Crucifers – more than just stinky vegetables
Crucifers were originally named for the four equal-sized petals in its flowers that could be viewed as forming a cross-like or crucifix shape. Current trend are leaning toward the term “brassica vegetables” over “cruciferous vegetables”.
Cruciferous vegetables are a nutritious source of many key nutrients including vitamin C, E & K, folate, minerals such as potassium and calcium, vitamin A carotenoids as well as being a good source of dietary fiber.
These vegetables may decrease inflammation and help prevent carcinogenic activity. Overall they remain a nutritious food source that should be incorporated into the diet. Recipes attached to each vegetable.
- Arugula – has a peppery taste. Sauté for alternative to an addition to salad.
- Bok choy – traditionally grown in China. All parts are edible and rich in calcium. Typically cooked but can be eaten raw for additional crunch to salads.
- Broccoli – health benefits can increase (carotenoids) or decrease (glucosinolates) when cooked. Best bet = microwave or steam instead of boiling.
- Brussels sprouts – A great source of folate and dietary fiber. Roasting or braising will decrease their bitterness.
- Cabbage – 3 types: pale green, purple-red and crinkle textured savory. Can be eaten raw, cooked or fermented. Fermented cabbage provided probiotic benefits Potato Cabbage Soup
- Cauliflower – look close – each head contains hundreds of immature white florets attached to a single stem. Cauliflower Recipes
- Chinese cabbage – also called Napa cabbage
- Collard greens – are various loose-leaf, large dark-colored edible leaves.
- Daikon radish – relative to the traditional red radish and the black Spanish radish.
- Horseradish – Creamy Horseradish Sauce
- Kale – the king of Vitamin K.
- Kohlrabi – beneath the exterior is a crisp, juicy and mild-tasting white flesh. Bulbs can be eaten raw or cooked; the greens are sautéed or steamed.
- Land cress
- Mustard greens – an excellent source of vitamins A, C & K despite their strong taste.
Radish – typically eaten raw they can be roasted as a side dish or added to soups and stews
- Rapini – also know as turnip broccoli, Italian broccoli, broccoli rape and rape. The leafy plant forms florets that don’t mature into a large size. Has a bitter taste.
- Rutabaga – Rutabaga Fries
- Shepherd’s purse –
Turnip – best purchased with leaves attached, comes in a variety of shapes and colors. Both the greens and roots are edible.