Broccoli

We are the most beef and brocc(oli) on your block. 

No, I don’t know what it means. But if Run The Jewels are dropping Broccoli references into their lyrics, it can only be a good thing, right? 

-

The Italians can claim origin on this one. 6th century BCE, name derived from the Italian ‘Brocollo’. Not everyone would be so fast to claim the cruciferous classic that haunted our plates as youths. Now days I love it steamed or heaven forbid; raw! Six-year-old me shudders. Thirty-six-year-old me needs them hearty nutrients. And the fiber. Ahem. Move over junior, we’re making some healthy decisions. 

George Dubya Bush, like 6-year-old me hated it. So much so he wrote his distain into presidential speeches, whereas Thomas Jefferson imported seeds from Italy in 1767 so he could grow the green he loved. Barack Obama backs up Thom, so I'm backing those two, sorry George. Broccoli is cool. In the sense that it does well in the cold, not so hot in the heat. Apparently I have a brassica branch in my family tree, because me too Brocc, me too.  

-

Broccoli is packed with… everything. A shorter list of nutrients would be what it’s not rocking.  Every vege has a benefit or two, broccoli’s attributes read like Elvis Presley's greatest hits. It benefits digestion, the cardiovascular and immune systems. It has anti-inflammatory and cancer preventing properties. Reduces damage to the joints and helps prevent arthritis. It reduces type 2 diabetes in obese patients. Reduces symptoms related to autism. The high soluble fiber helps reduce cholesterol. The phytochemicals present in broccoli also help with detoxification while other chemicals present help in strengthening blood vessels. Lutein for eye health, reducing the chances of macular degeneration. It also impacts oestrogen levels which helps reduce risk of breast cancer. The antioxidants and phytochemicals in broccoli as natural disease deterrents are incredible.  

Careful though, nutrients are lost by boiling broccoli. Researchers found steaming, microwaving, or stir-frying it reduces nutrient loss. Eating raw is always the best but it may cause flatulence… AKA a long, healthy life lived in solitude... Maybe I’ll steam it a little. 

-

 

To store: Wrap broccoli loosely and keep in the drawer of your refrigerator. Store for a week.  

To prep: Soak head upside down in cold salted water for 30 minutes to remove any hidden field worms. Any critters will float to the top. You can eat the stalks, leaves, and head of broccoli. Break the head into florets of desired size. Then use a peeler or paring knife to cut the tough skin off the broccoli stalk and cut into equal size pieces. The stalks will require a few extra minutes of cooking.  

To freeze: Cut into florets. Blanch in boiling water for three minutes or steam for five minutes. Remove and dunk in ice water for 5 minutes. Drain. Individually quick freeze broccoli on a parchment-lined tray and then package into air-tight freezer bags. 

 

On the Menu