Posted on 10/24/2016 at 12:00 AM by Embria Health Sciences
How many of you were told to eat your broccoli as a child? When my teenage daughter was in kindergarten, she did a Mother’s day project where they answered questions about some of their favorite things to do with mom. One of the questions was, “What is your favorite food to eat with mom?” Most of the kids replied with things like pizza, hamburgers, or ice cream. Not my little girl…she said “Broccoli”. Now I am pretty sure she said that to make me happy, although she did always eat her broccoli. We all know broccoli has many health benefits but it isn’t always easy to get our kids to eat the green little trees. That was how my mom got my brother and I to eat it. We pretended we were giants eating trees. Whatever works…go for it!
The health benefits are well worth playing games with your children to eat it. It contains many nutrients beneficial for overall health like chromium that helps to maintain blood sugars, antioxidants that help guard against free radical damage to cells, and minerals that can aid in preventing osteoporosis. Broccoli is also very high in fiber to help optimize colon health. It contains about 1 gram of fiber for every 10 calories. Along with regulating the colon, the fiber in broccoli also has another very important function, it is a prebiotic. Prebiotics are a class of nutrients that feed the healthy bacteria in our gut flora. We all know it is important to eat foods with probiotics (yogurt, kefir, and fermented foods) but if we don’t include foods and supplements that help your healthy bacteria flourish then we can still get out of balance.
Studies show that broccoli is beneficial for healthy gut flora.(1) The fiber in broccoli isn’t completely digested in our small intestines. The undigested oligosaccharides get fermented in our gut and feed our healthy bacteria.(2) Eating a diet rich in high fiber plant based foods and taking nutritional non-fiber prebiotic-like supplements such as EpiCor has been shown to keep our healthy gut flora in balance.
So how do you get your children to eat more broccoli and develop this lifelong habit? That has been the eternal struggle.
Here are a few suggestions that you might want to try:
Try chopping the broccoli very fine and add it to scrambled eggs or soups. This helps to mix the flavors of other foods with the broccoli to make it more appealing to kids.
Try this yummy recipe…who doesn’t like fried rice?
Found on: Know Your Produce
Serves: 2½ cups
- ½ small yellow onion, chopped
- ½ cup peppers, chopped (any color is fine, we use all colors!)
- ½ cup broccoli, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
- 1½ cups quinoa rice
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- In a pan sauté a onion with a little olive oil until slightly browned, add in the remaining vegetables and cook them until al dente ( a little firm, not mushy).
- Add in the quinoa rice to warm it up and sprinkle in the salt.
- Create a well in the center of the pan and add in your egg, stirring quickly to cook and get a good scramble.
- Mix the eggs with the rest of the ingredients to combine and serve.
This is another great recipe that is a big hit in my house:
Found On: Simply Nourished Living
Skinny, healthy and delicious savory broccoli cheese muffins are a fun way to increase your intake of vegetables. They're yummy served alongside your favorite soup or salad. Use whatever cheese you prefer or a combination. Parmesan, Cheddar, Swiss, Feta, and Goat are all delicious.
- 1 cup finely chopped broccoli, lightly cooked, drained and cooled to room temperature
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup quick cooking oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup chopped scallions (green onions)
- ½ cup coarsely grated reduced-fat cheese
- Position an oven rack in the center of your oven and preheat your oven to 400 F degrees.
- Line a 6-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder and salt until well combined.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, olive oil, sugar, and mustard until well blended. Stir in the broccoli, scallions and ¼ cup of the cheese.
- Add the egg broccoli mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. (The batter will be very thick)
- Divide the batter equally among the 6 prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle tops with the remaining ¼ cup cheese.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 18-22 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the muffins from the pan directly to the wire rack.
- Serve warm or let cool completely.