Loaded with Vitamin A, C, and D and chock full of powerful antioxidants, Broccoli is one of nature’s most nutritious foods. Broccoli sometimes gets a bad rap – when people think of Broccoli, they feel about being fed mouthfuls of it by force from their parents because it’s “good for them.” Well, your parents weren’t wrong – Broccoli *is good for you! And, since it has a somewhat neutral taste, there are so many different ways to cook and flavor it – something for all types of taste buds.
The Benefits of Broccoli
You really can’t go wrong with eating Broccoli every day of your life – your body just can’t get enough of it. The abundance of fiber in Broccoli helps to lower your cholesterol and promote healthy digestive functions. A group of phytonutrients in Broccoli helps to detoxify your body, removing unwanted toxins from all different systems throughout your body.
Want more? A small 1 cup serving of steamed Broccoli will give you more than your daily recommended doses of Vitamin C and K, and half your dose of Vitamin A. It also has healthy amounts of protein, iron, potassium, and calcium; come to think of it, Broccoli is almost like a multivitamin all by itself!
Preparing the Broccoli
Preparing Broccoli is pretty straightforward – all you need is a cutting board and a chef’s knife. Start by cutting off some of the big chunky stems. You can toss this, or keep it for broccoli soup, but most people don’t like to cook the large part of the stem and eat it by itself. Start chopping the Broccoli up, leaving parts of the stem on each little floret. Cut them to a manageable size for you to fit in your mouth when it’s time to eat them.
Steaming is one of the healthiest ways to cook food, particularly vegetables. Because you’re using steam for cooking, you aren’t losing any of the valuable nutrients in the Broccoli that may get lost with other cooking methods.
To steam the Broccoli, simply add a small amount of water to the bottom of a pot, add the Broccoli and put it on medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the broccoli starts to soften up a little bit. Drain the little bit of water that remains and season with butter, garlic, olive oil, or lemon juice to add some additional flavor.
Sautéing is another popular method of cooking, particularly for vegetables. When you saute Broccoli, you’ll be getting it crisper and giving it a better chance to blend in with whatever else you add into your frying pan or wok.
After you’ve prepared the Broccoli, add a little olive oil and perhaps some garlic into your cooking pan. Mix up the Broccoli often, making sure it isn’t burning or even browning (a slight browning is OK). It should take about 12-15 minutes to cook the Broccoli with this method thoroughly.
Why you should microwave your broccoli rather than boil it pic.twitter.com/2WrOdI6d0g
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Don’t Boil Broccoli!
There’s one big reason you shouldn’t boil any vegetables, especially Broccoli. When you submerge the Broccoli in water and cook it, all the nutrients from the Broccoli are leaking out into the water. When you go to drain it after it’s done cooking, the nutrients have nowhere to go but out with the water and down your drain!
That’s why it’s recommended that you cook Broccoli (and other vegetables) just about any other way than boiling – otherwise, you’re missing out on some of their great benefits. Learn how to cook Broccoli Rabe in this awesome article.