LUSCIOUS JOYS – FEBRUARY 2015
We have always been big broccoli eaters in our house and I add a few florets of it into my juicer in the morning along with all the other healthy vegetables I use. You’re not going to believe this, but I have finally convinced my husband to start juicing with me! He sometimes moans and groans at the colour of the juice depending on which vegetables and fruits I’ve added, but he always finished his glass.
If you aren’t into juicing, you can still receive all those important nutrients by using vegetables in your side dishes or by making soup. We ended up with a bushel of broccoli last week with both of us buying a huge bag of it, so I sat down with my trusted friend (my computer) and started looking for the best broccoli soup recipe I could find. I found this to be my favourite and most healthy-sounding and, as an added bonus, I’ve included all the reasons you should be eating our healthy green companion.
Broccoli is one of the highest-protein veggies, and lentils are second only to soybeans for maximum protein power. Protein helps to balance your blood sugar, which is the most important thing you can do to achieve personal weight balance.
Broccoli has a strong, positive impact on our body’s detoxification system. The dynamic trio of nutrients glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin and glucobrassicin neutralize and eliminate unwanted contaminants, leaving us feeling lighter and more able to cope.
Broccoli contains high amounts of protein and is one of the richest vegetable sources of calcium, iron and magnesium, vitamin A and contains more vitamin C than an orange!
Broccoli may relieve asthma symptoms. Sulforaphane is a naturally occurring chemical found in broccoli. This interesting molecule increases the amount of active Phase II enzymes of the upper respiratory tract, helping with symptoms of asthma. It is loaded with fibre and may protect against tissue damage in diabetes. The naturally occurring chemicals in broccoli, flavonol glycosides and hydroxycinnamic acid, are responsible for antioxidant protection that helps combat free radical tissue damage.
Broccoli is a good source of many of the B vitamins and is excellent for women who are currently on or have previously used oral contraceptives. Oral contraceptives are proven to dramatically reduce levels of circulating B vitamins in the body. The B complex vitamins are required for a number of metabolic reactions in the body including fat and carbohydrate metabolism for proper energy production.
The beautiful green colour of broccoli can be attributed to its high chlorophyll content. Chlorophyll helps to alkalize the body and may stop the replication of colon-cancer cells by arresting the cells’ abnormal cycle.
Creamy broccoli lentil soup 1 ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 2 tsp crushed garlic ¾ cup chopped onion 1 large carrot, chopped 1 celery stalk, chopped Pinch of hot pepper flakes 1 tbsp dried basil 2 tbsp (30 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice 3 cups chopped broccoli (1 large head) ¾ cup dried green lentils 4 cups low sodium chicken broth 2 tbsp grated parmesan 2 green onions, chopped for garnish (optional) Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and basil and cook for a few more minutes until the spices coat them nicely. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the broccoli) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, covered. Cut broccoli into small florets. Add to the pot and cook for 10 more minutes. Using a wand blender, puree till smooth. Garnish with green onions if desired.
My power words for 2015 are Health and Kindness! What are your power words for 2015? That might have to be a different article!! This one is for your health.
References: broccoli.com, chatelaine.com and dairygoodnes.ca
Submitted by: Kathryn Hartwell