These bone-friendly recipes are high in vitamin B and turn overlooked vegetables into plant-based dinner stars—from baked broccoli tempura with maple-mustard dipping sauce to Sicilian-style beet greens with raisins, capers, and pine nuts.
We all know that bone health is important throughout our lives. And that osteoporosis is increasingly a concern as we age. While bones need vitamins and minerals to form, including calcium, vitamin D, protein, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and fluoride, they also need a range of other vitamins to function correctly, including vitamin B.
But that doesn’t mean you have to increase your fondue intake or start searing beef liver to stay in tip-top shape (if those aren’t already part of your diet, of course).
Instead, you can find the vitamins your bones need by upping your plant intake with leafy vegetables including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and beets. These vegetables––and their greens––are heavy-hitters when it comes to bone health (along with joint health and less inflammation, too).
Unfortunately, these top-notch veggies also have a bad reputation as disappointing side dishes. How many times have you turned broccoli into overcooked mush? (If you’re like us, too many!) But some simple techniques can make all the difference.
Roasting helps the vegetables retain their snap, and blanching helps them retain their colour and nutrition. With brightly flavoured sauces, crunchy toasted seeds, and just a touch of natural sweetness, these five alive-worthy, plant-based dishes will turn B vegetables into A-level dinner stars.
Smoky Brussels sprouts and a crunchy topping are the trick to this comforting buckwheat noodle dish. If you don’t have a grill, you can stir-fry the sprouts in a high-heat skillet for 2 minutes to char them, then roast them in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, turning them halfway through. Heat lovers should make a double batch of the chili oil, since it’ll keep for a few months in the fridge—and you’ll likely want to put it on everything.
If you’ve ever wondered about the best way to get a heap more greens into yourself (or a hesitant friend, partner, or child, for that matter), consider this: stuffing them into patties reminiscent of savoury pancakes. The sweet-and-sour apple cider vinegar complements the warm, nutty softness of the patties. You’ll be amazed at how fast a bunch of beet greens will disappear.
Pears and chocolate make for a very natural friendship and play together beautifully in this plant-based, dairy-free cake. This cake is dense and rich, with a medley of spices, and enhanced by just a hint of espresso powder, which allows that chocolate flavour to shine through. In addition to slices of pears being laid on top, this cake employs some pear purée to add moisture and sweetness to the slightly nutty texture provided by the whole wheat flour. Pear primer A firm pear such as Bosc, recognizable by its distinctive dusty brown skin, is perfect for this dish. When eaten raw, Bosc pears are crisp and not too sweet. When baked, this variety softens up and its flavours are enhanced, but it maintains its characteristic long-necked, graceful shape. Unlike a Bartlett pear, which turns from green to bright yellow when ripe, Bosc pears don’t change much in colour when ripe. Give it a little nudge with your thumb near the neck of the pear and it will give slightly—that’s how you know you’ve got a ripe one. Compared to other pears, Bosc will still be quite firm.
Many flavours that complement pears—sage, ginger, maple syrup—also go well with butternut squash, so it makes sense to bring the two together. For this autumn salad, mixed greens are tossed with marinated squash ribbons that serve to dress the salad with spicy, gingery brightness. A juicy yet firm medium-sweet pear, such as red Anjou, works well here, and its vibrant red skin makes a pretty plate alongside butternut squash. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of crispy sage and maple syrup-toasted hazelnuts. Refrigerator tip Treat butternut squash ribbons as you would a dressing, keeping them in the refrigerator until ready to use. They will last a few days in the refrigerator, and you can have them on hand to dress small amounts of lettuce. If, rather than making one large salad, you want to serve individual amounts of this salad, just dress a few leaves with some ribbons; cut up pear and fry sage leaves as you serve.
Luscious figs loaded onto hearty flatbread make a satisfying breakfast or brunch. They’re sweet and delicious when paired with savoury cinnamon-flavoured crunchy pumpkin seeds and tart goat cheese. And, with a dough enriched with whole wheat flour, hempseeds, and nigella, these flatbreads are sure to be satisfying. They’re also chock full of fibre and protein, and with 6 mg of iron, you’ll be on your way to 31 percent of the recommended daily value. A freezer favourite By making dough in advance and freezing, you can make these individual flatbreads part of your routine for days when you don’t have much time. Simply portion dough individually right after mixing, allow it to rise in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours, and then freeze in individual containers. To thaw an individual ball of dough, 24 hours before you wish to use it, remove the container from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. At least an hour before baking, allow dough to come up to room temperature outside of the fridge.