Commanding Crucifers

 In Living Plate

Cruciferous vegetables are powerful, health promoting foods. In addition to their superstar status for high concentrations of vitamins and minerals, they contain compounds that have been well studied in their ability to calm inflammation and promote detoxification.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research [AICR.org], cruciferous vegetables reduce risk of cancer more than other vegetables. This may be due to their high concentrations of sulfur-containing glucosinolates [you can thank the sulfur for the “eggy” smell of vegetables in this family.] Ample amounts of antioxidants may also contribute to crucifers disease-fighting power. Steam, blanch, or consume raw for best retention and availability of these compounds – avoid overcooking.

Here is the All-Star Line Up of cruciferous vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Bok choy
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Collards
  • Arugula

Lesser-known players: Watercress, kohlrabi, turnips, radishes, rutabaga, mustard seeds and mustard greens.

We love batch cooking our crucifers to ensure consumption during the week. Lightly steam vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower and store in a covered glass dish in your refrigerator. Use in salads, like our Lemon Dill Cauliflower Salad, quickly sauté in garlic and oil, or add to a stir-fry. Some other ideas: Roast up a tray of Brussels sprouts. Pre-wash, shred, dry and store kale in a mesh produce bag. Blanch collards to use a sandwich wraps.

 

 

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