The Best of Broccoli

Broccoli used to be a polarizing vegetable. You either loved it or loathed it.

Fortunately, more people seem to be in the love broccoli camp, and what’s not to love? This green beauty from the cruciferous cabbage family is chock full of nutrients from beta-carotene to vitamin K. Research shows that compounds in broccoli are not only protective against cancer, but new research shows it may also help to preserve your memory. 1 Below are 12 ways to enjoy this nutritional gem.

  1. Add chopped broccoli to your morning omelet or frittata. There is no reason that vegetables should only be offered at lunch or dinner.
  2. Pair fresh broccoli with hummus for a snack. Raw broccoli contains 30% more cancer-fighting sulforaphane than cooked broccoli.
  3. Toss chopped broccoli in a salad with spinach, carrots, tomatoes, and other nutritional heavy hitters. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette or honey mustard dressing.
  4. Add frozen broccoli to soup. It won’t even need to be thawed first! Include it in minestrone or other vegetable centered soup.
  5. Include chopped broccoli in pasta and rice dishes. This adds color, texture and more nutritional value to your grains.
  6. Try broccoli pesto. In a food processor, combine ½ pound steamed/drained broccoli florets with 2 garlic cloves, 1 cup tightly packed fresh basil, 1/3 cup olive oil and 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Pesto can be used as a spread with crackers or over pasta.
  7. Roast that broccoli! Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and place cleaned, chopped broccoli on the paper. Brush broccoli with olive and dust lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast for 20 minutes and serve.
  8. Stir fry broccoli in corn or peanut oil with low-sodium soy sauce, minced garlic and ginger paste. Drizzle sesame oil over the broccoli before serving over rice or quinoa.
  9. Make broccoli cheddar soup. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to a small pan. Sautee ½ chopped onion and 3 celery stalks until translucent, then set aside. In a large soup pot, make a roux by whisking ¼ cup flour in ¼ cup melted butter. Add a few tablespoons of milk to keep flour from burning. Add 2 cups 2% milk into flour mixture gradually and whisk continuously. Add 2 cups of low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock to the milk mixture. Simmer for 20 minutes, then add 1 ½ cups chopped broccoli, 1 cup chopped carrots and sautéed onions and celery and simmer another 20 minutes. Add in 2 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Once the cheese melts into the vegetable mixture, salt, and pepper to taste and serve.
  10. Season steamed broccoli with fresh lime juice, black pepper, and cumin for something deliciously different.
  11. Try a broccoli Caesar salad. Mash 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets and 1 garlic clove together to form a paste (or leave anchovies out). In a large serving bowl, place garlic paste, ¼ cup lemon juice, 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, ½ cup olive oil, and 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise and whisk together to make the dressing. Add 1 ½ lb. chopped broccoli, 2 cups chopped Napa cabbage and 2 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan to the dressing and toss to coat the vegetables. Add freshly ground pepper at the end and serve.
  12. Roasted broccoli stalks. The woody stalks of broccoli are surprisingly sweet. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, then clean and trim broccoli stalks/stems of any woody parts using a vegetable peeler. Cut into 1/2” rounds and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil, freshly ground pepper and salt. Roast for 35 minutes or until soft. Toss with shredded Parmesan cheese and serve.

Here are our 6 favorite broccoli recipes:

Over 90 broccoli recipes for members here

All broccoli content here

Reference

Klomparens EA1Ding Y1,2.

The neuroprotective mechanisms and effects of sulforaphane. Brain Circ. 2019 Apr-Jun;5(2):74-83. doi: 10.4103/bc.bc_7_19. Epub 2019 Jun 27.

Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD

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