I have two types of kale in the garden right now. The Winterbor was the first to start flowering and it seems to be about over now. So it was time to cut off the leaves to freeze. I only take the nice spring grown leaves. The leaves that lived over the winter are tough and not worth it. Those I left on the plant. And I lopped of the stem down to those leaves. I don't think I'll get anything more from the plants, but just in case they have another flush of blossoms or leaves I figured I ought to leave them for a week.
Well I didn't do that. Can you imagine trying to keep the water from getting over 76C without an automatic thermometer controlling the heat? But luckily someone else came up with a solution. They found that if you put as little as 0.25% of freeze dried diakon radish over the cooked broccoli it is enough. Which is great for commercial processors if they want to help our health. But I don't have freeze dried diakon. Now I might not be a researcher (though I'm obviously a nerd that loves to read), but I know that mustard seed has plenty of myrosinase (though I don't know about commercial prepared mustard as they do have commercial processes to destroy the myrosinase in mustard seed which I'm assuming they do to keep the prepared mustard fresh longer). I know that the myrosinase in mustard seed has the most activity at a pH of around 4.7 so a lemon mustard sauce ought to work well. BTW that pH is different for different myrosinase in the plants. Broccoli's is fairly neutral. Cabbage is alkaline.
This myrosinase-glucoraphanin system is actually a defense mechanism by the plants. The two chemicals are in different but close cells. So when the plant starts getting chewed on sulforaphane (and other chemicals) are formed. Even some humans just hate the taste of the cabbage family. But most of us have evolved to like it. Also it does create a bit of a poison. It can cause hypothyroidism if you eat way way too much of the crucifers for a long time. The one person that it was know to happen to ate about two to three pounds of raw bok choy a day for months. This myrosinase-glucoraphanin system has a couple of mechanisms for harming your production of thyroid hormones. One chemical competes with the uptake of iodine and another interferes with the creation of the thyroid hormones. So everything in moderation. You only need three to five servings a week for the anticancer benefits. And I'm eating brassicas everyday now as they are in season, but I don't eat two pounds a day and I usually cook at least some of them.
My problem of course is that I eat from the garden in the winter so I freeze my brassias to be able to do this. Almost all of my brassicas are frozen from January to mid March. Usually mid March I break down and buy some St. Patrick day cabbages. I do go out to eat and broccoli is a favorite choice. But the reality is I don't get enough of those cancer fighting chemicals over the winter. I really ought to make up a good recipe for a mustard lemon sauce for them. A mustard cheese sauce would be so delicious. And if I buy some fresh horseradish (I'm guessing the prepared stuff has been cooked) I could make a horseradish sauce too. Though I never did find the pH best for the myrosinase in horseradish.
Well I was going to talk about what I did in the garden yesterday too, but I guess my nerd attack took up a lot of space. So I'll write another post later.