Broccoli At Its Best
Available all year round, broccoli is best from October to May. Broccoli stems should not be too thick. Wilted leaves may indicate old age. Do not buy any broccoli if buds are open or yellowish. Bud clusters should be firm, closed and of good green color. Use as soon as purchased. Refrigeration will help retain the vitamin A and C content of your broccoli.
Broccoli (one cup chopped) contains 90 percent RDA of vitamin A, 200 percent of vitamin C, 6 percent of niacin, 10 percent of calcium, 10 percent of thiamin, 10 percent of phosphorus and 8 percent of iron. It also provides 25 percent of your fiber needs and to top it off, five grams of protein.
Broccoli has a strong, positive impact on our body's detoxification system.
Broccoli may help us solve our vitamin D deficiency epidemic.
Broccoli is a particularly rich source of a flavonoid called kaempferol. Recent research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our body.
Thirteen percent of broccoli, in a study showed that pesticides residue remained. The worst one is Parathion and even after washing and boiling some may remain. Parathion is an organic phosphorus compound used as an insecticide that is extremely toxic to humans.
To cook all parts of the broccoli equally, cut an X in the stem.
To eliminate the smell of broccoli, add a slice of bread to the pot.
Broccoli florets have about eight times as much beta carotene as the stalks.
Over-cooked broccoli becomes soft and mushy, an indication that it has lost both nutrients and flavor.
Adding a lemon wedge to the saucepan when you are cooking broccoli will cut down on the odor considerably.
To retain the nutrients in broccoli, either steam it, stir-fry it, or boil it in a very small amount of water. Most other methods will cause a nutrient loss of about 25 to 35 percent.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli tend to release strong smelling chemical compounds when cooked. These ammonia and hydrogen sulfide compounds will smell up the kitchen. Steaming or cooking in a small amount of water and as fast as possible will reduce this problem.
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