Broccoli Salad That Doesn’t Suck (with raw broccoli)
I prefer my broccoli cooked most of the time, because I think it’s healthy that way. However, I do find value in some raw broccoli on occasion. Raw broccoli offers nutrition that could be best taken in the raw state.
Tonight’s nourishing soup recipe is a real winner: Buttered Broccoli Soup. Greg said it might be his favorite one yet. He loved its vibrant color, super soft mouth feel, and the slightly-cheesy taste even though there’s no cheese in it. Kamea gobbled up all of hers, though she wanted to drop a raw organic chocolate covered cacao nib into each Elmo spoonful. Hey, who am I to stop that? Raw chocolate and broccoli? Maybe she’s on to something here.
Personally, I’m a fan of the recipe because it combines nutrients (namely: kelp’s and broccoli’s – plus butter’s fat soluble goodies) and flavors that pair synergistically (plus its great flavor and texture). It’s especially wonderful during the cold winter months.
Cook the broccoli in a large (and deep) sauté pan (I use this one), covered, over medium heat with a few tablespoons of water added to steam/sauté it (about 8-12 min should do it). I say “medium” heat because that is the level of heat I use/need for Le Creuset enameled cast iron cookware. Alternatively, feel free to simply steam it using a pot and steamer insert. Here’s my new steamer insert I love.
While the broccoli is cooking, warm the stock in a small saucepan.
Transfer the cooked broccoli to a high speed blender and add the stock and remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, which is best accomplished with a high speed blender.
* If you don’t have the high vitamin butter oil (which I highly recommend for concentrated fat soluble nutrients), then add another tablespoon of grassfed butter. I like the high vitamin butter oil for the boost in vitamins it offers.
Bonus recipe… see that salad next to the soup? A-mazing. It’s become a staple salad for us. Super easy to throw together on a whim. Here’s what I did…
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
juice of a lemon or lime
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 to 3 pinches of sea salt, to taste
sprinkling of Farmhouse Kraut’s Smoked Jalapeno Kraut (optional, available at Whole Foods)
Toss everything in a bowl and let it set for a half hour or so (covered), if possible. Otherwise just toss and serve. By waiting though, the salt works its magic on the ingredients and enhances the experience.
I’m pretty gaga for guacamole. What’s not to love? Creamy, fresh, satisfying, vibrant, and with a number of ways to enjoy it – raw by the spoonful, or heck, by the fingerfull, globbed on a vegan burrito (Chipotle, anyone?), or one of my favorites… Guacamole and Toast, anyone?
I’ve been upping the nutrient density of my guacamole though. Enter: organic broccoli. Do you remember not too long ago, when I used my trick of stealthily sneaking organic raw broccoli into a meal that I wrote about here? Broccoli is tres importante for adding tons of cancer fighting power to your life so it makes a very regular appearance in our lives.
Let me tell ya… there was not a hint of raw broccoli flavor in this new guacamole dish (of course, you can’t go wrong when you add some sweetness like mango or apple). So, here’s another recipe, loaded with nutrition to keep my family uber healthy, that I’ll go back to time and again: Mango Love Guacamole.
I’m sure you have heard on more than one occasion about the importance of eating broccoli, right? And, does the thought excite you? Probably not… at least not if it’s raw. Am I right? You probably don’t find yourself getting all weak in the knees at the thought of chomping down on some raw organic broccoli. (Um… if you do… power to you!)
Now, there are some authorities that say it’s easier digested if it’s lightly cooked, but most others talk about the importance of having it raw to ensure you’re getting all of the cancer fighting properties. Not only that, but did you know that it should be thoroughly chopped, chewed, blended, or juiced, etc to release the cancer fighting properties to their fullest?
Blending broccoli? Meh. I’m not one to blend broccoli very often, so that’s not a good option for me.
Juicing broccoli? Oh yeah, baby. I add it to my green juices, but not in large quantities. I feel almost super human drinking green juice with broccoli. Silly? Nope. Throw on my Vibrams while I’m drinking it and I swear I could scale walls like Spider Man.
Eating it? That doesn’t happen much because like I said, I’m not a huge raving fan of the flavor. Well, guess what? That’s no longer a problem because I’ve figured out how to secretly add broccoli to foods and you won’t even notice it (your family won’t either!).
How??? You mince the broccoli with a knife! I know that might sound simple (and it is) but honestly, I never thought to do it. In all these years… it never dawned on my to chop my broccoli super duper small so as to hide it. And, it’s brilliant. By mincing it teeny tiny with my knifeI get little bits in bites that don’t overwhelm plus all the cancer fighting properties. It gets even easier though… I then started using my ceramic hand mandolin slicer (you could use a traditional mandolin or grater). Brilliant. It minces it super tiny.
Funny thing is that I started out small by just shredding a little. But, I quickly added more because, well, I couldn’t taste it. Like in the picture above, I grated a bunch of broccoli for Greg and I to eat in that salad (more specifically, it was 3 heads within one rubber banded bunch). I admit, though, there is another trick. Having good stuff to eat with the broccoli. So, here is what my staples are in my salads like this:
Tons of broccoli(!) and the sweet potato makes an appearance.
But, don’t stop there! Add more flair and deliciousness, by adding things like chopped basil (or dill), cooked (chopped) sweet potato, sun-dried tomatoes, and/or raw marinated/dehydrated mushrooms and onions. Basically, just toss into your bowl whatever you have on hand. Keep in mind that overcoming the broccoli-ness is not only greatly achieved by the tiny pieces you’ve minced but also by the texture and flavor contrasts you add like avocado, sweet potato, kraut (salty yum), and apple (lightly sweet). I’ve made this dish many ways and each time Greg is amazed at how much broccoli we’re consuming and how delicious it is.
Here’s another idea… Broccoli Guacamole! Mash up some avocado with miso and lime juice. Add cilantro and onion perhaps. Then…. grate in some broccoli. That’s on tonight’s menu!
Broccoli. There is so much to say about broccoli and her powers. She’s mighty and strong and delicious and beautiful and oh-so-powerful. We all need broccoli in our life. While I’m not fighting cancer that I know of, I am certainly doing everything in my life to prevent it. And broccoli is in my arsenal of weapons for doing this.
Many of you think I’m doing the following amazing preparations for getting pregnant and think that’s the main reason I’m changing so many things such as:
1) TRULY natural hair and body care products (how do your products rate?) 2) Making my own home cleaning products (posting recipes I’m using soon) 3) No longer coloring my blond locks (read more here) 4) My super healthy diet, and more
Yes, because I’m trying to get pregnant soon, I want to be as healthy as possible. But, that’s not the only reason.
Some of you know I’m a regular contributor at Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Life community (I’ve recently been honored as an Ambassador of the community – I’m so thrilled about that). Well, since contributing regularly in that super warm, amazing community, my eyes have been opened big time. You don’t have to have cancer to be a part of that group because it’s an overall wellness community, but many of the people there do have cancer. People my age. People just like me. People just like you. It’s humbling and sad, yet empowering. I’ve concluded that I’m not leaving it up to my diet for preventing cancer. I’m not taking any chances… and why should I? (or why should you for that matter?) I’m doing everything I can to live as clean a life as possible, because the toxins in our environment are overwhelming (you know those products you “thought” were okay, well, some are still not safe – read shocking info here). After spending time in Kris Carr’s community and seeing so many people fight cancer, I’m maintaining my new EXTRA healthy and clean lifestyle for good, whether I conceive or not.
It’s easy to do. There are so many terrific products (or ingredients to make your own) on the market that it’s a no-brainer to me (for beauty, hair, cleaning, etc – I’ll post my favorites soon!). And, Whoo-Whee, don’t forget about all the good you’re doing for the environment by making these better choices. Let me just tell you, I’ve never felt so proud… and so amazing, wonderful, pure, energized, and full of life.
Okay, so let’s get back to one of the powerhouse cancer fighting and preventing staples in my life… broccoli. I love broccoli. I’ll be honest, I’m not a raving fan of just eating it plain and raw. Those cute little trees are a little tough when they’re in that form. But, I do enjoy it in the following ways:
1) Juice (I made Broccoli Carrot Plant Blood today – serious deliciousness) 2) Smoothie (blended with bananas, apples, or mango) 3) Pureed Raw in a dish like Flying Dragon Broccoli 4) Sprouts (more info on HUGE sprout powers here) 5) Very gently steamed
To cook or not to cook? I’ve read many things stating that broccoli should be steamed gently to release some of the nutrients. Of course, by steaming or cooking, you destroy many other nutrients as well. So, I do both. I’m keeping it balanced by enjoying it Raw in most cases (as well as having it lightly steamed on occasion). Here is a great article detailing the amazing cancer fighting benefits of Raw broccoli. Additionally, broccoli juice has been shown to decrease LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. Let’s give broccoli (vegetable royalty), a huge applause for the following: vitamin C, vitamin A, folic acid, calcium, chromium, fiber, potassium, magnesium, lutein, zeaxanthin, phosphorous… just to name a few basics, but that’s not all:
indoles and isothiocynates: Major cancer fighting players by neutralizing carcinogens – noted for helping prevent lung and esophageal cancers among others.
sulforaphane glucosinolate: Sprouts have a far higher concentration of these than mature broccoli. Shown to stop the growth of breast and prostate cancer cells. Other studies show the growth of thyroid and goiter cancer cells to be slowed when treated with sulfur containing substances found in broccoli. They may also help prevent the growth of bacteria causing stomach ulcers.
indole-3-carbinol: Stimulator of detoxifying enzymes and shown to protect DNA.