High Country Broccoli

Article Published: Jun. 30, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
High Country Broccoli

Charles Church displays some fresh-grown veggies.

Photo submitted

The High Country isn't a great climate for growing sweet potatoes or okra, but broccoli feels right at home. A cool weather crop, it is still available locally at farmers' markets for Fourth of July celebrations. Cousins of broccoli, all members of the cruciferous family, include cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale. Studies suggest that cruciferous vegetables help regulate a complex system of bodily enzymes that defend against cancer. Components of these vegetables have shown the ability to stop the growth of cancer cells, including tumors of the breast, endometrium, lung, liver, colon and cervix.

Additionally, the high fiber content of broccoli helps the digestive system function properly and lowers cholesterol. Also rich in vitamins C and K, which promote healthy gums, teeth and bones, aid in iron absorption, help heal wounds and are necessary for proper blood clotting.

Purchasing broccoli locally supports you and those who grow it, some who once were tobacco farmers. What a great move toward cancer prevention!

4th of July Broccoli Salad3 cups broccoli florets1 cup raisins or Craisins5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (locally grown or lean turkey bacon is best) or 1/2 cup bacon bits1/2 cup red onion1/2 cup sunflower seeds1/2 cup favorite shredded cheese (optional)
Mix together in large bowl, set aside.

2 tablespoons sugar1 tablespoon apple cider vinegarū cup plain yogurt
Combine sugar and vinegar and stir to dissolve. Stir in yogurt until well blended. Pour over the broccoli mixture and stir together.

Recipe taken from a cookbook that I highly recommend, "Simply in Season" by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert.

Margie Mansure, M.S., R.D. is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and extension agent with N.C. Cooperative Extension. She offers personalized classes to improve the health of citizens in Watauga County through worksites, schools and community groups and is the local food coordinator for Watauga County.

To contact Margie, e-mail margie_mansure@ncsu.edu or call (828) 264-3061.

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