"All vegetables contain protective micronutrients and phytochemicals, but cruciferous vegetables have a unique chemical composition: they have sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible for their pungent or bitter flavors. When their cell walls are broken by blending or chopping, a chemical reaction occurs that converts these sulfur-containing compounds into isothiocyanates (ITCs)--an array of compounds with proven and powerful immune-boosting effects and anticancer activity."
Think cold viruses. Think flu viruses. Think bacterial infections. Think resistance.
Think "a 20 percent increase in cruciferous vegetable intake corresponds to a 40 percent decrease in cancer rates."
So now you are probably wondering exactly which vegetables are the cruciferous vegetables? Lucky for us, Dr. F lists them out:
But to get the incredible benefits, it's not enough just to eat these cruciferous vegetables. You've got to eat them RAW. And either well chewed, chopped or blended. For an explanation of why, well, you're just going to have to get a copy of Super Immunity and find out for yourself.
But am I the only one who has a hard time chewing all of those raw cruciferous vegetables?
That's why when I saw that Gena at Choosing Raw had featured a raw chopped broccoli and cauliflower salad with a creamy asian dressing, I jumped on it. The original Creamy Asian Dressing called for one cup of olive oil. I figured I'd give it a shot by substituting almonds and increasing the amount of water. The results were stupendous. A sweet, creamy, and satisfying salad dressing. This would be great served at a pot luck.
Creamy Asian Dressing Redux
makes 2 1/4 cups
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 cup raw almonds
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
juice of one lime (2+ Tbsp, and you could even use more)
4 Tbsp mellow white miso
6 dates pitted or 1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce or Tamari or Nama Shoyu
1 cup water
Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until creamy.
Raw Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with Creamy Asian Dressing Redux
3 heaping cups broccoli florets3 heaping cups cauliflower florets
1 small or 1/2 large red bell pepper, finely diced
1/3 cup currants, raisins or goji berries
Finely chop broccoli and cauliflower florets (using a chef's knife makes this really easy and fun). Transfer to a large bowl.
Add chopped bell pepper and currants, raisins or goji berries.
Dress to taste with creamy Asian dressing. (I used 1/2 of the 2 1/4 cups from the recipe. Save the rest for a Hugh Jass green salad!) Finish with a squeeze of lime.
And because I couldn't resist the Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin recipe from Super Immunity, here it is. It was fantastic, my husband and 11-year-old daughter agreed.
Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin
based on a recipe from Dr. Fuhrman and Super Immunity
Serves: 6Printable Recipe
1 teaspoon chopped or grated fresh ginger
1 medium onion, finely chopped
8 cups Swiss chard, stems removed, finely chopped
3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced on the diagonal, 1/8 inch thick
8 ounces tempeh, completely crumbled
2 cups unsweetened hemp, soy or almond milk
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup non-dairy mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons flax or hemp seeds, toasted
Heat 1/8 cup low sodium vegetable broth in a large pan and "water saute" ginger and onion until softened. Add Swiss chard and cook until just tender (do not overcook chard).
Arrange one third sliced sweet potatoes on bottom of prepared baking dish. Place one half of Swiss chard mixture and then one half of crumbled tempeh on top. Arrange another one third sweet potato slices and Swiss chard and tempeh, followed by remaining sweet potato.
Combine milk, nutmeg and black pepper. Pour over dish. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil, top with non-dairy mozzarella cheese and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Sprinkle with toasted flax or hemp seeds.
Intrigued? You can pre-order Super Immunity on Amazon. Here's the link:
Do you eat raw cruciferous vegetables daily? How do you do it? What are your favorite ways?
If not, will you consider it now?