11th April 2012
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
No need for dairy if you eat broccoli!
One of the concerns I hear voiced frequently is how does a vegetarian get enough calcium, especially if they don’t eat dairy products?
With high levels of both calcium and Vitamin K, eating foods like broccoli will ensure proper calcium levels and bone health.
This green gem will also boost your immune system with beta-carotene and Vitamin C. Research has shown for years how broccoli and other vegetables from the cabbage or brassica family are excellent cancer inhibitors and protectors. Raw is always best and our family enjoys growing our own and use the young leaves in green smoothies and salads. The heads we either lightly steam or use in a variety of chopped salads. Each fresh broccoli spear contains 102 percent of the RDA of vitamin A , 53 percent of the RDA of folate, and 186 percent of the RDA of vitamin C.
The importance of choosing organic over conventional can not be stressed enough. In conventional growing methods there are over 40 pesticides that are allowed for use in broccoli crops with 26 of these being acutely toxic and hazardous to both the environment and the farmworker. A few of the ones that may be used are Metaldehyde, Permethrin, Azinphos-methyl and Chlorpyrifos. As an example of these toxic substances, Chlorpyrifos (Which was banned several years ago for residential use in the U.S.) is approved for use on new building sites and existing buildings in Australia for the control of termites. Recently, research has shown that children exposed to chlorpyrifos while in the womb have an increased risk of delays in mental and motor development and an increased occurrence of developmental disorders such as ADHD. Another study linked prenatal chlorpyrifos exposure to lower weight and smaller head circumference at birth. That scares me and makes organic my only choice.
During cooler weather we do like our broccoli soup. The recipe that follows is creamy and rich even without the addition of milk, cream or butter. One of the ingredients, vegetable stock, can either be bought (look for good quality organic brands) or homemade. My family loves making our own stock and stock concentrates.
5 cups of organic vegetable stock
1 organic onion coarsely chopped
2 cloves organic garlic, minced
1 large organic celery stalk, chopped
4 cups organic broccoli, chopped
1 organic potato, chopped
2 tbs organic cold pressed olive oil
2 tbs organic light miso
1 heaping tbs unhulled organic tahini
Saute vegetables in oil until onion is golden. Add stock and bring to a boil in a large soup pot. Reduce heat. Cover. Cook until veggies are just tender, 8-10 minutes. Puree then add miso, tahini and a good quality sea salt if desired, to your taste.