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Honey Is An Unexpected But Delicious Ingredient For Any Coleslaw

bright purple coleslaw in bowl
bright purple coleslaw in bowl - Anna_Pustynnikova/Shutterstock

No barbecue, picnic, or shared summer meal is complete without a heaping bowl of coleslaw served on the side. Whether you choose to slice the cabbage by hand, or jazz up a store-bought bag of slaw, you want your dressing to bring the flavor and make your slaw shine. So next time you're making coleslaw, try adding a few teaspoons of honey to your dressing to bring a hint of sweetness and complexity to this classic side dish.

Typical coleslaw dressing ingredients include mayonnaise or yogurt along with mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper. These creamy, savory ingredients add a nice contrasting texture to the crunchy cabbage slaw but can come off as bland or one-note. With just a bit of honey, you add a subtle sweet flavor that can make your coleslaw instantly addictive. Whether you're making your slaw in the classic style with a base of shredded cabbage or tossing in some extra vegetables, honey is your new go-to coleslaw secret weapon.

Read more: The 15 Best Store-Bought Barbecue Sauces, Ranked

Why Honey Works In Coleslaw

pouring honey into a spoon
pouring honey into a spoon - BlkG/Shutterstock

If you're looking to sweeten up your coleslaw dressing, you may wonder why you couldn't just add a bit of sugar instead of honey. While honey's main characteristic is its irresistible sweet flavor, there's another element that brings something unique and new to the table for your coleslaw: Thickness. The sticky, viscous texture of honey thickens up your dressing, avoiding the too-easy pitfall of ending up with a watery coleslaw. (Make sure to wait to add your dressing until right before serving to avoid this as well.)

To control how sweet you'd like your coleslaw to be, add just a teaspoon of honey to your dressing at a time, and taste test. And if you ever feel like you've added too much honey during the process, just balance it out with a little more vinegar. The acidity should cut that sweetness a bit, just as the honey will cut the acidity of the vinegar if you think the dressing is a bit too harsh. Adding apple cider vinegar is a great way to balance sweetness and acidity. Play around with it until you find a balance that works for your taste buds.

More Underrated Coleslaw Ingredients To Try

coleslaw with shredded carrots
coleslaw with shredded carrots - Maslova Valentina/Shutterstock

If you're looking to liven up your coleslaw recipe there are a few ways to take the flavor up a notch. If you're satisfied with your coleslaw's sweetness but still desire more tang, try adding chopped pickles to the slaw and pickle juice to the dressing. It's a great way to bring a mouth-watering sour crunch to your slaw. Not to mention, pickles are already a classic topping and condiment for barbecue and cookout dinners. Carrots will add more even color to your green-and-purple cabbage slaw, making for an eye-catching and nutrient-rich coleslaw.

If you love a hot-honey combo, bring the heat to your coleslaw dressing with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. You can also add a little extra crunch to the party with some nuts. Walnuts are a great choice here and pair well with delicate cabbage or any crispy fruit you may decide to add to your coleslaw, like apples. No matter how you experiment with your coleslaw ingredients, as long as you add honey to the dressing, you really can't go wrong.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.