Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Veggie Stepchild

As we head into December, something is about to start and it’s pretty exciting. I’m not talking Christmas, Hanukah or even winter….are you stumped? I’ll end the suspense (unless the photo already did). Folks we are embarking on peak cauliflower season which lasts until March. We all have our families and cauliflower belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables which includes broccoli, cabbage, kale and collards. However, while many of us will be serving our children broccoli today and kale makes us feel virtuous eating it- when was the last time you showed cousin cauliflower any love?

I asked Market Melissa to make a case for cauliflower. She pointed out that cauliflower is a protector. It contains a phytochemical called sulforaphane which takes toxins, that normally turn cancerous, and sweeps them away. And cauliflower isn’t demanding, to reap cauliflower’s benefit you only need 3 (1-cup) servings per week! Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C (think immunity), folate, and dietary fiber and has only 25 calories per cup. I can’t vouch for your family but if in my midst was someone who protects me, doesn’t demand a lot of me and helps me stay thin…..well I think we should all reconsider cauliflower.

Try mashed cauliflower for a healthy comfort food, or roast cauliflower and toss with pine nuts or enjoy in crudité with your favorite hummus or salsa. Here is a link to another great recipe for Roasted Cauliflower, also known as ‘Cauliflower Candy’ Enjoy!

P.S. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say one more thing. I had the great pleasure of chaperoning a kindergarten trip to the Union Square Green market this week. We had a scavenger hunt and one of the children’s questions asked them “how many colors of cauliflower are sold at the market?” My group raced over to the cauliflower stand and correctly answered the question (3 colors) and then politely posed for a photo next to the cauliflower……at which point, almost in unison, they sneered and said “the cauliflower smells.” And so, like all family members with many good qualities, it seems nobody’s perfect.

What other veggie stepchildren are there? Any cauliflower creations you’d like to share?

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