Healthy, Tasty Seasonings for Bland Vegetables
Research shows that many of the vegetables Americans least like to eat are rich sources of phytochemicals that reduce the risk of a variety of illnesses, including heart disease and cancer.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are among our most unpopular vegetables because of their assertive flavors. However, they may offer many protective health benefits.
Cruciferous vegetables are members of the cabbage family; they get their name from their four-petaled flowers, which look like a 'crucifer", or cross.
Other cruciferous vegetables include:
- bok choy
- mustard greens
- turnip greens
You can smooth out the strong flavors of cruciferous vegetables by serving them with an assertive garnish, such as a few drops of toasted sesame seed oil or extra-virgin olive oil that can be plain or flavored with lemon, garlic, herbs or chili pepper. Or, try sprinkling of balsamic vinegar, citrus juice, low-sodium soy sauce, or other seasonings such as garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger or anise.
You can also make a simple glaze by mixing together in a blender:
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1-tablespoon honey
- 1-teaspoon minced garlic
- 1-teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1-teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- One small seeded, chopped tomato
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Bring the mixture to a boil in a saucepan and cook until it is slightly syrupy, about three to four minutes. One tablespoon of the glaze contains 22 calories, less than 1 gram of total fat (0 saturated), 4 grams carbohydrate, no protein or fiber and 2 milligrams of sodium and is a free food exchange.
Use the vegetables within three to four days of purchase. Long storage makes assertive flavors stronger. Until then, store them unwashed in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator, loosely wrapped in perforated plastic bags.
Buck the trend and dig into those cruciferous vegetables!