Green leafy vegetables should always be on the daily menu
For a long time, green leafy vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, etc.) were considered food for the poor, although they grow in almost all gardens. The ancestral home of cabbage, for example, is Europe, although most Europeans do not like cabbage because of its specific smell during cooking. The reason for this unpleasant smell is the large amount of compounds rich in sulfur, the so-called sulforans. These compounds are extremely useful and have been proven to have an effective effect on intestinal mucosal cells and strengthen the immune response, as well as a certain antiparasitic effect (which is important in the diet of preschool and school children). That’s why cabbage should be common on the menu.
Broccoli is a precursor to cauliflower and a close relative of chard, beets, kale and Chinese cabbage. The name comes from the Latin word “bracchium = strong arm” or branch which describes the appearance of strong shoots. In recent years, more and more yellow-green shenon, ie a hybrid of broccoli and cauliflower, is in demand. Broccoli is rich in a variety of nutrients. It is among the first in terms of vitamin A content (dark green is an indicator of carotene content). It is rich in folic acid, so it is recommended for pregnant women. One cup of this cooked vegetable contains 72 mg of calcium just like half a cup of milk. One cup of this vegetable satisfies 10% of the need for iron. The present vitamin C helps in the absorption of iron in the body. Vitamin C is lost with heat treatment, so broccoli is cooked very briefly in hot water or steam. One cup of broccoli has a similar content as orange and satisfies the daily need for this vitamin. Energy value: 100 gr has 35 kcal. It contains only 2 grams of protein with a high amino acid grade (89). Contains 3 grams of fiber. Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, magnesium, potassium and zinc are present.
Preparation of dishes with broccoli – in salads you can use raw vegetables with other vegetables and the addition of lemon juice, spices and olive oil. Delicious broccoli, celery and cucumber juice can be easily prepared. It is thermally processed by steaming or in water with a minimum amount of water. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Heat treatment took a long time if the flowers fall apart, the color becomes olive or the water in which the vegetables are cooked becomes dark green and intense in color. Broccoli releases sulfur compounds and ammonia (which have an unpleasant odor) during prolonged cooking. Leaves (containing vitamin A), stems and green flowers can be used in the diet, which contribute almost equally to the nutritional value. The stems should be peeled if they are hard because they will not soften even by long cooking (because the bark is composed of lignin). Great sauces and soups can be made from this vegetable. In the soup with various vegetables, add broccoli at the very end of cooking. That way it will keep its shape. There is a preserved recipe from ancient Rome from the ancient Roman chef Apicius: cleaned and cooked broccoli is fried in a little olive oil for a few minutes. Add spices (coriander, cumin, chopped onion and a few drops of wine).
Cauliflower- as early as six centuries BC cauliflower was grown in Mediterranean countries especially in Italy. In other parts of Europe, with the beginning of the 12th century, mass cultivation of this vegetable began. Cauliflower is almost fat-free and has very few calories and carbohydrates and contains phytonutrients. These substances have a double effect: they counteract the harmful effects of enzymes that activate the compounds responsible for cancer and increase the positive effects of those enzymes that disable and eliminate carcinogenic substances. Energy value: 100 g of fresh cauliflower is 25kcal. It is an excellent source of vitamin C (46 mg which makes up 77% of the RDA). It is a good source of folic acid and vitamin K. Fresh cauliflower per 100 g contains 2.5 g of dietary fiber, 18 mg of phytosterols (of which lutein and zeaxanthin 33 mg).
Preparation of dishes with cauliflower-cauliflower should be cooked briefly to preserve all the nutrients. This retains the active substances and improves the usability in the body. Cauliflower can be prepared by steaming, whole or separated into flowers. Cauliflower can be steamed in a bamboo strainer or sieve over a pot of boiling water until soft. Remove from heat immediately. Then you can briefly fry the cauliflower in olive oil or butter, mix it with scrambled eggs in an omelette with the addition of herbs and parmesan, or pour over the onion caramelized with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with roasted pine nuts before serving – as desired. Always check the softness of the cauliflower after cooking for 10 to 15 minutes. If the cauliflower is cooked too much, it loses its nutritional value, and if the kitchen spreads, it has an unpleasant sulphurous smell. Cooked cauliflower can be served with tomato or cheese toppings, as a salad in the Mediterranean way with the addition of olives, small hot peppers, capers, anchovies, chopped as a souffle or in the form of puree as a tomato filling sprinkled with breadcrumbs and baked in the oven. Cauliflower cooked in milk with the addition of sour cream and baked bread cubes with thyme will give an excellent soup.