So far, it’s been a very good growing season and the vegetable garden has been producing nicely. As the early-spring crops end and the hot-summer crops begin, there has been plenty of delicious food to harvest.
Many of the berries have been picked, turned into jams and jellies, and also bagged and frozen.
There has been an abundance of leafy greens for my daily green juice and the amazingly healthful cole crops are maturing nicely.
Cole crops refer to any of the various plants belonging to the Cruciferae family.
Cruciferous is the scientific name for the group of vegetables that includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, kale, collard greens, broccoli rabe, and Brussels sprouts.
Research has shown that by eating a lot of these vegetables you may significantly reduce your risk of various types of cancers. Named for the cross-shaped flowers they bear, crucifers contain a wide variety of disease-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals, such as carotenoids, vitamin C, and indoles, which scientists believe may stave off the growth of cancerous cells in the stomach, colon, and lungs. Dark collard greens, kale, and turnip greens are packed with calcium as well, and Brussels sprouts are filled with iron. In addition, all crucifers are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
With all of their wonderful nutritional benefits, doesn’t it make sense to incorporate more crucifers into your diet? Health experts recommend consuming at least three servings of these vegetables each week.
Crucifers are very easy to steam, sauté, and roast—all methods that preserve their vibrant flavor and color.