I’ll bet you didn’t know Broccoli has SUPERPOWERS… Did you? There are some foods that were just meant to be in your daily repertoire, and Broccoli is one of them!

Broccoli provides an amazing secret compound called Sulforaphane, which is exceptionally powerful for weight loss, detox, energy, and cancer/disease prevention. Cool, huh?

Happily, the benefits are not exclusive to broccoli…it’s just the most popular one! In fact, ALL cruciferous vegetable are  powerful for weight loss, for modulating bone density, hormones, immunity, and decreasing risk of disease!

I’m totally not kidding! In a 2010 study, researchers dropped cruciferous veggie compounds onto cancer cells, albeit in a petri dish, the cancer cell growth was stunted! I don’t know about you, but petri dish or not, that’s a compelling argument to include a few cruciferous veggies in my daily diet!

Eat up!

WHAT ARE CRUCIFEROUS VEGGIES?

Cruciferous vegetables are a part of the Brassica genus of plants and include these vegetables, and they don’t have to be served as raw, boring bunny food to gain health benefits. I’ll bet you didn’t know there are at least 14 named cruciferous foods!

  1. Arugula
  2. Bok choy
  3. Broccoli
  4. Brussels sprouts
  5. Cabbage
  6. Cauliflower
  7. Collard greens
  8. Horseradish
  9. Kale
  10. Radishes
  11. Rutabaga
  12. Turnips
  13. Watercress
  14. Wasabi

Here are 24 great suggestions for cruciferous vegetables:

  1. Sprinkle raw rutabaga strips lightly with flavored vinegar and your favorite salt-free seasoning (Italian herbs or Mrs. Dash).
  2. Boil turnips or rutabagas with potatoes and then mash them with nondairy milk, garlic powder and butter granules.
  3. Finish steamed Brussels sprouts by sautéing with olive oil spray and minced garlic.
  4. Caramelize onions in a nonstick pan with a little avocado oil, add cabbage, apples and chicken broth; cook lightly until tender.
  5. Peel broccoli stems and serve raw with hummus. The stems are very sweet, tender and crisp without the tough outer skin.
  6. Saute onions, cubed potatoes and curry powder in some broth. Cook until potatoes are tender and then add cauliflower. Fold in nonfat Greek yogurt right before serving.
  7. Cabbage is good when combined raw with raspberry jelly, raspberry vinegar, crushed pineapple and plain Greek Yogurt.
  8. Microwave (or steam) broccoli, kale, or Brussels sprouts until tender. Serve with fresh squeezed lemon juice and lemon pepper.
  9. Place turnips, sweet potatoes, onions and carrots in chicken broth. Roast together in 400º oven for 45 minutes. Stir frequently and add more liquid as needed.
  10. Make broccoli fritters! My personal favorite!
  11. Spread low-fat ricotta cheese over the top of raw broccoli or cauliflower and microwave until tender.
  12. Keep a bunch of broccoli in your refrigerator at all times. Throw it into salads or stir fries. Serve raw with dips for snacks.
  13. I cut the broccoli or cauliflower into small pieces and put it into marinara sauce and serve on pizza or pasta.
  14. Shredded, raw turnips are great for salads. You can also use them to top veggie tacos – it looks like cheese!
  15. Freezing a head of cabbage makes it easier to peel off the leaves and roll them for stuffing. Fill leaves with a bean and rice filling.
  16. Finely chop and saute broccoli then add a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas with leftover (cooked) quinoa and diced avocado. Season with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper…It makes a great pilaf!
  17.  Chop and steam kale;  serve over small-shaped pasta such as bowties or small shells. Finish with a light spray of olive oil, black pepper and parmesan cheese.
  18. Steam chopped kale and use it to top pizza along with your other favorite veggies.
  19. Chop broccoli fine and use it in your egg white omelette along with mushrooms and tomatoes.
  20. Cauliflower can be chopped find or bought as “pearled” or “riced” and it can be quickly steamed or baked in the oven right alongside whatever you are roasting like a chicken breast or fillet of fish.
  21. Make a broccoli salad with onion, raisins, sunflower seeds and fresh mushrooms. Toss with plain Greek yogurt and seasonings.
  22. Cut broccoli, radishes, and cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and serve with hummus to make a crudite platter.
  23. Lightly drizzle cauliflower with olive oil  and coat with your favorite seasonings. Bake (or grill) at 450 degrees until crisp tender. Favorite seasonings might include an Indian Tika Masala spice mix, Italian Seasoning, or chili spice mix.
  24. Make a crunchy slaw using a cruciferous slaw mix that is a mix of cruciferous vegetables or one made with Brussels sprouts or broccoli. “Beef it up” with baby kale. Simply add a balsamic vinaigrette, toasted nuts, chili peppers, and diced carrots for a flavorful, crunchy slaw treat that has a hip factor.
  25. Make a chopped cabbage mixture, add chopped tomatoes, and season with lime juice, salt, chopped cilantro, and finely diced pickled jalapeno peppers (to desired heat) to create a Mexican salad or to place atop tacos.

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