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Summer is the perfect time to make my healthy crunchy coleslaw recipe with a delicious sweet and tangy Sumac dressing.
This coleslaw is either sugar-free or made with pure maple syrup, making it a keto option based on ingredient choices.
If you’ve never heard about or tasted Sumac before today, you’ll learn about the growing edible and poison types worldwide.
What Is Sumac?
Sumac, also spelled sumach, is any of about 35 flowering plants in the genus Rhus and related genera in the cashew family.
Sumacs grow in subtropical and temperate regions worldwide, including East Asia, Africa, and North America.
Sumacs are shrubs and small trees in the family Anacardiaceae that can reach a height of one to ten metres.
The leaves are usually pinnately compound, though some species have trifoliate or simple leaves.
Sumac flowers are in dense panicles or spikes 5–30 cm long, each flower very small, greenish, creamy white, or red, with five petals.
The fruits are reddish, thin-fleshed drupes covered in varying levels of hairs at maturity and form dense clusters at branch tips, sometimes called sumac bobs.
Species, including the fragrant sumac, the little leaf sumac, the smooth sumac, and the staghorn Sumac, are grown for ornament, either as wild types or as cultivars.
Poison Sumac vs. Edible Sumac
Sumac also grows in North America and comes in various trees and shrubs.
Coming from the UK, I had never heard of Sumac until I watched an Instagram recipe reel.
A few Sumac shrubs are beginning to grow in our community garden, which I found after some research.
I plan to dig one up and replant it on our property so we can enjoy the beauty and cultivation of the drupes (red berries).
Source photo Oneconscious at English Wikipedia
Some species formerly recognized in Rhus include poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.
Poison sumac may be identified by its white drupes, which are quite different from the red drupes of true edible Rhus species.
Red Sumac is edible and white Sumac is poison.
What Does Sumac Taste Like?
The dried fruits of some species are ground to produce a tangy, crimson spice popular in many countries.
Rhus coriaria is ground into a reddish-purple powder used as a spice in Middle Eastern cuisine to add a tart, lemony taste to salads or meat.
When I first tried it, I tasted citrus, but it reminded me of ketchup or all-dressed chip seasonings.
All I know is that I fell in love with Sumac the minute I tasted it in a homemade hummus Mrs. CBB made.
Uses For Sumac
Amazingly, Sumac is used as a spice, dye, and medicine in cuisines worldwide.
The leaves and bark of most sumac species contain high levels of tannins and have been used in the manufacturing of leather by many cultures around the world.
Dietary sumac is known to decrease blood pressure in patients with hypertension and can be used as an adjunctive treatment.
Some beekeepers use dried sumac bobs as a fuel source for their smokers.
In Arab cuisine, Sumac is used as a garnish on hummus and Tashi and is also commonly added to falafel.
Sumac is also one of the main ingredients in the Palestinian dish musakhan.
Also, it is one of the main ingredients of Kubah Sumakieh in Aleppo of, Syria, and it is added to salads in the Levant.
Sumac spice is also added to rice or kebab in the following cuisines:
You can find Sumac added to salads, kebab, and lahmajoun in the following cuisines;
- Central Asian
Rhus coriaria (Sumac) is used in the spice mixture za’atar.
Nutrition Of Sumac
Most Rhus species contain only trace amounts of vitamin C, and none should be considered a dietary source of this nutrient.
Sumac’s tart flavour comes from high amounts of malic acid.
Information about Sumac was located on Wikipedia.
Where To Buy Sumac
You can buy Sumac on Amazon or every Indian, Asian, African, and Middle Eastern, stores across Canada.
How To Make Crunchy Coleslaw
Making a crunchy coleslaw is easy, although the dressing makes the difference.
Anytime you create a crunchy coleslaw, consider ingredients that offer various textures.
Adding raisins and walnuts to this recipe pair perfectly with the sweet and citrus Sumac salad dressing.
I always try to stay consistent with chopping vegetables in any recipe.
For example, the ingredients in my crunchy coleslaw are thinly sliced, diced, or chopped.
Refrigerate the coleslaw for up to three days, but generally, it’s eaten before then in our house.
Pair the salad with BBQ meats or proteins such as grilled salmon or fish.
Other delicious coleslaw ingredients to consider;
- Sliced Green. Orange or Yellow sweet pepper
- Chopped tomatoes
- Sliced almonds or pecan pieces
- Thinly sliced red cabbage
- Daikon radish instead of red radish
- Sliced fennel
- Coriander fresh herb
- Crumbled feta
Crunchy Coleslaw Ingredients
Printable Recipe Below.
- 1/2 head shredded flat green cabbage
- 8 leaves Radicchio cleaned, rolled, and thinly sliced
- 2 carrots peeled and grated
- 1 cup green peas steamed and chilled
- 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1 cup seedless cucumber quartered
- 1 cup thinly sliced sweet red pepper
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red radishes
- 1/2 cup minced red onion
Sumac Coleslaw Dressing
- 2 Tbsps avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp of ground sumac
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp of sugar-free or pure maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 Tsp soy sauce
- Chop all of the vegetables and put them into a large bowl.
- Make the sumac dressing in a small mason jar.
- Mix the vegetables in a large bowl and add the dressing.
- Stir the sumac dressing thoroughly so all of the vegetables are coated.
- Eat the coleslaw immediately or let it set for the flavours to combine and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days.