Sunday, 20 March 2011

Cruciferous Splendiferous

My friend Angie starts each day with a green smoothie.  The green in her smoothies comes from a different herb or vegetable each day, sometimes including kale.  I’ve given her a hard time about this smoothie thing.  It just plain doesn’t sound appealing to me, but then, I don’t like smoothies at the best of times.  It’s a texture thing. 

It turns out that I owe Angie an apology.  Although a green smoothie may seem terribly unappealing, she’s on the right track.  Angie is fighting cancer, and cruciferous vegetables contain phytochemicals with potential anti-cancer properties. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables.

We like to eat what's good for us, but what is a cruciferous vegetable anyway?

Simply put, cruciferous vegetables are members of the cabbage family, Brassicaceae.

They include:



 land cress,


Ethiopian mustard,



  collard greens,


 Chinese broccoli (kai-lan),




 Brussels sprouts,








broccoli romanesco,



 wild broccoli,

bok choy,






 rapini (broccoli rabe),


 flowering cabbage (ornamental kale),

 napa cabbage,


 turnip roots and greens,




Siberian kale,




 mustard seeds,


 mustard greens,





water cress,







Have I tried them all?  Heck, no.  It’s a big list! 

For the next while, I’m going to try to sample a new brassica every week (although probably not in a smoothie). Why don't you try a few new varieties too?

Cheers to you Angie!  Yet again, you’ve been an inspiration.


I sourced these photos on the internet.  My thanks to the photographers for their excellent work.