Yesterday, you'll recall I talked about those wonderful super healthy vegetables in the cabbage family called cruciferous vegetables. I think they should be added to the list of "superfoods" you hear so much about these days. Carciferous includes such well-known vegetables as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, Brussels sprouts and of course cabbage. They're loaded with powerful antioxidants and a long list of vitamins and minerals. Plus, as I told you yesterday, cruciferous vegetables have been shown to help fight conditions as serious as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. That's reason enough to load them on your plate as often as possible. But hey, I love the taste of all these vegetables, too. You can get them year round and many of them are at their peak this time of year. To help maximize their taste and nutrition, let me give you a few tips on buying and cooking those oh-so-good-for-you cruciferous vegetables.
Be careful not to overcook any of your cabbage family vegetables.
Be careful not to overcook any of your cabbage family vegetables. Overcooking them can produce a strong. sulfur-like odor, making them less appealing. And you know how picky those kids can be about eating their vegetables anyway.
You can buy several types of cruciferous vegetables ready-to-go in the frozen or fresh prepackaged produce section of your favorite grocery store. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower can all be bought totally fresh or in those convenient bags, already washed and cut for you. Call me old-fashioned but I still prefer to buy them completely fresh and to chop them up myself.
Planning a veggie plate for an upcoming party? Then stock up on dark green broccoli and snowy white cauliflower florets to really pretty up your presentation. Place a bowl of freshly made yogurt-dill dip in the middle of the plate and your guests will love it.
Add raw broccoli or cauliflower florets to your salads to give them an even bigger nutritional boost.
Add raw broccoli or cauliflower florets to your salads to give them an even bigger nutritional boost. Or you can add some chopped cruciferous veggies to your soups, stews or casseroles. Yummy!
By the way, when buying fresh broccoli, look for firm florets with a purple, dark green or bluish hue on the top. That indicates they probably contain more good-for-you beta-carotene and vitamin C than those with lighter green tops. And by the way, if the broccoli has yellow in it or is limp and bendable? That means it's old and you want to leave it there in the store.
Vegetables...I love 'em all! And now you know about a special group of vegetables that promise lots more nutrition for your body, even helping protect you against some very serious diseases. Hey, I'd say it's time for you to really get into the cruciferous habit. Enjoy!