You know, I’m tired of hearing bad things about vegetables. Especially from kids! Take broccoli. In this country, the UK, broccoli are constantly described negatively. I hear kids all the time talking about broccoli as a disgusting veg.. and sadly, in many cases parents’ choices and examples in the matter don’t help, as I witnessed on multiple occasions.
Kids’ cartoons and TV programs (even a Disney film!) seem to keep up the negative image with this healthy, one of the healthiest actually, and versatile veg.
However, cupcakes buried in icing and doughnuts with more colours than the rainbow, pop around happily on every child’s magazine, tv program, cartoons and food shops. How is that for setting an example? Why do I never see children’s characters on magazines munching on nuts or have slumber parties with fruit salads and maple syrup, wholegrain sandwiches (the brown ones) or smoothies? Are they not cool?
Well, since my daughter was born I didn’t want any of that. Yes, we celebrate with the occasional treat (my recipes don’t lie :)), but mostly I wanted Sophie to get used to a variety of flavours from a clean, wholefood diet. And how did I do that? By presenting her this variety and introducing different foods to her from an early age. She doesn’t like salad? There are different ways to prepare and present a food, and in my experience if she sees mama eating it and loving it she is more likely to give that a go 😉 ♥
I remember the first time I gave her chocolate..it wasn’t the popular “sugar dairy” bar, with invisible amounts of actual chocolate that you find in most shops (oh and carefully placed at child’s height..). It was dark chocolate. She absolutely loved it. She loved the flavour, not because het tastebuds were little aliens but because in her diet, sugar was present, and still is, mainly in natural forms, like fruit for example. If your taste buds get used to a clean, wholefood diet, believe me, you don’t need a cake with a ton of sugar to appreciate its sweetness 😉
The main reason behind my words is that by doing that we might unintentionally deprive our kids of nutritious vegetables that offer huge health benefits, not only broccoli, and that are often overseen.
My recipe today is about broccoli. They are a super food, I love it and love my family and did my best to get them on board on this because:
Rich in nutrients
Broccoli are rich in vitamin K, C, A, B6 and folate, but also manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and calcium. It is not surprising to know, therefore, that the consumption of broccoli brings many benefits to our health. Particularly on the heart and brain helping to prevent heart attacks, keep the arteries free and balance cholesterol and high blood pressure.
This plant improves the ability of the body to fight cancer in various ways, it’s a source of isotiocianates that fight cancer by lowering oxidative stress, neutralizing carcinogens and fighting toxins. [Link to study]
Sulpharane, another isothiocyanate and potent phytochemistry contained in large quantities in broccoli, helps fight toxins in our body.[Link to study]
Benefits on digestion
Studies conducted by the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Science of Tokyo found that by feeding mice a diet high in broccoli consumption, there was a reduction in bacterial colonization, a lower expression of tumour growth and inflammation, and a greater antioxidant activity. [Link to studies]
Creamy Broccoli Spaghetti
Ingredients for two
extra virgin olive oil (about 5 tbsp)
pinch of turmeric
3 cloves of garlic
200 g broccoli tenderstem roughly chopped
brown rice spaghetti (for 2)
pink himalayan salt
Nutritional yeast (optional)
Heat up a large frying pan and add the oil with turmeric
Mix the turmeric in the oil so it spreads evenly
Add the anchovies and with a wooden spoon mix them in the oil and turmeric, they’ll melt pretty quickly
Add the garlic cloves, crash them first, so they release their flavour in the oil, alternatively you can grate them
Mix for a few seconds and add the broccoli, then mix
Add some water, we don’t want the broccoli to overfry, don’t drown them though;) one cup should be enough.
Cover with lid on a medium heat
Aside, place a pan of water and add a pinch of salt
Bring to boil and add the spaghetti, since they are rice spaghetti they tend to stick, so add a few drops of olive oil in the water and use a fork to mix and keep them separated
When the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the frying pan with the broccoli condiment and mix to make sure the condiment covers all your pasta
Optional: you can sprinkle some nutritional yeast, for extra nutrient boost and flavour 🙂
To your health and enjoy!