Glucosinolate is the one-specific cruciferous-veggie compound that has been shown to protect against cancer-causing free-radicals and oxidative stress. It is a biologically active compound that is found in the Brassicaceae family — that includes broccoli, kale, turnip, cabbage, cauliflower, rapeseed, mustard, and horseradish — to name just a few. Along with being potent cancer-fighting agents, glucosinolate also has impressive anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties.
Glucosinolates “are natural components of many pungent plants such as mustard, cabbage, and horseradish,” that provide a defense mechanism for plants “against pests and diseases, and impart a characteristic bitter flavor property of cruciferous vegetables.” It’s these natural defenses that also play defense in the human body. As your digestive system breaks down cruciferous vegetables, “the glucosinolates contained in them are broken down into compounds called metabolites,” which are naturally occurring “substances that affect the pace of metabolism and trigger specific enzymatic reactions to help protect your cells from damage,” in particular these glucosinolates help protect against “damage that leads to cancer.”
How do you go about getting these veggies in your diet? Here are 15 creative and delicious ways to get those cruciferous veggies into your kitchen and onto your plate with recipes from the Food Monster App!
Source: Broccoli Pepper Curry
Broccoli can oftentimes be rough and hard to digest veggie. This Broccoli Pepper Curry by Phoebe Douglas boils your broccoli to a soft, edible, and easily digestible form while also infusing its neutral flavor with powerful curry and classic-Indian spices.
Source: Winter Purple Cauliflower Salad
It may be called winter, yet this beautiful variety of cauliflower can be found year-round at your local grocery store. This Winter Purple Cauliflower Salad by Kristina Jug and Mitja Bezensek offers a unique way to integrate cruciferous cauliflower into your diet with a powerfully acidic citrus dressing and a slew of nutrient-dense additives such as kidney beans, almonds, and mint leaves. Plus, this salad tops your cauliflower with broccoli, offering up a double dose of cruciferous health benefits!
Source: Easy Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Many people shy away from Brussels sprouts, yet this Easy Roasted Brussels Sprouts by Dawn Kriss not only makes these cruciferous veggies easy to make but incredibly tasty. By removing the stalk-y ends of these Brussel’s sprouts, Kriss allows these small bites to truly shine!
Rich in cruciferous kale and arugula, this Hearty Superfood Salad With Arugula, Kale, and Beets by Linda Wagner is the perfect mid-day pick-me-up at work! Loaded with superfoods and colorful antioxidant-rich ingredients, this salad is both filling and cancer-fighting.
Source: Cauliflower Risotto
This Cauliflower Risotto by Viktoria Radichkova is wonderful comfort food! Plus, it’s super simple to make with only three ingredients — including cruciferous cauliflower — and it only takes five minutes to create.
Source: Cauliflower and Kale Fried Rice
Along the same comfort food-lines as the cauliflower risottos, this Cauliflower and Kale Fried Rice by Rachel Carr utilizes cruciferous kale to amplify those glucosinolate powers! This recipe is grain-free and raw meaning all of those nutrients go directly where they’re needed in your body.
Source: Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms
If you’re new to cruciferous bok choy, this is the perfect recipe to get your hands dirty! This Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms by Raymund Macaalay pairs two complementary and healthy veggies alongside traditional flavors such as soy and sesame.
Rutabaga is an earthy and slightly sweet cruciferous veggie that is similar to sweet potato and squash. This Baked Garlic Herb Shoestring Rutabagas by Rachel Hanawalt uses rutabaga in an incredibly creative way by making pasta-like shoestrings. This dish is finished off with a delicious garlic herb oil!
Collard greens may be southern comfort food, but no matter where you live, this cruciferous powerhouse food is a must-have in the kitchen! This Coconut Milk Braised Collard Greens by Courtney West infuses collard greens with rich and healthy fat-filled coconut milk along with aromatic flavors such as garlic, pepper, cumin, and mustard seeds.
Source: Homemade Kimchi
A lesser-known cruciferous veggie that is rich in glucosinolates is radish. While you can add radish to any salad or stir fry, it’s also an integral component to traditional kimchi. This Homemade Kimchi by Adam Merrin and Ryan Alvarez uses a helping of daikon radish, garlic, and ginger. Plus, you’ll be infusing your body with gut-boosting fermented cabbage!
This Lentil and Mustard Green Breadsticks by Gunjan Dudani takes cruciferous mustard greens to the next level by adding them to protein-packed lentils and tofu. Super easy to make and great for packing on a road trip or to take to work.
Horseradish is not only a wonderfully spicy flavoring, but it’s also rich in glucosinolates. This Roasted Parsnip and Horseradish Dip by Ashley Smyczek is the perfect dip to have on hand in your fridge for that afternoon snack of crackers or fresh cut veggies.
Source: Maple Maca Amaranth Porridge
Peruvian maca root is yet another plant-based food that has been found to have glucosinolate. This Maple Maca Amaranth Porridge by Claire Ragozzino will energize you for the day, while also providing a dose of those cancer-fighting glucosinolates.
Source: Red Cabbage Carrot Dogs
Ever thought you’d be eating hot dogs made with cabbage? This Red Cabbage Carrot Dogs by Melina Kutelas is super creative and wonderfully flavorful! It’s rich in glucosinolate-filled cabbage and arugula, with a kick of natural spice, sweetness, and tang!
This Roasted Beetroot, Broccoli and Green Bean Salad by Taryn Fitz-Gerald is a classic salad imbued with sweet beets and an array of colorful veggies indicating lots of powerful antioxidants! Along with healthy fats, this salad is also infused with glucosinolate-rich broccoli and dark leafy greens.
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
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