Cruciferous Vegetables Are Full Of Healthy Nutrients

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on June 6, 2019 · 0 comments

We hear over and over again that cruciferous vegetables are good for us and we should be eating more of them. Which vegetables fall into this healthy group?

Kale– avoid bunches with brown or yellowed leaves. Kale is the king of vitamin K having the highest level of the vitamin among all foods.

Kohlrabi – is popular in Germany and India. It can be eaten raw or cooked. Raw it is crisp and mild tasting. The bulb exterior can be purple, white or green. Extremely versatile, even the leaves can be sautéed or steamed.

Radishes – common red, round radishes fall into the same family as white daikon radishes and black Spanish radishes. Crispy raw, radishes can also be cooked or added to stews and soups.

Cabbage – many types are available. Heads can be pale green, purple to red, or crinkle textured also called savoy. Napa cabbage is an oblong shape and is also called Chinese cabbage. It can be eaten raw, cooked or fermented as sauerkraut or Korean kimchi.

Arugula – also called rocket has a peppery taste. It can be bought in a “baby” form or as mature green.

Rapini – is not part of the broccoli family and it has a more bitter taste. It is a leafy plant that forms florets that never mature to a larger size. It is often called broccoli rape or raab.

Cauliflower – the head is called a curd and holds hundreds of immature florets attached to a stem. Traditionally white, cauliflower can also be purple, orange or Romanesco chartreuse. Green broccoflower is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower.

Mustard Greens – pungent and strong tasting, this green is usually preferred cooked. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K.

Turnip – a root vegetable that varies in both shape and color. If possible, buy fresh turnips with the greens attached. The root can be substituted for potatoes and the greens can be swapped for spinach and mustard greens.

Rutabaga – is believed to be the result of crossing wild cabbage and turnip. Larger than a turnip and usually waxed to avoid drying out, rutabaga can be roasted, mashed or added to soups and stews instead of potatoes.

Bok Choy – both the white bulb and the dark green leaves can be eaten. Traditionally used in stir-fries and soups, bok choy can also add crunch to salads.

Broccoli – a common and popular vegetable, we often eat the florets and discard the stems which can be diced and sautéed and added to soups and stews.

As a family, cruciferous vegetables are a good source of fiber and contain vitamins C, E, K, and folate and the minerals potassium and calcium as well health-promoting carotenoids. Eat this family of vegetables often.

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