Penny Brohn UK

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Cruciferous vegetables

The vegetable group Cruciferous most popular member is broccoli. But this group also plays host to all colours and sizes of cabbage, turnips, cauliflower, sprouts, kale and spring greens. 

Cruciferous vegetablesBursting with vitamin C, manganese and vitamin K (especially dark coloured veg) these little powerhouses are best steamed, stir-fried or sautéed to hold the most of their nutritional value.

Due to it being one of our most popular choices of vegetable let’s take a look at just how brilliant broccoli is:

  • An excellent source of folate, a B vitamin.
  • A good source of potassium.
  • Rich in dietary fibre and magnesium.
  • It contains beta-carotene.

However, eat as many vegetables as you can. Variety is the key to obtaining their many protective phytochemicals, and each vegetable has its own profile of health promoting substances.

Here are two simple recipes for you to enjoy at home:

Broccoli and cannellini bean salad
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup finely chopped peppers (either fresh or pre-roasted)
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 (400g) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained

How to prepare
Steam broccoli, covered, three minutes or until crisp-tender. Set aside.
Combine vinegar, oil, pepper, salt, and garlic in a medium bowl; stir well. Add broccoli, red pepper, onion, and beans; toss gently. Serve up and enjoy as a salad on its own or as part of your main meal.

And here’s a simple and delicious recipe to enjoy using red cabbage and brussels sprouts.

Cruciferous vegetablesSautéed sprouts and red cabbage
450g brussels sprouts
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or one tbsp of coconut oil (or a combination of both)
1 small red cabbage or 1/2 large cabbage, finely sliced 

How to prepare
Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Set aside.
Trim the Brussels sprouts and peel off one outer layer of leaves. Cut the sprouts in half lengthwise, larger sprouts can be quartered.
Place the sprouts in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and add about 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring the sprouts to a boil and drain immediately. Transfer the sprouts to the bowl of ice water. (This will stop them cooking further and preserve their colour). Drain well.
Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the oil. When the butter is melted, add the Brussels sprouts. Cook for one minute then add the sliced cabbage. Cook until the cabbage has softened and the sprouts are warmed through. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm.

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