Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Cabbage for cancer

In the world of nutrition there are often 'hot topics' of the moment that get alot of coverage and are then forgotten. I was reminded today of the anti-cancer properties of cruciferous vegetables (vegetables with leaves in a cross formation), such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, something that was a hot topic a couple of years ago and now rarely talked about.

However it's worth remembering as there is a vast body of evidence that the particular phytonutrients in cruciferous vegetables are able to kill cancer cells without damaging healthy cells, so regular consumption of these vegetables can reduce your risk of developing cancer.

Ideally you should eat at least one portion of cruciferous vegetables daily. Which is great news if you like eating these veg but if, like me, you're not so keen then it can be easy to go absent mindedly go without eating them for several days/weeks at a time!!

As you know I never endorse eating food you don't like the taste of so the key for me to eat these veg is to find recipes I enjoy them in. One clever trick is to hide them in juices - both cabbage and broccoli juices can be easily disguised in a base of carrot, apple and ginger. Adding them to other dishes such as adding finely chopped steamed broccoli to pasta dishes can also make them more palatable.

However despite not being a cauliflower fan I actually like the recipe below for cauliflower steaks from The Kind Diet
by Alicia Silverstone (yes of 'Clueless' fame). Delia also has a similar one for cauliflower and broccoli that looks good but I've yet to try:

Cauliflower steaks:

Serves 4
1 medium - large head of cauliflower
1 large fennel bulb, stalks and fronds removed (optional if you don't like fennel - I love it)
2 tbsp Olive oil
fine sea salt, freshly group pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Slice the cauliflower as you would cut a loaf of bread, making 1/2"-3/4" thick slices, slice the fennel. Arrange the pieces on a baking sheet and brush with oil, season with salt and pepper.
Roast steak till golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Flip the slices, drizzle with a bit more oil and roast an additional 10-12 minutes, until browned and tender.

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