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Coleslaw With Rice Vinegar, Olive Oil & Sugar

By Maria Hoven

Coleslaw is an American favorite, typically made with mayonnaise, white vinegar, sugar and cabbage. However, according to the "Joy of Cooking," there are as many versions of coleslaw as there are people who make it, with cabbage being the only constant ingredient. Make your own version of coleslaw with heart-healthy olive oil, sugar and rice vinegar.

Traditional Coleslaw

Traditional coleslaw is made with shredded cabbage and a dressing that contains mayonnaise, white vinegar and sugar, according to the "Joy of Cooking." Besides cabbage, you can also add other vegetables or fruits such as celery, dill, fresh parsley, bacon, pineapple, shredded carrots or bell peppers to add new flavors to your traditional coleslaw. Although, coleslaw contains fatty mayonnaise, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that a homemade coleslaw contains only around 50 calories, 2 g of fat and 8 g of carbohydrate in 1 cup.

Rice Vinegar

Vinegars are made by fermentation from sugary fluids. Rice vinegar is made from rice wine lees, which is a sediment from wine fermentation. The "Joy of Cooking" says that rice vinegar is weaker in flavor than American white vinegars. Vinegar adds a slight acidic flavor to the coleslaw dressing, "spiking" the taste of mayonnaise. Adding sugar will sweeten the taste, creating the sweet and savory coleslaw dressing. Use rice vinegar to replace the traditional white vinegar in your coleslaw dressing.

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Olive Oil

Olive oil is a heart-healthy vegetable oil, full of helpful unsaturated fatty acids. MayoClinic.com recommends adding unsaturated fatty acids to your diet and avoiding saturated and trans fats. Unsaturated fatty acids may help lower your blood cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. The USDA reports that 1 tbsp. of olive oil contains 120 calories and over 11 g of unsaturated fatty acids. Replace some of the mayonnaise in your coleslaw dressing with olive oil.

Recipe Suggestion

Try a variation of coleslaw made with green and red cabbage and mayonnaise, olive oil, sugar and rice vinegar dressing. A dressing for six people contains around 3/4 cups of mayonnaise, 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1 tbsp. of sugar. Make a variation using 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 2 tbsp. of olive oil, 1/2 cup of rice vinegar and 4 tbsp. of sugar. Mix shredded cabbage and other chopped vegetables of your choice with the dressing for a tasty side dish.

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