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Spotlight on Broccoli

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What is Broccoli?

Broccoli is a cruciferous green vegetable that belongs to the cabbage family and grows with a thick stalk, long skinny green leaves and flowers to look much like a tree

Common Types of Broccoli

Common broccoli - pictured in the center of the page also referred to as Common broccoli

Broccolini - this is a stalk heavy version of broccoli that produces very small flowers with larger buds and has a slightly crispier taste that common broccoli

Broccoli Raab - A leaf and stalk heavy version of broccoli with small buds

Broccoli Romanesco - is essentially what you get when broccoli and cauliflower has a baby although to me it looks and tastes more like cauliflower. It grows in an often perfect spiral and has a lime green color with dark green highlights 

Sprouting Broccoli - this one, in structure, is a combination between 

Chinese Broccoli - This looks and tastes much like a merriment between spinach and broccoli with small buds but large spinach-like green leaves.

This article breaks it down better than I can.

And here is some extra info geared towards gardeners ^ that article did not cover.

Why eat broccoli?

Help out your immune response:

Broccoli has been proven to have a long list of benefits... According to Science Daily, and many other scientific sources broccoli (along with other cruciferous veggies) can act as fuel for your immune responses by helping arm your cellular response to free radicals.

What are free radicals? They're the agents that spread disease inside your body. Broccoli is the leading host of the agent diindolylmethane which has been proven to act much like estrogen inside the body and are especially good for the uterus and its hormonal functions. It has loosely been proven to help the body fight reproductive cancers. 

Take care of them eyes:

Broccoli contains beta-carotene which is converted in your body to vitamin A which in turn supports your eye function especially at night. 

Keep that heart a pumpin':

According to every major nutritional organization cruciferous vegetables are  a significant deterrent of cardiovascular disease and broccoli is one of the MVP's of the cruciferous veggies category.

 

Check out a more in depth overview of this information 

The broccoli breakdown

•Very high in Vitamin C

•Very high in Vitamin K

•Good source of Vitamin A

•Good Source of folate

•Good source for manganese

•Good source for potassium

•Good source for phosphorus 

•Good source for magnesium

•Good source for calcium

•Good source for selenium

• Low in fat and high in Omega Fatty Acids

•Holds a small amount of carbs and sugars but a decent amount of fiber to help digest.

Check out a full list of nutrition facts here

How can I make broccoli tasty?

There's a rumor out there circulating that breaks down the differences between eating broccoli raw and cooking it. I wasn't very interested in diving into that breakdown, so I'll let you dive down into that rabbit hole yourself, but I know just by logical conclusion that the nutrients in vegetables are always most potent in raw form, so I often look for creative ways to prepare my veggies raw and add them to a meal without cooking it. There is a time and place for both methods, but I've noticed myself getting through my broccoli a whole lot easier by breaking it way down into very small pieces and chopping up the stalks then tossing it gently in oil, salt and pepper. You can add this to traditional leafy salads, you can add it to mixed meal bowls, you can throw it in a dip or mix it with a grainy starch like quinoa or rice. It's amazing as a base to runny eggs. You can even add garlic and just put it directly onto crackers. If you do want to cook it you can steam it or boil it, but try not to overcook it. It loses so much flavor and turns into mostly water. If I want broccoli as the star of my entrée, I'll toss it the same as I do when eating it raw and then roast it until the outside is slightly crispy... mmmm.... So many possibilities!

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Did we miss anything?

Did we forget something important? Did we use the proper sources? Are there questions that should be added to this page? Do you have a favorite recipe or any cooking suggestions?

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