There’s something about eating a flower from a healthy plant that just makes you want to smile. It’s yellow, warmed and grown by the sun and will make you want to draw a big ol’ yellow smiley face as you proudly put GOOD nourishing food in your body. It’s been about 6 weeks since I planted my broccoli starts into the garden. I purchased six small tender plants and they are beginning to produce their first crop. I meant to get out two days ago to trim the floret heads that were forming (they were so little and cute), but the busyness of life got in the way and as I looked out at our little garden this morning I saw that about four plants had started to bloom — those yellow flowers were like a neon sign saying, “We’re ready! Hurry! Come pick us before we are gone!” So out with the scissors I went and just trimmed the stalk right above where new growth shoots were already forming. The great thing about broccoli is that you can get several cuttings off of one plant in one season. And I didn’t realize at first that you can eat not only the broccoli florets, but the leaves and when it is at the flower stage as well.
Did you know that Broccoli is a good source of Protein, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Selenium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese. I can just hear you saying, “Okay, great Erin. But translate that into how that helps me with my PCOS.” Women with PCOS typically have inflammation issues going on in their body and are at higher risk for ovarian cancer. This is where what you put into your mouth really matters — your liver and cells are counting on you to eat a food like this because it has (big word warning) isothiocyanates (also referred to as ITCs). ITCs are compounds that actually help shut down inflammation responses in the body. unique combination of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and pro-detoxification components in broccoli make it a unique food in terms of cancer prevention. What’s more, broccoli is also a rich source of one particular phytonutrient (a flavonol) called kaempferol. Especially inside of our digestive tract, kaempferol has the ability to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances (by lowering the immune system’s production of IgE-antibodies). By lessening the impact of allergy-related substances, the kaempferol in broccoli can help lower our risk of chronic inflammation. In fact, if you eat only an average of 1/2 cup of broccoli per day—only 22 calories’ worth of broccoli—scientists have shown it will have some measurable benefits.
I know there might be some of you out there that were once like me and digging in your heels saying, “I don’t like vegetables!” Well, my dear cyster, this is what helped me change my thinking when I put it in context… which is worse, enjoying some crunchy green stuff on top of your salad or going thru chemo treatments? Harsh maybe, but if you have weight around your middle, this message is for you as you most likely have inflammation happening inside your body. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. I’m here to coax you out of denial so that you can change your life one bite at a time. When you reason it out, the choice seems really clear — eat broccoli. Raw or cooked, it needs to get in your tummy to nourish your body. (Note: if cooking, steam at temperature of 212°F (100°C), with a cooking times of 5 minutes at the most for optimal nourishment.)
But enough about wonderful broccoli — let’s get back to what’s for lunch … today we put together a simple Caesar Salad with romaine picked fresh from the garden this morning, freshly grated Parmesan flakes (low to almost no lactose), and salmon (leftover from dinner the night before.) I was reminded that I had harvested those pretty blooming broccoli florets (they were still soaking in a ice bath on the counter) and threw the broccoli florets with flowers on top as a crunching vitamin packed topping! It looks so pretty I wish you could see it in person! And the flavors were fantastic!
Tip: When you harvest lettuce of any type, take your cuttings early in the morning when it is still cool out and then water your plant and place your cuttings into a bath of ice water with some organic apple cider vinegar. The vinegar did flush out a little spider that was hiding in my romaine, so it’s always a good idea to wash your cuttings outside.
Salmon is an excellent source of vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium. It is a good source of niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, phosphorus, and vitamin B6. It is also a good source of choline, pantothenic acid, biotin, and potassium. It’s also a food that will fight inflammation in the body, so try to eat Salmon about 2x a week (easy if you do a dinner one night and then left overs another time at either lunch or dinner.)
In short, eat this! It’s tasty and good for the cells and organs in your body! 👏💗👍