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If you follow health trends in the media, I’m sure you’ve heard the term cruciferous vegetables and you’ve probably been encouraged to eat more fresh produce from this particular part of the veggie family. Since it includes some tasty varieties and has quite a few health benefits to boot, I thought today would be a great time to go over them and encourage you to cook more with them.
What Are Cruciferous Vegetables?
Cruciferous vegetables are basically veggies in the Cabbage family. More specifically they include all cabbage varieties, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussel sprouts, as well as bok choy, collard greens, mustard greens, arugula, and even radishes, turnips, and rutabaga.
As you can see, this group includes a lot of different vegetables that lend themselves to being prepared in a variety of different ways from raw and salads, to roasting, boiling, and even grilling. That’s good news because you are sure to find some new favorites among this group of healthy produce and superfoods.
One of my favorite benefits of eating more cruciferous veggies is that they make great substitutes for starchier fare like potatoes, pasta, and even bread. Try mashing up cauliflower to replace mashed potatoes or rice. Make fritters from broccoli, egg, and a bit of ground flax seed, or use a cabbage leaf and use it instead of a bun for your sandwich or hamburger. Turnips and rutabaga, and even cauliflower ads a lot of body to soups and stews without all the added carbs. Play around with these vegetables and replace ingredients that harm your health with ones that help improve it.
What Are The Benefits Of Eating Them?
Speaking of improving health, let’s take a look at some of the benefits eating more members of the cabbage family will bring.
One of the reasons these vegetables have been in the media so much lately is that large consumption of them can give you protection against various different cancers. This seems to be the result of three different types of plant compounds working together in ways we don’t quite understand yet. Like most vegetables, cabbage and friends contain antioxidants that can help bond free-radicals and prevent them from causing cancer. Other compounds like glucosinolates and indole-3-carbinol give you protection from certain cancers, as does the fiber in these plants. Who knew that reducing your chance of cancer could be as simple as eating a plate of roasted Brussel sprouts or getting a second helping of slaw.
Other health benefits of eating these veggies both raw and cooked includes reduced inflammation (always a good thing), more stable blood sugars (helpful in the fight against obesity and diabetes), and improved heart health. They can even balance out an over production of estrogen levels through a plant compound that regulates the estrogen production in the human body. It’s interesting stuff, but the bottom line is that eating more cabbage, kale, and broccoli is good for the body. How can you start to work more of these particular vegetables into your diet?
I did a round-up of some wonderful recipes to get more cruciferous recipes in your diet from some of my favorite bloggers.
Broccoli and Brocolini
Broccolini with Parmesan, Prosciutto, and Fried Egg from The Organic Kitchen
Crunchy Broccoli Jicama Salad from Whole New Mom
Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup from All The Nourishing Things
Lacto Fermented Cauliflower from Attainable Sustainable
Our Family Favorite Ferment: Cauliflower from Almost Bananas.
Exotic Roasted Cauliflower from Studio Botanica
Cheesy Low Carb Cauliflower Casserole from Yummy Inspirations
Garlicky Cauliflower Medallions from Almost Bananas
Aromatic Cauliflower Rice from Studio Botanica
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper, Sausage, and Cauliflower Soup from Raia’s Recipes
Keto Fudgy Brownies with a Secret from All The Nourishing Things
California Club Chicken Salad Pizza from The Organic Kitchen
Cauliflower Cheesy Nuggets from Loula Natural
Instant Pot Cauliflower Cream from All the Nourishing Things
Smoky Tumeric Cauliflower Rice from All The Nourishing Days
Did you know they were called Brussels Sprouts. For most of my life I thought they were Brussel Sprouts and about a year ago I learned otherwise.
Pan Fried Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts from Nourishing Days
Brussels Sprouts and Fingerling Potato Hash from The Organic Kitchen.
Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Dried Cranberries from Raia’s Recipes
Best Brussels Sprouts Recipe from Fearless Eating
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli from The Rising Spoon
Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon and Dried Cherries from Calm Eats
Roasted Vegetables with Kale from Attainable Sustainable
Homemade Green Hummus from Mama Bear
Savory Muffins with Kale and Chives from Attainable Sustainable
Thai Kale Salad from Nourished
Crunchy Kale Chips from Whole New Mom
Raw Cheese Not Nacho Kale Chips from Loula Natural
Spicy Chipolte Kale Chips from All the Nourishing Things
Crunchy Kale Salad with Cranberries from Attainable Sustainable
Kale and Bok Choy Slaw from Small Footprint Family
Paleo Breakfast Hash from All the Nourishing Things
Curtido from Nourishing Days
Spicy Curtido Coleslaw from Raia’s Recipes
Coleslaw with a Kick from Studio Botanica
Egg Roll in a Bowl from The Rising Spoon
Simple Homemade Sauerkraut from Small Footprint Family
Easy Homemade Sauerkraut from Whole New Mom
Simple Raw Sauerkraut from Cathy’s Gluten Free
Simple Kimchi from Fearless Eating
Keto Shrimp and Greens Enchiladas from All The Nourishing Days
Two Brassica Skillet from Nourishing Days
Mustard Greens with Garlic Mayonnaise from Small Footprint Family
Tricolor Slaw with Kohlrabi and Kohlrabi Jicama Salad from Small Footprint Family