Broccoli Rabe or Brassica or Rapini are the regular names for this powerhouse of a vegetable. It's leafy and green and has a bitter, nutty taste.
Growing up, I remember my parents cooking this on the daily. It was a weekly grocery item in the cart. After washing and soaking it, they would boil it, sauté it, add it to sandwiches and omelettes and eat it without question. It was easier for me to turn my nose up to this after tasting its bitterness and never give it a moment of thought. I never understood my siblings and their love and excitement for this food.
Fast forward a few years, with some more wisdom and the study of nutrition. Most people are lacking nutrient and vitamin deficiencies. People often complain about iron issues, or energy issues or general unwell feelings. There comes a time when these deficiencies start to catch up to you and present in ways that affect your health and mood and daily life. Changing your mindset in regards to how food is fuel and can have the power to heal and energize and repair you matters. It matters a whole hell of a lot.
Did you know that this vegetable was around in the early 1500's and can be traced back to Ancient Romans. It was immigrated to the USA in the 1930's of course by none other than the "Italians". It is cultivated in Italy in specific provinces still to this day.
Why does Rapini Matter?
Rapini is full of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Folate, Fibre, Thiamin, Protein, Niacin, Magnesium, Copper and Zinc.
Wanna know what that means?
it means that it prevents heart disease and cancer, it helps the GI Tract in digestion, it breaks down fat, rebuilds muscle tissues and organs, it assists in the production of collagen, it helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spine, it helps with vision, it helps with brain function and it helps heal injuries and it keeps your bones strong.
That is a pretty powerful punch.
Yes, it is bitter, but there are ways to help with that.
We've included a recipe to make this an easy addition to your diet.
Rapini & Onion Omelette:
2 Whole Eggs
4 Egg Whites
35g Feta Cheese (or any cheese of choice)
4-5 Rapini Stalks
1/2 Red Onion Sliced
1 garlic clove diced
1 Big handful of Riced or Shredded Cauliflower
1/4 cup of red or Green Pepper diced
Seasoning to Taste (Sea salt, pepper - hot sauce)
Instructions: On a low setting, coat the bottom of a pan with Pam or Olive Oil, add sliced onions, shredded cauliflower rapini and diced pepper, let it sauté for a few minutes. While this is cooking, whisk the egg whites and eggs together and blend in the cheese. Pour over the pan and cook on low flipping when the bottom is formed/cooked. Once flipped, cook for 2-4 more minutes and enjoy.
If you are newly pregnant or want to become pregnant, this food needs to be in your diet.
Yes, you can supplement greens powder or capsules to help maintain your vitamin and nutrient levels, but eating fresh vegetables and making your own meals will promote a healthy body and allow you to use your teeth. Don't be fooled by supplements or think that supplements are the be all end all. Supplements are convenient and that has a time and a place.
Eating real food is good for your body, mind and wallet...