Consuming different kinds of fruit and vegetables may reduce risk of various diseases, it keeps us healthy. According to many studies, consumption of food related to plant like broccoli reduces the risk of heart, diabetes and obesity diseases etc. Green vegetables contain various nutrition and it offers many health benefits like: beneficial in digestion, immune system, cardiovascular system and it has properties to fight against cancer. Green vegetables consists characteristics of fat free which is very valuable for our health.
Broccoli has great nutritional profile like they are high in fiber, vitamin C and Vitamin A & B 6 and potassium. Broccoli is also loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are chemicals are present in plants, they are mainly responsible for smell, flavor and color. Broccoli also contains some extra nutrients like phosphorus, iron manganese and iron. These minerals are also responsible to keep our body healthy and it helps to keep away from various diseases.
Broccoli looks like cabbage or cauliflower but it is tightly packed with deep green buds. Generally broccoli is available in all seasons but you can catch it in abundance in the months of July to October. Almost all of us have taken the taste of broccoli. In many supermarkets, they only sell crowns of broccoli but we have to select whole broccoli with stem and all of its parts because they make our dish delicious and tasty.
If you are going to buy broccoli, notice that your broccoli must be bright green in color, heads not get damaged, and their buds should be tightly packed. These are some features that makes your broccoli fresh and healthy. Broccoli can be used for longer time by placing it into freezer; it makes it fresh for longer time. Broccoli is commonly used in regular vegetables, salads, pizza, burger, noodles and in more dishes.
There are several methods for cooking broccoli like blanching, steaming in the microwave, steaming on stove top, sauteing and roasting.
- Prep time (Steaming): 15 minutes
- Cook time: 3-5 minutes
- Total time: 20 minutes
- If you bought broccoli from supermarket or commercial grocery, soak your broccoli for 10 minutes in saline water because it helps to kill worms which are slightly present in broccoli. Many people cultivates broccoli in their garden or in farmland, cultivated broccoli contains larva and different worms so they need to go through this process seriously because supermarket uses some process to kill larva and worms before they sells.
- Clean it in running water for a minute to remove additional salt from it.
- Stem is thickest part of broccoli, it is completely edible so peel and cut it likes cubes and cut florets into smaller parts with the help of kitchen knife (Size of broccoli florets and stem depends upon upon size). Do not use bottom of stem because it looks dry and not tastier as remaining parts of broccoli.
Method #1: Blanching
- Place 8 to 10 ice cubes in a pot and add 200 ml of cold water and place the pot on stove and make sure that water is rapidly boiled.
- Add 2 tablespoon iodine salt in pot.
- Place all broccoli florets and chopped stem into boiled water and cook it until it gets crisp and tender. You can cook approx. for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Drain all broccoli florets and chopped stem with the help of slotted spoon.
- Place broccoli florets and stem immediately into cold icy water.
- If you are looking for soft veggies, cook it for additional 45 sec.
- You can use blanched broccoli as vegetable platter, cold salad and fritter.
Method #2: Steaming in the microwave
- Arrange broccoli florets and stem in microwave by pouring 2 to 3 tablespoon water on top over it.
- Cover it with plate, you may use dinner plate and switch your microwave in high temperature for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Carefully remove lid and observe your broccoli gets crisp and tender if it is not so then burst microwave for additional 1 minute.
- Steaming in the microwave broccoli, you may use as warm salads, fritters and casseroles or soups etc.
Method #3: Steaming on stove top
- Pour water 2 inches in a saucepan and arrange a steamer basket in such a way that it is completely inserted into the saucepan.
- Add broccoli in a steamer basket and cover it completely in such way that gas couldn’t be release from it.
- Place saucepans on burner stove and boil water in medium heat.
- Steam your broccoli for 4 to 6 minutes. It’s depending upon your choice how broccoli gets cooked.
- Remove saucepan from burner and immediately remove lid from it, otherwise your broccoli get over cooked and results soggy.
- You can serve your broccoli plain with sauce.
Method #4: Sauteing
- Make sure that your broccoli is completely dry but I have instructed earlier to wash but make it as dry as possible.
- Cut broccoli florets and stem in your choice of size.
- Pour 2 to 3 tablespoon vegetable oil into a fry pan and place over medium or moderate heat burner stove.
- Add your broccoli florets and edible stem and cook it for 45 seconds. If it is not cooked in this time duration then cook it for additional 20 seconds.
- Sprinkle some salt and black pepper as per your taste.
- Completely toss it in heat oil, make it sure that each piece must be coated with oil.
- Stir it till your broccoli gets tender and crispy.
- Better to serve it with different sauteed veggies.
Method #5: Roasting
- Heat your oven till it comes to heat point 218 oC
- Make sure that your broccoli must dry as possible.
- Brush your broccoli florets and piece of stem with olive oil and sprinkle some salt over it.
- Arrange it on baking sheet and place into oven for roasting. Roast it for 25 to 30 minutes till it gets crunchy and caramelized.
- Serve your roasted broccoli by squeezing lime juice and black pepper.
- It can be uses as cold and warm salads and ingredients of pizza.
- Do not make your broccoli over cook because it may become tasteless, loss of nutrients and color may be faded.
- If you desire to make cold salad of broccoli then blanch it for 2 minutes in boiling water and immediately swill with cold water. It adds some additional flavor in broccoli and makes brighten color.
- If you desire additional flavor of broccoli than you may add butter, lemon juice, flavor vinegar and thyme.