Launching the defend the crucifers campaign: take the challenge

“Pork, the other white meat” was followed by “the Incredible Edible Egg”—food with expensive PR campaigns.  I’d like to see the same kind of shift in public perception aimed at crucifers.  “Broccoli, your skin will thank you for it,” or “Give your liver a break, enjoy your cauliflower.”  You get the idea.  It’s funny how our childhood tastes sometimes carry over into adulthood and we hesitate to reassess them over time.  Taste buds do change, and with a little patience we might make new friends with old veggie foes. I don’t think I balked at all vegetables as a child, but I do recall how much I detested those in the cruciferous family…all of them.  Just the smell of broccoli or cauliflower was too much.  Brussels sprouts?  I only remember boiled and tasteless, and I schemed for any possible way to avoid eating them, including stuffing my pockets with what couldn’t be hidden under other food and later flushing away the evidence. The point is that although I now say I haven’t met a vegetable I don’t like, that was certainly not always true.  

 As a kid, being told that something is good for you doesn’t mean a thing.  But as we get older, we know the stakes for not eating well have higher consequences.  Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and in particular the much maligned and under appreciated Brussels sprout are all attributed with cancer protective properties which ought to make them a must-have. Since I actually crave Brussels sprouts, I presume I must need the particular micronutrients found in these little gems.  I eat them so frequently that even my granddaughter, Sophia, regularly locates them in Trader Joe’s and suggests her mom purchase them for me.

 If the last time you tried some of these little green alien looking orbs was as a child, may I suggest you try again? And don’t even think about boiling or steaming them.  Cut them in half, toss with olive oil and maybe some garlic and shallots, then roast them for about 30 minutes. The amazing flavor will surprise you, and you may not even care that these antioxidant rich crucifers may also improve the odds against certain cancers and provide support in keeping skin cells younger. Be bold! Surprise your taste buds!

Want to know more?   Cancer Project / a Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) site.


3 thoughts on “Launching the defend the crucifers campaign: take the challenge

  1. Beth

    Love the veggies!! Let’s see who has more recipes. Chef AJ will be at Whole Foods in Pasadena on June 28th! She has a lot of good ideas for being more Veggie- tarian! 🙂

  2. Hello! So glad for this Brussels sprouts recipe for baking them. I have always liked all the crucifers as I was raised on a farm and mom had a large, large veggie garden. We were expected to at least try a modicum of everything she served for every meal. About the only thing I didn’t like was cream sauce and cottage cheese. I’ve been a vegetarian for 30 years and so I gobble vegetables for every meal but breakfast–I’m still into porridge! Thanks again for that recipe.


    1. I am so proud of my very small, almost pocket vegetable garden! I fantasize about having a large one like you describe from your childhood. Truthfully, I have trouble even maintaining my very modest patch, but I fantasize about such things. You have “promised” to write about a lot of your life, so I look forward to possibly hearing a bit more about how you incorporated vegetarianism. I’ve been eating a vegetarian diet for about 10 months…so I’m a novice, but a committed and interested one! I like my morning oatmeal, too!! Thank you for sharing, Dee

I always enjoy hearing from you!

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