This is a true breakfast of champions! It’s perfect if you are trying to up your nutritional game and/or give up dairy or lower your dairy intake but still would like to eat a yogurt-like breakfast. Plus, it’s one of the best ways to eat broccoli for its cancer-fighting properties - this is how you get the absolute most out of it.
Broccoli is a powerhouse of nutrition but it doesn’t retain the nutrients we are after if we just boil it or even steam it. It is at its best when we eat it raw. And not just because of the heat treatment due to which most vegetables (carrots being a notable exception) lose a hefty amount of nutrients but because broccoli requires a very special approach. In order to maximize its value to us; namely to get as much sulforaphane as possible, a compound known for its blood sugar control and cancer-fighting properties, we need to cut it into tiny bits first. The process of cutting the broccoli activates the natural defences the vegetable evolved to protect itself from herbivores. The enzyme called myrosinase then produces the sulforaphane that we are after. It takes from 30 to 90 minutes for the compound to be produced and this is exactly when we want to consume our broccoli.
In short, cut your broccoli into tiny pieces, wait 30 minutes (or longer, if you can) and then eat it raw. That’s the ideal case scenario for the vegetable if we want all it offers us. For this recipe here we blend it with apple and banana instead and then thicken the smoothie turning it into a yogurt-like substance. You can then eat it with a spoon. It makes for an epic breakfast!
The important thing to remember is that we should either wait to eat it or take our time digging into it. We want the broccoli to produce as much sulforaphane as possible from the moment it is blended. So you should wait at least 30 minutes before you start eating or eat it very slowly at the very least. If you choose to go without a thickener, same rules apply - but sip it instead of gulping it all down to prevent an insulin spike.
- Add a tablespoon of pea protein to your smoothie to boost its protein content. It'll taste great, too!
- To make one portion use half the ingredients. Keep the ratio of 1-1 broccoli vs apple & banana when scaling the recipe.
- Golden Delicious apples work best but Red Delicious will be ok too.
- When slicing the apples cut out the tips and tails but keep the core and seeds - there are valuable nutrients there.
- Flax seeds and psyllium act as thickeners and significantly up the fiber content. Flax seeds, psyllium and/or chia seeds will all work. In total you need 3 tablespoons of either (mix or alone) to thicken the smoothie.
- You can skip adding a thickener if you want to make a smoothie instead of a “yogurt”.
- If you don’t want flax seeds sticking to the sides of your jug, add them after blending the main ingredients and run the blender again.
- If you like your smoothie sweeter you can drop in a date or two or double the bananas or apples.
3 large broccoli florets
1 small banana
1 tablespoon flax seeds
2 tablespoons psyllium husks
2 cups water
205 Calories per portion
1Place all the ingredients in a jug. You can experiment with the thickness by adding more or less psyllium husks. Add a tablespoon of pea protein and/or some dried berries to boost nutritional content. Blend everything until smooth.
2It’ll thicken in a minute or so. It can be served in a glass or a bowl and you can eat it with a spoon.