Learn How to Prepare, Cook, and Season Broccoli
What is Broccoli?
Broccoli is a cruciferous veggie that many people adore. It is in the cabbage family so its cousins include cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, collards and kohlrabi.
Broccoli heads are actually immature flowers. If you leave a head of broccoli in the garden too long it will start to flower (which are edible, delish, and cute!). Both the broccoli heads and the stalk are edible. You can slice off the lower 1/4 bottom and then use the upper stalk or you can shave off the woody outer layer to get to the softer inside. If you've ever eaten broccoli slaw, then you've eating the stalk.
Why is Broccoli So Good for You?
We’ve known since we were kids that we are supposed to eat our broccoli to be healthy, but what is it that is providing all that health? A 1/2 cup raw serving gives us nearly 100% of the RDA for vitamin C and vitamin K1! It's also packed with fiber, modest amounts of B vitamins, minerals, and even a bit of protein to boot.
But what broccoli really does to boost our health is the sulfur-containing compounds it carries. These sulfur compounds are used to neutralize free-radicals that cause damage to our tissues and is a heavy hitter in our liver for our natural detoxification cycles.
But don’t boil that broccoli to death because it will dramatically reduce the vitamins and the sulfur compounds, which defeats the purpose of eating the broccoli. Raw, sautéed and steamed is the best way to eat broccoli and we like roasted too.
If you are like many people that rely on frozen broccoli, you’ll need to sprinkle a bit of ground mustard seeds to it after cooking to reactive the sulfur compounds. The blanching of the frozen broccoli inactivates the enzyme needed to activate sulfur, but a sprinkle of mustard seed, horseradish powder or fresh radish eaten with the cooked frozen broccoli will reactive it’s health benefits, assuming you don’t boil the frozen broccoli to death. Read more about that process here.
If you're looking for more recipe ideas loaded with delicious real food, try one of our downloadable meal plans.