Cauliflower

You may have noticed packets of finely grated cauliflower lining the shelves of your local supermarket, or maybe you’ve seen a feature on your Facebook feed about this latest craze. Why is this trend taking off, and what are the benefits of eating cauliflower rice?

Grated cauliflower makes a healthy alternative to normal white or brown rice. Normal rice has a high carbohydrate content, whether white or brown, and white rice is full of starch. While eaten in moderation, natural carbohydrates such as rice aren’t too harmful, but they can lead to weight gain if eaten in large quantities as carbohydrates produce fast-burning energy, and can leave you feeling hungry not too long after eating. If you don’t exercise, eating a diet full of carbohydrates can become unhealthy.

Cauliflower rice is a carbohydrate-free alternative to rice, and therefore makes a filling side dish for a multitude of recipes, from curries and biryanis to chillies, goulash, stroganoff and chicken. As we here at Love Your Greens know, cauliflower has a great savoury taste that can add depth to any dish whilst nourishing us with an array of vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and cancer-preventing antioxidants.

The trend for cauliflower rice comes from the currently popular Paleo diet, also referred to as the ‘caveman diet’. The premise is simple – eat only foods that are as biochemically similar to those eaten by our ‘cavemen’ ancestors. This means the diet is high in proteins from vegetables and meats, fats, fruits, unrefined carbohydrates (such as unprocessed fruits and vegetables) and no refined carbohydrates, such as processed wheat and corn, flour or sugar (bread, pasta, white rice).

Eating cauliflower rice doesn’t have to mean declaring allegiance to the latest fad diet, however. Replacing rice with cauliflower rice all the time or just occasionally will lower your intake of processed and starchy carbohydrates, which is great for anyone who doesn’t have time to constantly raid the gym.

All you have to do to make your own cauliflower rice is grate some florets with a cheese-grater or a food processor, and then add the cauliflower to a frying pan over a medium-high heat with some olive oil, or, for carb-free diets, coconut oil, fry until the cauliflower begins to turn golden brown, add a splash of double cream (optional, but great for those following a carb-free diet), and serve with cracked black pepper and sea salt. Another benefit of cauliflower rice is the ease of cooking – no draining is required, it’s quick, and the frying process means that the cauliflower will retain its texture.

Why not switch to cauliflower rice today for a healthier, tastier and more nutritious alternative to processed carbohydrates?

Sprouts

Green vegetables are absolutely packed full of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, as we all know, but which vitamins and minerals? And how exactly do they keep us healthy? Love Your Greens are here to give you a helping hand and explain the specific benefits of eating brassica veggies.

Green vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage, kale and sprouts in particular, contain phytochemicals. These are a type of chemical that are only found in plants. Just a few of the phytochemicals found in green vegetables include lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are powerful antioxidants which reduce high-blood pressure and help to prevent heart disease, and are also found in our eyes, in the retina. Therefore, eating green veggies improves your eyesight by helping your retinas retain phytochemicals. This also helps prevent us developing cataracts in old age. So Mum was right after all when she told us eating vegetables helped us to see in the dark!

Beta-carotene is also a powerful antioxidant, but along with having the same benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin, beta-carotene also helps to boost your immune system and helps to fight off colds by converting into vitamin A when digested.

Green veggies also have many cancer-preventing properties. Some studies have concluded that lutein and zeaxanthin may actually help to prevent us developing breast and lung cancers. While those particular studies didn’t yield any solid results, scientists do know that indoles definitely do help to prevent us from developing breast, prostate and bowel cancers. Vegetables rich in indoles include sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli – basically all the brassica veggies except swede.

Quercetin is also found in brassicas. Like lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, it is a powerful antioxidant which prevents heart disease and some types of cancer, but it is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. It blocks allergic reactions from occurring and stops certain cells from secreting fluid, which also means it’s great for skin and helps to prevent acne. Broccoli is particularly rich in quercetin, so next time you have trouble getting a teenager to eat their broccoli, remind them that it can help to fight spots!

Broccoli

Brassica veggies are rich in vitamins, including vitamin K which helps the production of osteocalcin, a substance which protects and maintains healthy bones, and vitamins A and C, which help to boost the immune system. The minerals magnesium and calcium are also found in abundance in greens. Calcium helps to strengthen bones, while magnesium helps to prevent us from developing type 2 diabetes.

Green veggies are truly a natural miracle, and are tools for preventing and curing a whole host of different diseases, infections and conditions. If this isn’t a solid reason to eat more and grow more greens, we don’t know what is.

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Yes, we now have our very own book, ingeniously entitled ‘Love Your Greens’. Clever,
right?

The book features contributions from award-winning chefs, including Jamie Oliver’s protégé Aaron Craze, so that you can discover thrilling new methods to enjoy classic brassica vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, swede, sprouts and cabbage). It also features fun facts, storage advice and a whole host of cooking suggestions and recipes so that you can make the most out of your greens.

The best part? It’s completely free! Our mission in life is to get Britain eating more greens, and what better way to do that than put all of our greatest ideas and recipes in one place, so that you can download it for free with one simple click of a button?

Cauliflower Creme Brulee copy

It’s always tempting to reach for the takeaway menu on a Friday or Saturday evening after a hard week at work. Now, you don’t even have to bother googling a takeaway number, simply reach for your phone to access quick, easy and healthy recipes. The thought of tucking into a comforting but calorific dessert on the sofa is also inviting, but we have a solution for that, too. Our new book contains innovative recipes which replaces high-gluten and high-carb binding ingredients, such as flour, with brassica vegetables (we told you we were clever). Eating healthy has never been so easy!

The book is available for download on Android devices here, and it will soon be available for Apple devices too.

Happy eating!

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That’s right, we’ve launched our very own TV channel, where you can stream the latest videos on how best to love your greens.

Here at Love your Greens, we’re passionate about our green veggies. Not only are they packed full of goodness, they’re incredibly versatile, have bags of flavour and are really rewarding to grow and cultivate yourself. Love Your Greens TV is a new and more interactive way of keeping up to date with all things green.

On Love Your Greens TV, there will be videos from celebrity chefs showing us how to cook our greens to utilise their wonderful flavours, textures, colours and health properties. So, if you ever need any inspiration in the kitchen when cooking healthy, look no further than Love Your Greens TV! You can stream away on your laptop, tablet or smartphone, so there’s no need to worry about being near a TV set when you cook.

Broccoli

Along with green culinary expertise, there will also be tutorials on how best to grow and cultivate your broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, cabbage, swede, and a host of other greens. If you’re having a hard time in the garden, have a quick look on LYG TV to see if we can lend a helping hand. Our own fantastic growers may even make appearances from time to time! You can stream our videos straight from the vegetable patch without having to go in and out of the house.

Be sure to head over to the TV page on our site and check it out. We update it regularly, so be sure to visit us as often as you can.

And remember, Love Your Greens!

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With everyday life busier than ever, the daily battle of what to have for dinner can often lead to a ready meal being thrown in the microwave or a takeaway menu being passed around the family. Whilst this might be nice every now and then, it can quickly start playing havoc with both bank balances and personal health. Luckily there’s an easy way to avoid this…meal prep!

Don’t worry, you’re not condemning yourself to plain chicken and rice 5-days a week! Meal prep can be as basic or as thorough as you wish, the basic principle is deciding what you’re going to eat and getting it as ready as possible to cut both cooking and thinking time.

Once you’ve made a list of all the meals you’re going to make, and the ingredients you need for them, you can get started! All veg can easily be chopped up and then portioned out into tupperware containers, ready for cooking.