Tag Archives: cruciferous vegetables

Ginger Bread With Broccoli (Shhh, don’t tell my kids)

What says “Merry Christmas” and “Eat your vegetables” all at the same time? Broccoli Ginger Bread! This recipe comes from Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious cookbook. The beauty of molasses and ginger is that you neither see nor taste the broccoli and carrot purees this recipe calls for. Even my picky eater eats it. And, as we discussed last week, broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, so it’s a dessert that helps fight cancer. Doesn’t get much better than that! (I’ve paraphrased the recipe instructions a bit because I’m too lazy to type every word.)

Merry Christmas, enjoy your bread, and I’ll see you in January! Keep your body moving; every little bit of exercise is beneficial.


2014 Dec 021Gingerbread Spice Cake


1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp EACH baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon

1/4 tsp EACH ground cloves, allspice, salt

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 egg

1 cup broccoli puree (I thawed frozen broccoli and stuck it in the food processor with the oil)

1 cup carrot puree (Steam or boil carrots, puree in food processor or blender. Or use applesauce if you’re pressed for time)

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup molasses

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tb grated orange zest


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 9×5 loaf pan.

2. Mix the flours and spices in a bowl, set aside.

3. Mix the sugar, oil, egg until smooth. Add the veggies, yogurt, molasses, vanilla and zest and mix again. Add flour mixture and mix until smooth.

4. Bake 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes, turn out onto a rack and cool completely. Or slice it steaming hot and blow on it to cool it between bites like I do. 🙂


Eating For Cancer Prevention (Part 3 of 5): Cruciferous Vegetables

broccoli gunHow do cruciferous vegetables fight cancer? That’s just it: they fight. They’re warriors. Cruciferous vegetables are the military of Food-dom. They kill cancer cells and defend against terrorist-toxins.

The key is getting the ammo into the guns. The ammo is sulfur containing chemicals called glucosinolates. Think about the taste of broccoli, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts; there’s something in the taste of cruciferous vegetables that packs a punch. Some websites called it sulfur, others called it mustard oil; it’s the same thing that makes horseradish potent, skunks stink, and rotten eggs smell. Mmm, the thought makes one hungry, does it not?

So in one part of the plant cell is the ammo: glucosinolates. In another part of the plant cell is an enzyme called myrosinase. Sounds like a sandwich spread made of rosin and it’s mine, but we’re going to call it Gun. When you chew, juice, or chop the plant cells, the ammo and Gun are free to join. Loaded guns, as we know, are more effective weapons than empty ones. These glucosinolate and myrosinase loaded guns are cancer fighting sulfur compounds.

120403153531-largeDo sulfur compounds sound familiar? That’s the secret to garlic’s cancer effectiveness too. If you want to know more about how sulfur compounds fight cancer and kill tumor cells, read my post on Garlic for cancer prevention. I don’t want to repeat myself, but all of that applies here.

I know what you’re thinking: Tumors are like enemy countries; the body knows where they are and can focus an attack. But what about toxin terrorists that roam the body; the ones that can start a new battlefront anywhere, any time? I’m glad you asked.

The Cruciferous Military doesn’t just ride in with guns blazing; it also organizes the Let’s Incapacitate Venom Enzyme Rangers (or L.I.V.E.R.), an Anti-Toxin-Terrorism Task Force that removes carcinogens from the body. Detoxification has two phases: Phase One is a transport visa and Phase Two is handcuffs.

In Phase One, the toxin is burned with oxygen and enzymes to make it water (rather than fat) soluble. This makes it easier for the body to remove the toxin (pee is water, not fat); it’s essentially giving the toxin a travel visa.

unclesam-worldwarii-poster-6201139-oPhase Two’s handcuffs are made of enzymes and sulfur. Once a toxin is handcuffed, it can’t do any damage and can safely be shipped to the small intestine (which leads to the colon and eventually to the light of day). However, L.I.V.E.R. doesn’t have detention cells. If there aren’t enough handcuffs, the toxins remain free to circulate the body on their travel visa and are now called “free-radicals”. Free-radicals can do more damage that the original toxins. Cruciferous vegetables provide the sulfur that L.I.V.E.R. needs to make enough handcuffs to safely transport toxins out of the body.

Cruciferous vegetables also help promote healthy estrogen metabolism in the body, so there’s a link to hormonal cancers. I didn’t get that far in my research, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Keep your Military strong by recruiting cruciferous soldiers several times per week. Brussels sprout bullets for everyone!


“Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.” Exodus 1:10


Images courtesy of me (broccoli), www.everystockphoto.com (Uncle Sam), drliesa.com (veggies).

A Cruciferous Call For Help

2014 Aug 2 006We’ll talk about why cruciferous vegetables are linked to cancer prevention next week; this week I need your help. I was looking over my cruciferous vegetable recipes and noticed that all but one involve bacon. As much as I love the combination of greens and grease, if I increase my bacon consumption along with my cruciferous vegetable consumption, I’m doing more harm than good. That’s where you come in.

Do you have a good non-bacon recipe for cruciferous vegetables that you’d be willing to share? Comment below with the recipe or a link to the recipe.

Common cruciferous vegetables are: arugula, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, horseradish, kale, radishes, rutabaga, turnip, watercress.

Thank you in advance!