Coleslaw, with Red or Green Cabbage



by Cat, Sept 2007; updated Dec 2013 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Coleslaw is a great salad to serve at a picnic, with fried chicken, baked ham, or a fish dinner. It is also a part of my Danish tradition, which I celebrate at Christmastime.

Notes about Ingredients


When I was a kid, my Mom made homemade mayo that she used in combo with butter on the bread for sandwiches. Mmm. By the time I was a young adult, most commercial mayos used corn or soy oils and it just didn’t have the same flavor; plus it gave me a stomach ache. And now those oils are GMO. So I’ve not been a fan of commercial mayo and opt to make my own.

But a  couple months ago I discovered Organic avo mayo (made with avocado oil). It has a better flavor than other commercial mayos, and doesn’t upset my stomach, so I use it when I don’t have time to make my own mayo for a creamy dressing. However, I’ve learned that most avocado oil has been adulterated with GMO soy, corn or canola oils, but these are not listed on the container’s list of ingredients. So use only Organic Avocado Oil from a brand you trust.


‘Stevia plus Fiber’ (or ‘Stevia plus Inulin’) is not the same as stevia extract powder.  Stevia plus fiber has been cut with inulin or FOS to resemble sugar crystals, and thus is not as sweet as stevia extract powder. 1½ tsp (or 1 single-serving packet) ‘stevia plus fiber’ is equivalent to 2 tsp sugar (compared with  ½ tsp pure stevia extract powder which is equivalent to 1 cup of sugar). I prefer the ‘Stevia plus Inulin’ version.

If you mistakenly use ½ tsp stevia extract powder (instead of ‘stevia plus fiber’), your dressing will be way too sweet.  Use maple syrup or raw, local honey, if you don’t have ‘stevia plus fiber,’ as indicated.

Another sweetener option is grade-B maple syrup or raw, local honey.

See my article: Unprocessed and Minimally Refined Sugars for more about sweetener options.

Veggie Options for Red or Green Coleslaw

  • For serving in warm-weather, use green cabbage and include the carrots.  You can also add raisins, if you are used to having them in your slaw, but I don’t care for raisins and so do not use them.
  • Use a combo of red and green cabbage with carrot for colder weather.
  • I use only red cabbage and omit the carrot for a Christmas Eve Feast salad–it’s authentically Scandinavian. Or try the Danish Red Slaw (second recipe below), which includes apples.
  • For a colorful change of pace, use red cabbage and substitute shredded raw beetroot for the shredded carrot. (If you use green cabbage, the juice from the beets will turn the cabbage a brown color).

Basic Red or Green Coleslaw

This is my own recipe, based upon how my Mom made coleslaw (which was based on her family’s old Danish method), and on Wonderful Wonderful Danish Cooking (2).  I’ve modified it to make my own mayo, and to use stevia as the sweetener instead of sugar.  Because it takes so little stevia, it is easier to use stevia cut with fiber – the kind that comes in packets to sweeten coffee or tea.

No matter what color of cabbage you use, it’s essential to make this up the day before you plan to eat it, as the flavors need to blend overnight in the refrigerator.

NOTE: if you use celery ribs, make sure it is Organic, because commercial celery is heavily treated with ag-chemicals.

Serves 2. See also Creamy Salad Dressings and Marinades for a larger version of this dressing (makes about 2 cups).

Ingredients and Equipment

  • Salad
  • ¼ large head of green or red cabbage, about 3 cups shredded or chopped fairly fine
  • 1 – 2 medium carrots, scrubbed and shredded, about 1 cup
  • ½ – 1 red onion, chopped finely or 2 scallions, sliced finely (optional ingredient)
  • 1 – 2 ribs Organic celery, shredded (optional ingredient, from Mercola’s recipe (4))
  • Dressing
  • 2 Tbsp Sour Cream or Yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp real mayonnaise, preferably made with Organic olive or avocado oil* (try my Homemade Mayonnaise)
  • 1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar (the kind with the “mother”)
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • ¼ tsp Unrefined sea salt, or more, to taste
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder (optional, from Mercola’s recipe (4))
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 – 2 tsp maple syrup, OR 1 packet or ½ tsp stevia plus fiber sweetener **
  • Equipment for salad
  • medium bowl
  • grater
  • sharp knife
  • Equipment for dressing
  • small bowl
  • whisk or blender

‘* Many commercial brands of olive and avocado oils are adulterated with GMO soy, corn or canola oils, but these are not listed on the container’s list of ingredients. See my article about this: Olive Oil: The Real Deal, or Adulterated/Fake

‘**  See Notes about sweetener, above.


  1. Mix salad: toss grated or chopped cabbage with grated carrots and onion in medium bowl.
  2. Mix dressing: In small bowl, mix dressing ingredients until well blended.
  3. Stir dressing into salad until well mixed.
  4. Cover bowl or scoop into a covered storage container, and chill in refrigerator overnight before serving.

Ingredients and Equipment for about 2 cups of coleslaw dressing

I often have a side of coleslaw with my lunch at a local restaurant, but its dressing is made with “salad oil” and regular sugar, both of which I avoid as much as possible. So I got their permission to bring my own dressing that I will toss with the coleslaw veggies. This larger amount (about 2 cups) will make about 10 or more servings for a small side-salad.

  • Dressing
  • ¾ cup sour cream or plain, unsweetened yogurt
  • ¾ cup real mayonnaise, preferably made with Organic olive or avocado oil* (try my Homemade Mayonnaise)
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (with the Mother)
  • 4 tsp celery seeds*
  • 2 tsp garlic powder*
  • 2 tsp non-iodized table salt or unrefined sea salt*
  • 2 tsp black pepper*
  • 3-4 tsp stevia with inulin*
  • Equipment
  • medium mixing bowl
  • whisk or blender
  • pint wide-mouth Mason jar with lid (for storage)
  • Mix dressing:
  • In medium bowl or blender, mix dressing ingredients until well blended.
  • Transfer to Mason jar and store in fridge. Best to let it chill overnight before using on salad.

Danish Red Slaw (Rødkålssalat)

My Mom was Danish, and she sometimes made a Danish version of coleslaw, but she never wrote down her recipe. I’ve adapted my recipe which tastes similar to Mom’s from Wonderful Wonderful Danish Cooking, by Ingaborg Dahl Jensen. The original serves 6; I’ve cut it down to 2 servings.

You may be wondering, ‘what is the celery heart?’ It is the tender inside part of the celery, near the base, from which new stalks will grow.  Another explanation is: “Celery hearts are the lighter, inner ribs of a celery bunchTheir flavor is milder than the darker ribs, and they are also more tender.” (5)

The best photo I found can be viewed at (3), but I cannot copy it here because there is a fee to use the photo protected by copyright. In the photo, the stalk has been sliced across, about an inch above the base, showing the cut celery stems around the outside and the round yellowish heart in the center.

You could use a stalk of Organic celery instead of the heart, in a pinch.


  • ⅓ – ½ head red cabbage (depending on size of the head), about 4 cups chopped
  • ⅓ – ½ tart apple, such as granny smith (depending on size)
  • ⅓ celery heart (from Organic celery)
  • ⅓ cup raw heavy cream
  • 1 tsp Rapadura sugar or maple syrup, or ¼ tsp stevia-plus-fiber***
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Unrefined sea salt, to taste


  1. Wash and drain cabbage well; then chop it, but not too fine.
  2. Peel apple, then dice. Cut celery heart into short lengths.
  3. If using stevia, dissolve it in the lemon juice and let it rest while you whip the cream
  4. Whip cream until stiff; add lemon juice, salt and sugar/maple syrup. Mix all together and chill before serving.

***  See Notes about sweetener, above.


  1. Cat’s Recipe collection
  2. Wonderful Wonderful Danish Cooking, by Ingaborg Dahl Jensen
  3. celery heart photo:
  4. Mercola’s

About Cat

See my 'About' page
This entry was posted in Alcohol, Apple, Pear, Dairy, Fat or oil, Leafy Veggie, Nuts and seeds, Root Veggie, Sweetener and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply