I have something to tell you – there are weirdo’s out there who genuinely like to eat vegetables. I have something else to tell you – I’m one of them. All my life I have LOVED vegetables. Roast me up some gorgeous butternut pumpkin and I’m yours! Steam some corn on the cob and cover it with pepper and I’m yours! Dip some carrots and capsicum in hummus and I’m yours (seriously I need to stop saying “I’m yours” or my husband might worry about me being whisked away by a fellow vegetable lover!).
In recent years I have come to realise that I seriously and genuinely crave certain vegetables. I mean I really pine for them, I need them in my life or I will have a serious case of hangry for the rest of the day! And one of the vegetables that I crave more than anything else is broccoli.
It has become well known that craving certain foods can indicate a deficiency in various vitamins or nutrients in our bodies. This makes a lot of sense. When our bodies are lacking in nutrients, the brain receives a message telling us that we should eat the thing that contains those nutrients, thereby improving our levels and providing us with what we need. And what is broccoli famously known to provide us with? Folate.
For those who are wondering, no this is not a pregnancy announcement. However, if you have read my ‘About Me” page, then you might have come across the letters MTHFR. This sweet little abbreviation (which some may think is a swear word) actually stands for Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (try saying that five times real fast!). At it’s most basic, MTHFR is a genetic variant or mutation which causes the body to improperly process folate and B12.
It is estimated that between 40-60% of the population worldwide carries the MTHFR gene. Despite this, the scientific world is still coming to terms with MTHFR, and therefore diagnoses are few and far between. Many of us don’t know that we have it and won’t find out until we are struck down with something particularly bad. Unfortunately, MTHFR has very real effects on the body and is the underlying cause for many chronic illnesses. Science has currently linked it to over 60 conditions and the number is rising (see MTHFR.net for more information).
For a person who carries the MTHFR gene, it makes real sense that the body would crave foods which are high in folate and B vitamins. My body is telling me to go out and fill it with folate in a form that it can properly process – and that means in its most natural form, looking like a bright green flower or “little tree” (as we tell our two year old!).
But no-one really wants to go out and eat a plate of raw broccoli! Boring! So instead, I recently came up with my very own delicious Creamy Broccoli and Leek Soup. It fills the spot and gives my body just what it needs, particularly on a cold winters day in Canberra Australia!
Do you crave broccoli? Why not give this recipe a go! Let me know how you find it and share your pics! Happy eating!
Cream of Broccoli and Leek Soup with Bacon and Pumpkin Seed CrumblePrint This
- 1 tbs good quality olive oil or coconut oil
- 2 leeks, chopped
- 2 heads of broccoli chopped, stalks included
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 ltr chicken stock
- 1 can coconut milk
- For Bacon and Pepita Crumble
- (Per bowl)
- 1 tbs olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 1 rasher of bacon, diced
- 3 stalks of broccoli
- 1 tbs pepitas
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp pomegranate seeds
- 1 cube feta
For the Soup
- Place a large heavy based saucepan on the stove.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add leak and garlic and saute until tender.
- Add broccoli and stalks. Ensure stalks are well chopped as this will help it to cook through and become tender. Add stock.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce head to a simmer fro 45 minutes of until stalks can be easily pierced with a fork.
- Use a stick blender to puree. Ensure all pieces are pureed.
- Add can of coconut milk and stir through.
- Serve warm or cold, with or without crumble.
- Heat a saucepan on a low heat on the stove. Add olive oil.
- Place chopped bacon and broccoli and fry.
- While cooking, mix together pepitas and paprika in a bowl. Add to saucepan and mix. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from saucepan. Arrange on top of soup with fetta and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle additional good quality olive oil over soup.