Brassica vegetables, or cruciferous vegetables, are an extremely important part of a well-balanced and disease preventing diet. Like all vegetables, they’re low in calories, fat, and sodium. They’re also a good source of fibre and contain a variety of other essential vitamins and minerals.
In addition to these health promoting substances, they contain phytochemicals which occur naturally in the plants. These phytochemicals have a variety of health benefits for our bodies. One of the best known benefits is their cancer-fighting properties. Vegetables in the brassica family contain glucosinolates, sulfur-containg phytochemicals, such as indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and 3,3”-diindolylmethane (DIM). In studies, these phytochemicals have been shown to reduce the risk of multiple types of cancer, including lung, stomach, colon and rectal, prostate, endometrial and ovarian cancer.
Where can you find these super-star vegetables? Easy! Just browse the produce department at your local grocery store. Members of the brassica family include cauliflower, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, mustard greens rapini, bok choy, arugula, turnip and radish.
Curry Cauliflower Saffron Soup is a great way to get a healthy dose of these powerful phytonutrients. This creamy, dairy-free soup will keep you warm in the cold winter months and healthy for years to come!
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 tsp mild curry powder
- pinch of saffron strands
- 400 mL hot chicken or vegetable stock
- 400 mL unsweetened almond milk
- 100 g medium or strong Cheddar, grated (optional)
- Heat half the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onions and celery. Stir over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are beginning to soften.
- Add the remaining oil, cauliflower florets, curry powder and saffron, and season with salt and pepper. Stir well and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Cover the pan and cook for another 4-5 minutes, lifting the lid to give the mixture a stir every now and then.
- Remove the lid and pour in the stock. Bring to a simmer, then pour in the unsweetened almond milk, adding a splash of water if the liquid does not cover the vegetables. Return to a gentle simmer. Partially cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes until the cauliflower is very soft.
- Once the soup has cooled, blend the soup in a high powered blender, such as a BlendTec® or Vitamix® until smooth.
- Return the soup to the pan and place over low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer, then slowly stir in the cheese to melt. Loosen the consistency with a little hot water if the soup is too thick, and taste and adjust the seasoning.
Posted: 2015 January 29