Broccoli is a superfood that has always been associated with kids not liking it! But broccoli is a prime example of a highly nutritious food.
1 cup of broccoli packs:
1359 mcg beta-carotene
123 mg Vitamin C
74 mg calcium
It is touted to cut the risk of bladder cancer, ovarian cancer, prostrate cancer and when combined with tomatoes it reduces peptic ulcers. It promotes stronger bones and cataract prevention. It is an immune booster.
Like other foods, it is most nutritious raw, but as long it as it not overcooked (steamed or sauteed 5 min at most) it is still highly nutritious.
Interesting fact - when broccoli is cut, cancer preventing compounds are released and take 5 min to form. So, in order to preserve them, wait at least 5 minutes before cooking. This gives the compound a chance to form.
This history of broccoli is quite interesting...
The name is derived from brachium meaning branch or arm. It was created by the Romans who derived it from wild cabbage. Later on, Italian immigrants brought it to America.
Currently, there are many variations, brocco-flower, broccolini etc.
Cold, raw broccoli salad utilizes the stalk, stem, florets. Simply combine broccoli, chopped (stem and all) with chopped red onion, dried cranberries, almonds or walnuts. Additionally, but not required mix in chopped or shredded carrot, sliced tomatoes, peas, sunflower seeds or cashews.
Season with salt and pepper.
Top with oil and vinegar or a bit of Buttermilk dressing - delicious!
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup mayonaise
2 T cider vinegar
1 T sugar
3 T chopped shallot