Cruciferous veggies are a diverse group that includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, arugula, Brussels sprouts, collards, watercress and radishes.
When cabbage is chopped, chewed or digested, gluosinolates break down into substances called isothiocyanate. Now these are extremely toxic to insects but they have an incredibly protective effect to humans. The finer you chop cruciferous veg, the more nutritious it is due to this process. So chop it finely then leave it for an hour or two before eating or cooking and you are getting much more bang for your buck! But even better, you don’t have to feel guilty about preparing the veggies beforehand and worry about losing nutrients because the opposite is true – you get more! So go ahead, prep those veggies early and put them in the fridge for tea later on tonight!
When buying broccoli, try and buy and eat as soon as possible. If you can’t buy and eat fresh then store in continuously in the fridge in a sealed bag. In fact, if you can purchase the broccoli in sealed bags, even better. Have you seen the coloured cauliflower? Go for the brightly coloured ones first – purple, orange or green as they have more phytonutrients and antioxidants.
Cooking Cruciferous Veggies
Steam, sauté or microwave with a minimum amount of water to increase the levels of Vit A and antioxidant carotenes up to 5 times. Don’t forget to add a dash of olive or coconut oil.
Even more bang for your buck? Add mustard powder to your cruciferous veggies. Not only does it taste good but the mustard allows the cruciferous veggie to restore their ability to generate isothiocyanate. Simply add ½ tsp to each 200gram of cooked cruciferous veg! Or if you hate mustard, try horseradish, wasabi or radish, rocket, watercress, raw sprouts for similar effect.
How do you like to eat your cruciferous veggies? Got a favourite recipe to share? Rueben in a Bowl or Kai Sing Me or something else?