6 Cruciferous Vegetable Recipes That Assist Struggle Irritation

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These delicious dishes might inspire you to eat more cruciferous vegetables.

Credit: Seva_blsv / iStock / GettyImages

Eat your vegetables: which kid didn’t hear them grow up? Funny thing is we still have to remember this, even as adults.

There’s such a big focus on vegetables, from diet guidelines to advice from doctors and dietitians, because they really are that good for you. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower contain unique phytonutrients that are beneficial to our health, as outlined in a December 2017 article in Molecules.

Cruciferous vegetables are high in ascorbic acid, phenols, carotenoids, and a phytonutrient called glucosinolates. These compounds give cruciferous vegetables the ability to lower LDL cholesterol, reduce inflammation, remove harmful chemicals from our bodies, and much more.

How you prepare these vegetables can have an impact on these healthy ingredients. For example, a study conducted in Preventative Nutrition Food Science in June 2019 found that raw cauliflower has higher antioxidant activity compared to boiled water, but steaming is better than cooking when certain nutrients are retained. Similar research in a July 2019 analysis of Foods found that certain phytonutrients were retained better when steaming or frying than when cooking.

While this is interesting (and in general you want to avoid overcooking your vegetables), the main goal should be to simply eat more vegetables. That’s why we’ve put together six cruciferous vegetables recipes with broccoli, cauliflower, watercress, rutabagas, and more to show you how to cook cruciferous vegetables to get their benefits. Enjoy!

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1. Vegan broccoli and sage risotto

Vegan recipe for broccoli and sage risotto

This healthier version of risotto is enhanced by broccoli.

If you’ve ever ordered risotto, you know you need to indulge yourself with its rich, hearty taste and equally decadent texture. Traditional risotto is made from arborio rice, butter, white wine, chicken broth and parmesan, as well as fresh herbs and spices. This vegan version gets a lot healthier by cutting out cheese and butter and using coconut milk and olive oil instead.

Including cruciferous broccoli and butternut squash, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals are added to complete the dish. Broccoli is also high in glucosinolates, a compound known for its potential cancer-fighting effects.

Stir fry pasta recipe

A wok is a great way to use whatever you have on hand.

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, and cabbage work well in Asian-inspired cuisine. And stir-fry meals are great because you can really use just about any vegetable you have on hand. This makes meal planning easier and helps reduce food waste. Speaking of food waste, many cruciferous vegetables have the majority of the plant edible, including the leaves, flowers, stems, and buds, according to the North Carolina State Extension.

To make a healthy pan, follow the principles of this recipe: use whole grains like brown rice or whole wheat pasta, choose a lean protein like chicken or tofu, and load up the veggies. This recipe calls for six cups of vegetables of your choice.

Rustic Rutabaga Fries Recipe

For every 102 calorie serving of these fries, you get 2 grams of fiber and one gram of protein.

Credit: Jenna Butler / LIVESTRONG.com

When we hear “cruciferous” we usually think of cauliflower and broccoli. But rutabagas are also a crucifer. They’re a starchy root vegetable, which is why they work as well as french fries, like in this recipe.

Potatoes are nutritious, but if you’re looking for something a little different, go for rutabaga. We especially love this recipe because the vegetables are baked, not deep-fried, and they require heart-healthy olive oil.

4. Turmeric-flavored whole roasted cauliflower

Turmeric-flavored whole roasted cauliflower recipe

Love cauliflower alone – a whole head of roasted vegetables.

To cut down on carbohydrates and improve diet, we’ve seen cauliflower, which is used to make mashed potatoes, pizza crusts, rice, and gnocchi. But what about cauliflower for what it really is? This recipe keeps things simple by roasting a whole cauliflower.

Along with other cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower contains a phytochemical called sulforaphane. Early research suggests that this compound helps protect us from diseases of the brain and nervous system like Alzheimer’s disease. This is based on an April 2019 study in Brain Circulation.

5. Sweet potato noodles with Brussels sprouts

Sweet potato noodles with Brussels sprouts recipe

Cruciferous Brussels sprouts are a good source (providing more than 10 percent of the DV) of iron, potassium, copper, manganese, thiamine, vitamin B6, folic acid, choline, and vitamin A.

Pasta gets a bad rap, which is unfortunate because it can actually be quite good for you. This recipe shows you how to combine whole wheat pasta with nutrient-rich foods like broccoli, onions, sweet potatoes, and fresh sage.

Brussels sprouts are high in fiber – one cup of cooked vegetables has 4 grams of fiber and, surprisingly, 4 grams of protein. They’re extremely high in vitamins C and K – the same one-cup serving provides more than 100 percent of the Daily Value (DV) of both.

6. Salmon Broccolette Superfood Salad

Salmon and Broccolette Superfood Salad Recipe

Adding cruciferous vegetables to your grilled meat has health benefits in several ways.

Broccolette, also called broccolini, is a cross between two cruciferous vegetables: broccoli and Chinese kale. It looks like a bigger, leaner version of broccoli because the stems are longer and the florets are smaller. It also has a peppery, more pronounced taste.

This recipe actually contains two cruciferous vegetables, the broccolette, yes, but watercress is also a cruciferous vegetable. This offers twice as much support in protecting against cancer-causing compounds that are created when grilling animal proteins. This is the result of a small study on cancer development from September 2004. Cruciferous vegetables help clear carcinogens from our body. So try pairing meat with these vegetables, like the grilled salmon called for in this recipe.