6 Cheap Cruciferous Vegetables for Health-Conscious Cooks
With all the cancer-fighting health benefits of cruciferous vegetables, many of us are searching for affordable ways to incorporate more of them into our diets. While certain veggies on the list might be difficult to locate due to location, or cost more than typical budget cooks would prefer, others remain completely accessible and affordable. Here are six cruciferous vegetables that offer food flexibility with cost-conscious prices. (See also: 50 Healthy Foods for Under $1 a Pound)
Dropping in price to less than 20 cents per pound in mid-March, and topping off at less than a buck per pound during the rest of the year, this is one of those cruciferous vegetables that takes the idea of thrift to the next level. It doesn’t have to be boring, either. Many cabbage recipes exist to suit a variety of flavor preferences, which is why this ingredient always makes the final cut for my survival mode produce list.
If you’ve grown up with this vegetable being boiled to mush, then you might not think many tasty cauliflower recipes exist. You’d be wrong. Cauliflower has more menu flexibility than most of the other cruciferous vegetables, offering everything from tasty roasted goodness as a side dish or mashed potato replacement to a carb-cutting bread crumb substitute to frugal appetizer fodder for parties.
At roughly $2 per bunch, kale is hailed by many as the ultimate sautéed sandwich extra, pasta accent, and soup ingredient. Admittedly, even with all of the hoopla surrounding this cruciferous powerhouse, I’ve had a hard time bonding with the flavor of kale. That being said, I’ve finally found some middle ground with roasted kale, although it has taken me a while to get used to its texture as a side dish.
While the ever-fluctuating fresh price can put this one toward the top of the cost scale for cruciferous vegetables, frozen broccoli recipes are extremely affordable and offer directly comparable nutritional value. Easily stored in your freezer, broccoli provides serious meal-planning flexibility for those searching for healthy, cheap food to feed their families.
These can be grown as a perennial even in colder climates, making them a terrific source of free food from your yard. Used in everything from dinner sides and soup to stuffed rolls and Ethiopian appetizers, collard greens are popular in a number of countries. While it can take a bit of work to prepare them, they are one of the top-ranking cruciferous vegetables as far as nutrient density is concerned, and they are dirt cheap to boot.
You have to shop around to get the best prices, but Brussels sprouts make a great roasted side dish and can even be lightly steam-fried and sauced with a simple ginger, garlic, and orange juice sauce if you’re looking for something a bit more elegant. They bring superior nutrition to the dinner table and are relatively simple to prepare. In my opinion, buying fresh is key to actually enjoying Brussels sprouts. There just isn’t any comparison. Trying to stick with frozen is one of the reasons it took me so many years to personally begin appreciating them.
You don’t have to break the bank in order to put healthy meals on the table. And if cruciferous vegetables are part of your health-maintenance plan, these six should help you stay on budget.