Like everything there are many conflicting stories about how to cook your vegetables.
- They should be eaten raw to get maximum nutrients
- They should be lightly steamed to get maximum nutrients
- Boiling is fine as long as it’s not for too long
- Greens should definitely be raw
- Greens should definitely be cooked.
I’ll tell you what I know and with your own research and judgement, you can decide.
What makes green vegetables green is the chlorophyll component. This is also the part that takes the energy from the sun, to pass onto us through food. This chlorophyll is very similar to our blood. So similar that there is only one molecule of difference, which is, we have iron in the centre and plants have magnesium. This is one of main reasons green vegetables are so important.
Dr Joel Fuhrman presented a lecture for the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and explained about the structure of the plant cell. Inside the cell wall is something called “myrosinase” and inside the actual cell is “glucosinolates”. When these two enzymes combine they have powerful anticancer properties, BUT they must be combined before heating, or the enzyme is denatured (doesn’t work!).
So how do they get combined? If you eat raw it is through chewing. The more you chew, the more they are mixed, the more powerful their effects. If you want to add your greens to soups and stews, the best option is to blend them first. Blending and breaking up of the cell wall releases these enzymes, allows them to combine, then you are free to cook them.
I came across this crepe recipe a while ago and thought it would be prefect with the Broccoli and Mango salad I had once on a 3 day raw food detox. (The detox was actually 21 days, I only lasted 3!) I was quite surprised how delicious raw broccoli and mango are together.
These crepes fit perfectly with the theory that blending your greens before eating is a great way to maximise their benefits. It’s also a good way to get more vegetables into the kids (this is called Vegie Smuggling, for more information see Vegie Smugglers website). Even more handy if your child’s favourite colour is green. I think I may try these with shredded beetroot too, for pink or red crepes.
These ratios should feed 2-3 people depending on how hungry you are!
For the crepes you will need:
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 1/3 cup of milk (almond, soy, dairy)
- 1 cup flour (I used spelt flour, but you can use wheat if you wish, or gluten free)
For the salad you will need
- 1 Mango
- 1 small head of broccoli
- 1 small avocado
- A few chopped dates (optional)
As I was cooking in a stainless steel frying pan, I began by filling pan with water and putting it on the stove on high. (More about this another day).
In a high speed blender (Nutribullet works well), blend up the spinach and milk
Transfer to a bowl or jug and mix through the flour
Pour the water from your frying pan and place on low heat. I used the smallest flame on the smallest
Coat the frying pan with your choice of oil: butter, ghee or coconut oil are my choices. I used butter. Because I love butter. Good quality, grass fed, organic butter
Pour in the mixture to cover half the bottom of the frying pan, then move the frying pan around to spread the crepe mixture so it is a thin crepe (not a fat pancake)
Repeat for the remainder of the mixture
Finely chop the broccoli, slice the mango into cubes and chop the avocado in any way you wish. If you are using dates, finely chop them. Mix everything together in a bowl
When your all crepes are done, add a small amount of the salad and roll like a pancake
Best eaten fresh while the crepes are warm