“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.
- Broiled Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts (markbittman.com)