salad, salt’s cure, plant-based salad recipe
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