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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:

   







horseradish,







 land cress,

   









Ethiopian mustard,







 kale,

  





  collard greens,

   





 Chinese broccoli (kai-lan),

  









  cabbage,

   





 Brussels sprouts,

   





 kohlrabi,

   





broccoli,

   






 broccoflower,

   





broccoli romanesco,







   cauliflower,

   





 wild broccoli,








bok choy,

  







  komatsuna,

   





 mizuna,

   





 rapini (broccoli rabe),

  





 flowering cabbage (ornamental kale),







 napa cabbage,

  








 turnip roots and greens,

   




 rutabaga,

   





Siberian kale,

   





 canola,

   





 mustard seeds,

   






 mustard greens,







 tatsoi,

   





 arugula,

   





water cress,

   




radish,

   



daikon,

and 











wasabi.  



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.

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