More Broccoli, Less Belly: How To Cook Broccoli?
Broccoli is one of the most popular vegetables. You will see it everywhere.
But what does broccoli really mean? What’s its nutritional value? Is it good or bad for your health? And why do I have to eat so much broccoli every day?
! These are some questions you might ask yourself when eating broccoli!
Health Benefits Of Broccoli
Broccoli contains many nutrients which are beneficial for human body. There are several studies which show that broccoli may reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other diseases. Studies also indicate that consuming high amounts of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli may lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is not surprising then that broccoli consumption has been associated with reduced risks of certain cancers such as colon cancer and prostate cancer.
It is believed that broccoli consumption may also decrease the risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone condition in which there is insufficient mineralization due to aging. Broccoli consumption has been shown to improve bone density and prevent fractures among women aged 50 years old and older.
The fiber content of broccoli may contribute to lowering cholesterol levels, improving blood sugar control, reducing the risk of obesity, controlling blood pressure and preventing constipation.
The folate and vitamin K content in broccoli may reduce the risk of spinal cord and intellectual disabilities in newborns. It also helps the blood to clot which reduces the risk of excessive bleeding. It is important to include about 2 cups of broccoli in your diet per week, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Glucosinolates are natural compounds found in many plants such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, mustard and horseradish. There are several theories as to why these substances may prevent cancer.
Some people believe that the glucosinolates in broccoli may help the body to destroy harmful chemicals and prevent them from causing damage to cells. They also prevent harmful chemicals from forming in the first place.
Other people believe that glucosinolates prevent the formation of carcinogens during the cooking process. As a result, they slow down oxidative damage which may cause cancer.
Antioxidant properties of glucosinolates may also prevent heart disease by ridding the body of harmful free radicals.
Best Ways To Cook Broccoli
When it comes to cooking broccoli there are several ways you can prepare it. The best way is to steam it. You just have to put it in a pan, add a little water and cover the pan with a lid. Stir occasionally and cook until the broccoli turns a darker green color. After this, you can eat it by itself or serve it with some healthy fat such as butter.
If you’re in a rush, you can use the microwave to steam the broccoli. Just put it in a microwave-safe dish, add a little water and cover with plastic wrap. Cook on high for 2 minutes and then check to see if it’s soft. If not, you can cook it a little longer. The disadvantage of this method is that the nutrients tend to be leached into the water so you can lose some nutrients if you throw out the cooking water.
You can also eat it raw. Just wash it and cut out the thick stem part. You can then grate, chop or slice it and use it in various recipes. I usually add some lemon juice and salt to add flavor.
Broccoli can also be stir-fried, made into a soup or even put into a fruit smoothie. It’s one of those great vegetables that can be added to many recipes without having to do much to it at all.
Purchase Organic Broccoli
One of the most important things you can do is to purchase organic broccoli. Conventional broccoli is one of the “Dirty Dozen,” meaning it contains the highest amount of pesticides when compared to other fruits and vegetables. It’s also wise to try to buy local if at all possible. While this isn’t always easy, most areas do have a farmer’s market during the summer or spring months.
How To Select And Store
When you get home from the store, you’ll want to keep your broccoli as fresh as possible until you’re ready to eat it. The easiest way to do this is to separate the florets and the stalks. This helps the broccoli to last longer since the stalks take longer to decay than the florets.
To prevent any decay and to have fresh broccoli ready to cook for your meal, you can store the florets and stalks in separate plastic bags. The florets will only need to be sealed in a bag, but the stalks will need to be stored in a perforated bag to allow for some air to flow through.
If you need to store them for a longer period of time, it’s best to keep them in the fridge. The best way to do this is to wrap the florets in plastic wrap or put them in a plastic bag. For the stalks, you’ll want to separate the florets from the stems, and then wrap them separately. The florets should be wrapped so that they are sealed airtight, while the stems just need to be placed in a perforated bag.
Broccoli does not need to be frozen since it’s so low in water content. Since it’s not a very moist vegetable, there is a lower chance of it going bad. You can keep it in the fridge for about a week or two weeks if you’re using the stems and florets separately. Of course, the stalks will tend to last longer than the florets.
You can also freeze broccoli if you want to have a steady supply throughout the year. To do so, mix the florets in with some water in an airtight bag. Stir the mixture every once in a while to make sure that all of the florets are frozen and not just the ones at the top of the bag. You can also add some ice to keep the florets cold since frozen broccoli is best when it’s at a zero degree temperature.
If you’re making a stir-fry, you can combine the frozen broccoli with some scrambled eggs. This will act as an extra thickener. Don’t add any extra sugar since the sugar from the broccoli is enough to sweeten up the dish without making it cloyingly sweet like most frozen vegetables tend to be. You can also make sprouts by putting fresh florets in water in a tightly closed glass jar. Use the florets you put in the jar as a topping for soups or sandwiches.
So next time you see broccoli on sale, pick some up and give one of these recipes a try!
You can store the unused portion of the broccoli in one of these ways:
Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family, which is known for its health benefits and pungent smell. There are many different ways to prepare this vegetable and it can be eaten both raw and cooked. Here are some simple meals and side dishes you can make using this healthy green.
Broccoli is a versatile food that’s not only delicious but also nutritious. It can be eaten raw or cooked and has few rivals in the taste and nutrition departments. It’s a low-calorie food that’s high in fiber and nutrients like vitamin C, folate, and vitamin A. This green vegetable is also naturally low in fat and sodium, making it an ideal food for those watching their weight. Plus, it’s filling so you won’t crave unhealthy snacks between meals.
Quickly steamed broccoli is a great addition to your diet if you’re trying to shed a few pounds. It’s very low in calories so you can eat heaps without feeling guilty. Plus, most of the calories come from protein and fiber so you’ll feel full for hours after a serving. However, even when eaten as part of a low-calorie diet, broccoli can help you lose weight.
This is thanks to its ITC component. The ITC in broccoli has been shown to help boost the body’s metabolic rate, which in turn helps you burn more calories even at rest.
Eating lots of broccoli as part of a healthy diet can also help you lose weight thanks to other components like vitamin C and fiber. The vitamin C helps your body better absorb the iron in your diet, which is important since iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies. It’s also high in fiber, which helps keep your digestive system running efficiently so you can stay full between meals.
Even if you’re eating healthy foods like broccoli, you can still end up sabotaging your weight-loss goals by eating too much of it. One cup of chopped raw broccoli only has 30 calories, which is great for weight loss since it allows you to eat lots without going over your calorie goal for the day. However, if you start eating several cups per day, you’re going to start putting on weight due to the huge increase in calories.
You can also eat too little of it. While one cup is a good amount to aim for, you may find that even this amount makes your stools very bulky. Eating more will have no impact on your weight loss goals and actually make your stools harder to pass. Aim for one to two cups per day to balance your weight loss with easy bowel movements.
As you can see, eating lots of broccoli is not a license to eat whatever else you want. If you’re eating a nutritious diet that includes lots of low-calorie, fibrous foods, you may find that a cup of chopped, raw broccoli causes your stools to become very large and difficult to pass. In this case, you should eat up to two cups per day to ensure your digestive system stays on track. However, if a cup of broccoli causes your stools to be very difficult to pass, you should eat less since eating more will not ease their passage and can even cause hemorrhoids.
How to Cook Broccoli?
There are many ways to prepare this superfood. When cooking for one, steaming is quick and easy. Just toss the florets into a microwave-safe bowl, add a couple of teaspoons of water (or vegetable broth for more flavor), and microwave for two to four minutes. For side dishes, it can be stir-fried with your choice of meat and vegetables, or even added to casseroles and pasta sauces. When eating it raw, try chopping it into sticks and drizzling with lemon juice for a healthy, low-calorie snack.
For an easy snack or meal:
Steam the broccoli, drain it well in a colander, then place the drained broccoli in a bowl and toss with diced boiled egg, a tablespoon of plain yogurt, salt, and black pepper to taste.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the vinegar and 1 tsp salt. Drain the broccoli and add to the boiling water, cover, and cook for 2 minutes. Drain well and place in a bowl. Stir in a teaspoon of sesame oil and ¼ cup toasted almonds or pine nuts.
Serve steamed broccoli with a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
Steamed Broccoli with Orange and Soy:
In a bowl, mix together the juice of one orange (about ¼ cup), one tablespoon of soy sauce, a dash of ground black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Stir well. Place the drained broccoli in a bowl, pour the orange mixture over it, and toss until it’s well combined.
How Many Calories are in Broccoli?
One cup of chopped, raw broccoli has about 22 calories. One cup of it steamed has just 17 calories. This high nutrient to low calorie food ratio is one of broccoli’s main selling points.
What’s the Difference Between Broccoli and Broccoli Rabe?
Quite simply, they’re two different plants from the same family. Broccoli is the large, traditional floret type that people generally associate with the word broccoli. Broccoli rabe, also called rapini, has thinner stems and smaller florets that look more like garden lettuce. It has a strong flavor some people love and others hate. If you’ve eaten in an Italian restaurant and noticed a bitter green at the edge of your pasta, that was probably broccoli rabe. It’s most often eaten cooked, in which case its flavor is less overpowering. It can also be eaten raw.
Should You Eat the Stem?
Eating the stems and leaves of the broccoli plant is completely up to you and what you prefer. In terms of nutrition, there’s no significant difference between stems and florets. They’re both packed full of antioxidants to help fight free radicals and prevent certain types of cancers. As with most fruits and vegetables, it really comes down to a personal preference. If you like the stems, go ahead and eat them. If not, just discard them. You miss out on very little.
Storing and Freezing Broccoli
Whether you buy it fresh or frozen, the key to storing broccoli is keeping it as dry as possible. This prevents it from spoiling quickly and helps to keep your broccoli fresher, longer. Most store their broccoli in a plastic bag, but these can allow small amounts of moisture to be trapped inside and cause rot. A better method is to place the broccoli in an air tight container or a sealed plastic bag to prevent any chance of moisture getting in.
Keeping it in the fridge will also help to keep it fresh, but be sure to keep it away from other vegetables with strong smells, such as onions. These can have a negative effect on the flavor of your broccoli.
As with most vegetables, you can freeze broccoli to use at a later date. Blanch it first to help preserve its color and flavor.
To blanch: Remove the tougher outer leaves from the stalk. Cut the stalk down the center and place it in a large pot of boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove and immerse it in cold water to prevent further cooking and to keep its bright green color.
Another method is to wrap it in plastic wrap, place it in a freezer bag and freeze it for up to one year. Defrost fully before use.
Now that you know how to select, store and prepare your broccoli, it’s time to start cooking. Broccoli is loaded with glucosinolates, a natural substance linked to cancer fighting antioxidants. It also contains fiber, vitamin C, B6 and potassium. It’s low in calories and a good source of calcium.
Making broccoli part of your regular diet will help you meet your daily requirements while keeping your appetite at bay. Include it in your diet as a snack between meals or as part of lunch and dinner. The following recipes offer a range of ways to prepare it.
Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 3 minutes, then chop into small pieces. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan and add the chopped broccoli. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in red pepper flakes, almonds, salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese before serving.
Broccoli and Cauli Soup
Cut the florets off a large head of broccoli and separate the cauliflower into small florets. Combine with onion, garlic, salt and chicken stock in a large pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for around 15 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft.
Blend the mixture until it reaches the desired consistency and serve immediately.
Green Pepper and Broccoli Omelet
Wash and finely chop broccoli. Combine in a pan with green peppers, chopped mushrooms and an onion cut into rings. Sauté in a small amount of oil until the vegetables are soft. Beat six eggs in a bowl, season with salt, pepper and dried herbs. Pour the mixture into a hot pan and cook until the bottom sets.
Add the vegetable mixture, reduce heat to low and cook until the center is almost set. Fold the omelet in half and let it cook through for a minute or two.
Baked Beans with Broccoli
Wash and drain 1 can of baked beans. Place in a small casserole dish with 1 cup of water. Stir in 2 cups of finely chopped broccoli, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of ketchup and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce.
Cover and cook in the microwave for 8 minutes on high or cook in the oven at 350 degrees F for around 30 minutes. Stir thoroughly and serve.
Shrimp and Broccoli Stir-fry
Cut a head of broccoli into small florets. Peel and devein 1 1/2 pounds of shrimp. (Save the shells to make shrimp stock if you like). Slice half a red or green pepper (your choice) into thin strips. Peel and finely chop a clove of garlic.
Peel and grate a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger.
Add half a tablespoon of oil to a wok or large skillet and place on high heat. When the oil is hot, add the broccoli, shrimp shells, garlic and ginger. Stir-fry until the shells turn red, then add the peppers. Continue to stir-fry for 3 minutes, then add the shrimp and stir-fry for 1 minute more.
Add 1/2 cup of water, cover the wok and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat. Stir in 1/4 cup of soy sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with cooked jasmine rice.
Grilled Asparagus with Toasted Garlic
Wash and drain 1 bunch of organic asparagus. Peel and crush 2 cloves of garlic. Cut the tips off the asparagus and set aside. Place the stalks in a bowl, add the crushed garlic and drizzle with a good quality extra virgin olive oil. Cook the asparagus tips and reserved shrimp in a pan until they turn pink.
Add to the bowl with the stalks. Place the asparagus tips on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little more oil. Cook under a preheated medium grill for 3 minutes, then turn over and cook for 2 minutes more.
Arrange the asparagus tips on serving plates. Add the stalks and shrimp to the bowl with the garlic and oil and spoon over the asparagus.
Spicy Broccoli Stir-fry
Peel and crush or finely chop 1 clove of garlic. Cut the tips off 1/2 a bunch of broccoli and cut into small pieces. Peel and finely chop a red chili. Cut the stems off 1/2 a bunch of broccoli and cut into small pieces. Peel and grate a 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger.
Add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil to a wok or large skillet and place on high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger and chili. Stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the broccoli stalks and continue to stir-fry for another 3 minutes. Add the broccoli tops, 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat.
Stir in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and season to taste with black pepper.
Serve immediately with cooked jasmine rice and the shrimp and asparagus stir-fry from above.
Sources & references used in this article:
Wheat Belly (Revised and Expanded Edition): Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by W Davis – 2019 – books.google.com
RNA imaging with dimeric broccoli in live bacterial and mammalian cells by GS Filonov, SR Jaffrey – Current protocols in chemical biology, 2016 – Wiley Online Library
The Belly Fat Diet Cookbook: 105 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Lose Your Belly, Shed Excess Weight, Improve Health by J Chatham – 2013 – books.google.com