Did you know that cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and cauliflower have anti-cancer agents? According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, all vegetables contain protective micronutrients and phytochemicals, but cruciferous veggies in particular have a special chemical composition: they have sulfer containing compounds that are responsible for their strong, bitter flavor. When you chop, mince, bend, or slice these cruciferous veggies, a chemical reaction occurs that converts these compounds into isothiocyanates, unique compounds with proven immune boosting effects and anticancer activity.* Not everyone enjoys eating these bitter tasting veggies, but they can taste quite good if the right spices are added along with taking extra care while steaming or roasting them. Below is a great recipe that is considered a family favorite:
Baked Cauliflower Canapés and Broccoli Bites
* 1 head each cauliflower and broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces
• 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• 4 tsp garlic, crushed and chopped
. Parmasean cheese ( optional !)
• 1 Tbsp paprika
• 1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and chop cauliflower and broccoli into slightly-oversized bite-sized pieces. Pat or air dry. In a large zip lock bag, pour 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons chopped garlic. Then place the chopped cauliflower in the bag. Securely seal bag. Shake and knead the bag so that the cauliflower is evenly coated with the olive oil and garlic. (Add more oil if necessary). In a second large zip lock bag, pour in the remaining olive oil and garlic, then add the chopped broccoli. Securely seal bag. Shake and knead the bag so that the broccoli is evenly coated with the olive oil and garlic.
Place the coated vegetables in a large, 9x13 baking dish. (You may need two baking dishes). Sprinkle with paprika and salt. Place baking dishes in oven; bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. When cooking time is done, remove from oven and allow to cool. Arrange cauliflower and broccoli pieces on a serving platter and sprinkle with parmasean cheese. Spear vegetables with toothpicks for easy pick-up. You can also serve with hummus or guacamole.
Food determines how we feel and heal!
*Fuhrman Joel, MD. , Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide For Boosting Your Body's Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free, HarperCollins, 2011, pp. 62-63