Broccoli walnut salad

Broccoli walnut salad is rich in vitamin C, omega 3, lutein and heaps more.

Food scientists have discovered that the active ingredient that gives it its anti cancer properties is called glucoraphanin.




Seeing there's an absolute cancer epidemic sweeping the world it behooves everyone of us to make sure that these greens are on the menu at least once a week.

Men will be particularly pleased to hear that the aggressive prostate cancer that is the leading CA killer of men, not to mention that it leaves them impotent, is far less common in men who enjoy the queen of the table regularly.

But perhaps you're not so crazy about broccoli. And your kids absolutely refuse to eat it. Well, here's a way to butter it up.

First the chickpeas, which are really only an optional extra, and require some aforethought; use a can if you are in a hurry.

  1. Soak the chickpeas over night, preferably longer, 15 hours; they're also known as garbanzo beans.
  2. Pour off the water and rinse them several times.
  3. Cover with boiling water and simmer gently for an hour and a half. Taste one; are they cooked? Better still, pressure cook them for 20 minutes.
  4. Use half the chickpeas for a delicious hummus; the other half goes on your broccoli walnut salad.


Broccoli walnut salad

Broccoli walnut salad enables you to whip up an anti cancer lunch in ten minutes; better diabetes control too.

  • One broccoli head, cut into florets. Slice the stalks finely.
  • 50-100g Feta cheese depending on how rich you like it.
  • 60ml plain yoghurt
  • A cup of cooking chickpeas.
  • One sweet red bell pepper or a little red chilli.
  • One yellow paprika.
  • Half a dozen fresh lettuce leaves
  • Half a cup of diced butter mushrooms
  • One clove of garlic.
  • A good slosh of olive oil, shaken up with lemon juice
  • One thick slice of lemon.
  • Half a cup of walnuts or pecan nuts.
  • Optional, 3 TBSP of raisins.


START THE STOP WATCH. 15 min max



  1. Boil 100ml water in the kettle.
  2. Quickly wash the broccoli; cut it into florets and thinly slice the stems. Chuck the thicker bits into a small pot with a little hot water. After 3 minutes add the rest, and boil hard for about another five.
  3. Meanwhile, add the yoghurt, feta, whole lemon slice minus the rind and pips, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper to a small bowl. Blend the mixture until it's smooth. A chunk of jalapeno if you like it hot.
  4. Cut the paprikas and mushrooms into thin slices.
  5. Poor the water off the broccoli and allow it to cool a little.
  6. Arrange the chickpeas, broccoli, mushrooms and peppers in a bowl and smother with the yoghurt and feta mix.
  7. Make a bed of fresh lettuce leaves and cover with the broccoli mix.
  8. Sprinkle with the walnuts or pecans to complete your salad; that's all there is to it.






With a side dish of low GI or sourdough brown bread and butter and perhaps a baked potato, this will happily feed a family of four. Having got your family used to lightly blanched broccoli, try the same recipe with the raw veggie as a salad for Sunday lunch; slice it more thinly. 

Soak a couple tablespoons of sultanas for ten minutes, and sprinkle them over the dish, and voila, you have a just made a broccoli raisin salad recipe. Can you honestly think of anything easier than this? After some aforethought for the chickpeas, it's true; I pressure cook them and keep packets in the freezer.

This is really astonishing to my mind. Drug companies have convinced some crazy people to take broccoli supplements rather than eat broccoli. But research at Oregon State have found that the body absorbs five times as much sulphoraphane from broccoli compared to the pills.

Don't be daft. Eat broccoli, oranges and fatty fish rather than the pills that the companies are conning us into buying. Not that there isn't a place for supplements, but for heaven's sake, only over and above a healthy diet.

Is it any wonder that health is slipping in the western world when we think we can forego a decent meal by taking food extracts.

The FDA has recognised the claim that fresh walnut consumption reduces cardiovascular disease.





If you have an eye for research over opinion then you'll find interesting stuff in the journal of nutrition; this is an extract from work done and published in 2006.

A mixture of walnuts and oil have been shown to reduce blood pressure, but researchers wanted to know if the vital factor was in the fatty acids, or some other substance, in particular the high alpha and gamma vitamin E in the nuts.

Walnuts are rich in both omega 3 and 6 and fatty acids, and vitamin E.

Researchers fed hamsters a very high atherosclerotic diet from their fast food restaurant. Their LDL cholesterol was 6 times normal as a result; and then divided them into various groups which were fed different amounts of:

  1. Whole nuts
  2. Walnut oil
  3. Vitamin E, the alpha form.
  4. The other form called gamma tocopherol.

They then followed two markers of blood vessel plaque.

Results:

  • the CE plaque marker declined with increasing amounts of alpha vitamin E in their diet.
  • the CE concentrations also responded positively to whole walnuts but the response was surprisingly not by increasing the amount of walnut.
  • the ET concentration was not affected by either increasing the alpha or gamma vitamin E in the diet.
  • the ET plaque marker showed the best response to whole walnuts. To quote: "There was a dramatic decline in the ET marker in the aortic intima with increasing the whole walnuts in the diet"; which is markedly different from the absence of any effect seen in diets formulated using increasing different tocopherols (pure a- or g-).

Those two markers of the plaque that lines and inflames blood vessels are called ET-1 and CE.

    Conclusions:

    The researchers concluded

  • that the chief effect on the inflammatory markers was in the "walnut fatty acid component" but was unlikely due to the two vitamin E fractions.
  • These were disappointing findings in the expected affect of vitamin E as an anti-oxidant.
  • They emphasised the importance of whole foods rather than taking supplements.
  • BP's opinion: Probably the omega-3 oils.

    EAT WHOLE WALNUTS. Crack them yourself.

  • Walnuts blood pressure ...

Pecan nuts are not as rich as walnuts in omega-3 oil, but are often more readily available, and easier to crack, and just as tasty. They too have large amounts of vitamin E ... incidently, never take the alpha form of vitamin E on its own. It actually increases the rate of prostate, and presumably other cancers when consumed in isolation; in nature there are eight different mixed tocopherols; we isolate them at our peril.


Diabetes

Diabetes sufferers have no idea that 50% of them are walking the streets undiagnosed; it's a time bomb disease. Tree nuts are part of the solution. This broccoli walnut salad is one perfect way for diabetics to enjoy better health; all of us for that matter.

Researchers, using a meta analysis that combined twelve different clinical trials, found that eating a handful of tree nuts like pecans and walnuts, but excluding peanuts, gave significantly better blood sugar control in type 2 diabetics; it was most likely due to their low carbohydrate content, and high in healthy fats, reducing the overall glycemic index of the meal.

Tree nuts go rancid very quickly so either crack them yourself or buy them vacuum packed.



Pecans instead


HOW TO GROW BROCCOLI


Broccoli is the queen of anti-cancer and anti-arthritis vegetables. Why not try growing it this summer? The little florets are where the most powerful anti-carcinogens are found, and they go on and on producing for months. Perfect for your Broccoli Walnut salad and broccoli soup too. Just a thought from Bernard Preston!

Benefits of Folate

Broccoli is particularly high in vitamin B9 (folate), an essential vitamin. Deficiencies cause many serious diseases including the inability of children to achieve well in school. Benefits of Folate B9 ...


Growing lettuce

It takes me, literally, only fifteen minutes to sow a row of  seeds. The butterhead lettuce just goes on and on and on bearing. Try it; it's perfect on your broccoli walnut salad. Iceberg alas has very little of the lutein that prevents macular degeneration; it's in the dark green leafy vegetables where most of the goodies are to be found. 

Lutein macular degeneration

Lutein macular degeneration is a subject that should concern us all. I've just been at a congress and was greatly concerned when meeting a colleague, a friend of old; he had put on a lot of weight. Sheepishly he admitted that he'd had to give up golf because he could no longer see where the ball landed; it may now too late now to prevent, but our broccoli walnut salad would help prevent further deterioration.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids found in high concentration in your broccoli walnut salad, and in kale, that when deficient cause age-related lutein macular degeneration.


Hummus

Those extra unused chickpeas for the broccoli walnut salad can either be frozen and used later but why not experiment with a new dish; you can make your own hummus without all the chemicals in less than ten minutes. I make it at least twice a week. You will need a source of sesame seeds or tahini.


Bernard Preston

Bernard Preston is a semi-retired chiropractor; he is busy with his seventh book. Enjoy Stones in my Clog on your Kindle or tablet. Ebooks are cheaper and you can download it in less than one minute. He is fascinated with slow food, made fast; broccoli walnut salad is just one one of his many recipes.


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