A Hormone Balancing Recipe by Nutritionist Stephanie Kay
Registered Holistic Nutritionist
The brassica family is a group of cruciferous vegetables that includes broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Not only are brassica vegetables delicious, but they are nutrient powerhouses known to have a beneficial hormone regulating effects, making them an ideal choice for women!
Brassica vegetables are rich in in sulfur containing compounds called glucosinolates and indole-3-carbinol which support liver detoxification, and together they can have a balancing hormonal effect for many women. Brassica vegetables also get a lot of good press for their cancer-fighting powers, so adding more servings of these fibre rich vegetables is a great way to support detoxification and digestion.
It is important to note that for individuals who suffer from an underactive thyroid, it is important to lightly cook your cruciferous vegetables before eating. This family of vegetables contains goitrogens, which is a natural compound that inhibits the body’s ability to use iodine, an essential element required for the formation of thyroid hormones. So lightly cooking or steaming these vegetables will significantly reduce levels of goitrogrens.
For this particular recipe, I have opted to roast the vegetables to add a depth of texture and flavour to this salad. In addition to the inclusion of many brassica vegetables, I’ve included a sesame based dressing and pumpkin seeds to ensure the inclusion of many healthy fats which are also known to support hormonal balance.
Roasted Brassica Vegetable Salad with Tahini Dressing
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- ¼ head red cabbage, cut into strips
- 1 head kale, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, raw
- 2 tbsp. flax seeds
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1-2 tbsp. water to thin, as needed
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Add broccoli and cauliflower florets to a baking sheet and season with olive oil and sea salt.
Transfer baking to the oven and roast until slightly tender, crunchy and golden, about 15 minutes. You want the vegetables to be lightly cooked, but not soggy.
While the vegetables are cooking, make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients, whisk until smooth, and set aside. You can add water to thin as needed; some tahini is thicker than others so a splash of waster can help to create a thinner texture.
Once the vegetables are done roasting, allow them to cool slightly, about 5-10 minutes.
Assemble the kale, cabbage and cooled broccoli and cauliflower into a large bowl or onto a plate.
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