So picked up two things about broccoli whilst staying in Sweden. Firstly an Italian recipe and secondly some interesting facts about a new super version of the old broccoli. Broccoli is one of those things that some people don’t like. I love broccoli! Perhaps more for the fact that I know how extremely good it is for my body to consume than for the flavour. I’m not sure. I munch through broccoli raw. ( but apparently if you want to lower your cholesterol levels steamed is better) Broccoli has long been known as a super food with possible cancer fighting abilities. It has a unique way of detoxing the body and getting rid of all that Ben & Jerry and booze and other toxic stuff that one ( me ) has stuffed their bodies with.. It has a combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components. The key ingredient seems to be sulforaphane. I ain’t gonna tell you what that means because I will just confuse ya so check it out for yourselves. But it has been shown to boost the body’s own anti-cancer weapons for example in breast cancer. In order to get the full health benefits one should eat 1 cup 2-3 times a week.
Anyways that’s just some stuff about the regular broccoli. The new super broccoli is called Beneforte and has been developed by some British scientists by crossing commercial broccoli and a wild broccoli found in Italy. It contains 2-3 times the amount of glucoraphanin ( which turns into sulforaphane ones eaten) And hey presto, no longer will you have to stuff your face with broccoli to get the full benefits) I still will eat as much I broccoli as possible! There’s an article on the BBC website today saying it might even slow down and possibly prevent osteoarthritis.
Apparently steaming the broccoli for a few minutes is the best way of preserving the health benefits. Boiling it (especially too long) and microwaving it kills the health benefits. I eat a lot of broccoli but I think I’m going to up my intake after having reminded myself just how healthy it is.
This fantastic broccoli pasta recipe was given to me by brother in law who got it from an Italian friend. A very simple way of getting more broccoli into you.
Pasta (Conchiglie, shell pasta)
2 garlic cloves
Extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of chilli pepper
Broccoli lots and lots of it (approximately half a head of broccoli per person)
Black olives (a handful per person)
Pinch of salt
Cook the pasta and steam the broccoli for 4-5 minutes. Put 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and add the chopped garlic and a pinch of chilli pepper and a pinch of salt. Add the broccoli just before the pasta has been cooked. Use a potato masher to mash up the broccoli a bit so it mixes in better. Use a rolling pin to soften and break up the olives and add to the broccoli mix. Take 3 tablespoons of the pasta water (once the pasta is cooked) and add to the broccoli mix. Add some parmesan and heat up for a couple of minutes carefully stirring.
So on holiday in Sweden for 2 weeks! The country of wheat, cream, fika (coffee with cake) and the best pick n mix in the world. Oh and fruit and vegetables are priced as if they come from the food hall in Harrods. It’s going to be a challenge to stay with this healthy lark…..
And yes got tricked as soon as I stepped off the plane. After only 3 hours sleep, I was in a desperate need of coffee and of course the first sign I saw was buy a coffee get your cinnamon roll for free ( well almost for free ) Of course if I had had some control after having eaten that cinnamon roll it would have been alright. But no, 3 days into my holiday I felt truly sick after stuffing my face with a mix of bread, candy, ice-cream and cookies. Oh well it’s not what you do a couple of days a year I say, it’s what you do on a daily basis.
One absolutely amazing thing about staying in a cabin in north of Sweden this time of the year is when you go for a walk in the forest you incidentally have munched through a punnet of raspberries….and one of blueberries. Whereas my son the little bear probably got through 4 punnets of blueberries during one walk. ( brown bears eat about 50 kg of blueberries a day! )
Raspberries are apart from super yummy filled with good for you stuff. Vitamins C, A, E and K and some of the vitamin B’s, as well as some minerals. It also has a lot of anti-oxidant compounds that have potential health benefits against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neuro-degenerative diseases. I ate lots and lots of these berries in Sweden but as can be seen on the photo sometimes with ice-cream and cream : (…..Oh well holiday….