Heart warming goodness of BrassicaesOkonomiyaki is a traditional Japanese pancake typical to western Japan, including Nara, where I lived for a year (many years ago) and loosely translates to “how you like it cooked.” It is generally cooked on a teppan or BBQ grill and is a very versatile dish. It can be vegetarian but does feature bonito flakes and is often topped with prawns or shaved pork.
It's a fabulous mid week meal or can be dressed up for entertaining.
Nutritionally, it's a powerful dish, with lots of nutrient dense cabbage. Cabbage is a member of the cruciferous brassicae family. It is a group of uber nutrient rich vegetables that packs way above its weight in powerful phytonutrients.
Cruciferous vegetables contain several nutrients that have a whole host of beneficial effects in the body, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, neuroprotective, hypoglycemic, and lipid-lowering effects. And this translates into some pretty remarkable results, especially in terms of cancer and heart disease prevention.
Cabbage is high in fibre, rich in vitamins C, E and K and folate and selenium. It also contains important compounds called glucosinolates (GSLs).
GSLs produce active chemo-protective metabolites that actually rid the body of toxins before they can cause damage to cells. GSL metabolites are also involved in DNA and RNA signalling, helping to prevent detrimental cellular coding that might lead to cancer. GSL metabolites prevent tumors from growing. They are chemo-preventative and chemo-protective.
But wait there's more....Cruciferous vegetables bind with bile acids to excrete them and the fats they carry from the body. To replace the lost bile acids, the body must use cholesterol stores, which helps lower cholesterol levels.
The cruciferous family includes cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, broccoflower, brussel sprouts, choy sum, bok choy, Gai Lan, Tatsoi, kale, watercress, mizuna, rocket, radish, turnips, swede, horseradish and mustard seeds.
So how much do you need to eat to reap the benefits?
5 serves per week show benefits in the research. One serve is half a cup of vegetables or 1 cup of loose leaf greens. If you suffer from thyroid disease, it is best to cook your brassicaes as they contain goitrogens. If you are on warfarin, consult your health practitioner before over-indulging.
Okonomiyaki is one of the dishes featuring in our Vegetarian class coming up in June. I've also attached the recipe link here.
Mums gifted with a cooking class this week will receive a special Mother's day edition Jar of Rosewater and Pomegranate Muesli.
For Details and Bookings for the Seafood Class click here and for details and bookings for the Vegetarian Class click here.