Lets us tell you more about broccoli by giving you this guide to tell you how to incorporate broccoli into your meals.
What is Broccoli?
This green, dense vegetable resembles a tree with a tender green top and an edible green stalk. Broccoli is in the cabbage family of vegetables. It can be eaten raw or cooked, making it a versatile ingredient in recipes and a quick healthy snack.
Although it is easy to overlook while grocery shopping, broccoli is one of the most nutritious vegetables available. Just one cup of this vegetable contains an entire days’ worth of vitamin C, without the sugar found in traditional Vitamin C sources such as citrus fruit.
Broccoli is also an excellent source of fiber, containing around 2.6 grams of fiber per 56 grams of the vegetable. Fiber is important because it assists in the body’s digestion process. If you’re not currently eating enough fiber, try gradually increasing your intake to experience the benefits. If you increase your fiber intake too rapidly, you make experience slight stomach upset or changes in your bowel movements, but they should be temporary. Fiber rich foods are an excellent way to help yourself feel satisfied while dieting because it takes up room in the stomach and intestines while being digested.
More Benefits of Broccoli:
• Contains powerful anti-aging properties including sulforaphane, which helps the body repair skin damage from aging and environmental factors
• Contains flavonoids that help reduce inflammation and allergy problems, making it a good food choice for people with conditions such as arthritis
• Good source of potassium
• Acts as a good source of protein, particularly for vegetarians or people who eat little meat
• Contains lutein, a property that has been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease. Lutein is also a good way to help preserve eyesight
• Prevents osteoporosis because it has both calcium and Vitamin K to help strengthen bones
• Cancer fighting antioxidants and phytonutrients
• Zinc and selenium provide immune boosting support
Fresh broccoli can be found in the produce section of your local grocery store. It is typically available in stalks or precut florets in bags. You will also find it in the frozen vegetable section. When selecting your broccoli, look for a deep green color without any visible imperfections or bruising. The florets (tops) should be close and tightknit while the stalks are firm and slender. If you see a yellow color, the plant has become too mature and has begun losing nutrients as well as flavor.
Always clean your fresh broccoli before consuming it to make sure any harmful residues are removed. This goes for any vegetable you are going to consume. A good way to do this is to combine warm (not hot) water and white vinegar or a premade vegetable scrub or soak (look for an all-natural variety). Be sure to only wash the broccoli if you intend on eating it right way. If you wash it too early and try to store it, you may find that it spoils more quickly because extra moisture will promote ripening and bacteria growth.
Fresh broccoli may be stored in the refrigerator for as long as two weeks. It’s important to keep it wrapped, while still allowing it to breathe. If you purchase the broccoli with a wrapping on it, it should holes in it to accommodate this and will be a good way to store it. If you need to create your own packaging, use a plastic bag with several holes poked in it. If you want to freeze your broccoli to use in a few weeks’ time, it’s a good idea to submerge it in icy water for three to five minutes to help preserve it, then put it in an airtight container or freezer bag and place in the freezer for up to six months.
How to Incorporate Broccoli into Your Meals
Some of you may already love broccoli and eat it on a regular basis while some of you may be wondering what to do with it. The great thing about this vegetable is that it can be fixed in a variety of ways to fit almost anyone’s tastes.
The less you cook or process the broccoli, the more nutrients you will preserve. You can get the most benefits from the vegetable by consuming it raw. It’s a great addition to chopped salads or can even be eaten on its own. If you want to add a bit of moisture or flavor, try dipping it in your favorite sauce. Use caution with your selection, sauces are an easy way to consume excess fat and calories. Some good choices include low-fat salad dressings, hot sauces, or vinaigrettes. Cheese sauces are also a popular way to eat broccoli, but if you opt for this choice be sure to watch your portion size! Instead of buying packaged cheese dips, try making your own by melting your favorite cheese with some skim milk and only using a small amount with your broccoli.
Kid-Friendly Tip! Try pretending small broccoli florets are little trees. White colored dips can be snow to cover the tops—making vegetables fun and enjoyable, rather than a punishment to eat will help your children learn to love the foods that are good for them.
If you prefer cooking your vegetables, opt for steaming them if possible. Steaming your broccoli will help tenderize it while still preserving most of the nutrients it contains. Top it with your favorite seasonings to boost the flavor and serve it as a side dish to a well-balanced meal. Another good way to prepare broccoli is to include it as part of a stir fry. Lightly sauté the broccoli and your choice of other vegetable using a small amount of olive oil and seasonings to create a meal or side dish that is full of flavor and healthy boosting properties. Good additions to broccoli include sweet red peppers, carrots, cauliflower, and baby corn. There’s no limit to the possible combinations when cooking with broccoli and other vegetables—remember the more variety in colors you can use in your meals the more nutrients you will be consuming!
We want to know your favorite way to eat broccoli ! Do you prefer it cooked or raw? Plain or with toppings? Have you found a way to get picky children to eat it? We believe eating a rainbow of colors in vegetables every day is and sure-fire way to improve health while enjoying your food at the same time.
Do you want to know why broccoli is the king of vegetables? Here is our benefits of broccoli blog!