Broccoli is full of fiber (something sorely lacking in the Standard American Diet), low in calories, and abundant in vitamins and minerals (like vitamins K, C, folate, and potassium). Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family (along with cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and turnips). These vegetables have a reputation for making people gassy, probably because they feed and increase the healthy bacteria in your gut, which significantly impacts your physical and mental well-being. If you don’t eat a lot of these vegetables, you might want to start with small amounts and gradually increase your intake as your gut flora changes and adapts to these health-promoting veggies.
Fresh or Frozen
Broccoli is my back-up vegetable. I think everyone should have a bag of FROZEN broccoli in their freezer. You don’t have to worry about it wilting and rotting, and it’s ready when you need it. The key to delicious broccoli is to avoid overcooking it! It only takes a few minutes in the microwave or steamer, and if you’re not going to eat it right away, it needs to go straight into a bowl of ICE WATER. This will halt the cooking process and preserve that bright green color.
As always, fresh ingredients do have their advantages. FRESH broccoli is good raw, used in salads or dipped into dressings. However, I do prefer it gently cooked. It transforms into a slightly sweeter and more tender version of itself. I have finally found a technique that works every time. I chop my fresh broccoli into roughly equal size pieces, rinse it in the sink, and toss it into a hot frying pan. Stir it around for a few minutes and it’s perfectly done. The water left on the florets from rinsing it is usually the perfect amount to steam it without overdoing it.
10 Tips for Eating More Broccoli
- Did you know you can add frozen broccoli to your SMOOTHIES? right out of the bag! How easy is that?
- I love tiny pieces of broccoli in an OMELETTE or big florets in a QUICHE! There’s something about broccoli, eggs, and cheese that is so satisfying.
- Add gently cooked broccoli to your homemade PIZZA! Delicious. Try it with a traditional red sauce pizza, a BBQ chicken pizza, or a white pizza.
- Did you know you can ROAST fresh broccoli and it’s delicious! Toss with a little oil, salt, and garlic powder, and roast on a baking sheet in a hot oven (450) until the edges start to brown (about 20 minutes). Sprinkle with a little fresh parmesean to make it extra delicious.
- Add gently cooked broccoli to creamy PASTA dishes: mac n cheese casserole, noodles with alfredo sauce, or chicken carbonara.
- STIR FRIES! No stir fry is complete without broccoli. I love how the florets soak up all that delicious sweet and savory, garlic and ginger sauce.
- Make a broccoli SOUP!
- Add broccoli to your SALADS. Raw or gently cooked.
- Did you know you can eat the STALKS! Just peel them and chop off the dry end. Then you can slice or chop and cook along with your florets or juice them!
- Make a raw BROCCOLI SALAD!
Broccoli Salad with Yogurt Dressing
- 1-2 large heads of broccoli, chopped
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
- several carrots, peeled and sliced
- a bunch of red seedless grapes, halved
- dressing: 1 cup real mayo whisked with 1 cup of plain greek yogurt
Toss the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and grapes. Stir in the dressing to coat evenly.