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Cruciferous Veggies: 4 Ways To Go From Dull to Delicious

I bet that your parents and teachers told you to eat your vegetables growing up – and they did so for good reason!  Vegetables – including cruciferous vegetables – are full of fiber, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K.  

Cruciferous vegetables are those that are part of the Brassica genus of plants and they include vegetables like Bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collard greens, cabbage, kale and radishes.   

Besides their wonderful array of vitamins and minerals, cruciferous vegetables are home to numerous powerful phytonutrients (special nutrients found only in plants!) called glucosinolates.  In fact, some research suggests that eating patterns full of glucosinolate-packed cruciferous vegetables may be associated with a decreased risk for certain cancers!1-3 That is just another reason to eat your broccoli!  

But when it comes to eating cruciferous vegetables, it may be easier said than done.  I know this firsthand – many of those I talk to share that they do not like eating cruciferous vegetables.  They claim that these vegetables (and all vegetables!) taste “bland” or “boring.”  But I’m here today to prove them – and maybe you – wrong.   

Here are 4 of my top tips to take your cruciferous vegetables from dull to delicious!  

1. Roast Your Cruciferous Vegetables! 

Roasting vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower unlocks their flavor and delivers a crispy outer texture you will begin to crave.  To roast, just wash and cut your vegetables into bite-sized pieces, drizzle with olive or avocado oil, and add a pinch of salt and pepper.  Simply pop them on a baking sheet in single layer and roast at 425°F for 15-20 minutes or until tender and lightly brown.  Delicious!  

2. Spice Them Up!

A great flavor agent like an herb or spice can easily take the flavor of your vegetables up more than a notch!  Whether roasting, grilling, sautéing or steaming, sprinkle on some turmeric, black pepper, rosemary, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or garlic to your vegetables to take their flavor from bland to bright.  And as an extra health bonus: herbs and spices deliver helpful phytonutrients, too! 

3. Get Saucy!

There’s nothing like a great sauce to kick up the deliciousness of your vegetables!  To cooked or raw cruciferous vegetables, drizzle on your favorite homemade stir-fry sauce, add on an aromatic aioli, or lightly layer with your favorite hot sauce.  Or, on raw leafy cruciferous vegetables like Bok choy, collard greens, cabbage, or kale, add a citrus juice (like lime juice or lemon juice) to add some flavor and zip! 

4. Add Cruciferous Vegetables To Your Favorite Soup!

Add your vegetables to the foods that you already love, like soup! Mix in chopped broccoli into your favorite lentil soup, add in chopped cauliflower to your favorite chili, or blend in some ribbons of kale or cabbage to your next vegetable or bean soup.

Psst: If it’s celery soup that you love, add in some kale for a little extra nutrition (get a delicious recipe here!).  Or, if you like potato soup, try this Broccoli Potato Soup!


What are your favorite ways to enjoy your vegetables?  There are plenty of recipes to help you enjoy vegetables more often over on the Recipe page.  Check them out and tweet your favorites to us at @ToriSchmittRDN and @FoxyProduce.


References:

1.       Verhoeven DT, et al. Epidemiological studies on brassica vegetables and cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers prev. 1996 Sept; 5(9):733-48.

2.       van Poeppel G, et al. Brassica vegetables and cancer prevention. Epidemiology and mechanisms. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1999; 472:159-68.

3.       Verkerk R, et al. Glucosinolates in Brassica vegetables: the influence of the food supply chain on intake, bioavailability and human health. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2009 Sept;53 Suppl2:S219. 

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