Spotlight On Broccoli

Food day boys and girls. Yeah, that makes me happy too. Todays spotlight is on one of my most favorite veggies that show’s up a whole lot for meals at my house.

Broccoli.

Now stop turning your nose up at it. It’s not my fault your mom used to steam it till it was mush and then make you eat it with threats of withholding dessert if you didn’t suck it down.

Broccoli is good. Trust me. AND it really good for you.

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Broccoli fresh or frozen offers the same benefits

 

So what’s the lowdown on it?

I know you want the 411 on this tasty green stuff so here we go. When it comes to great tasting nutrition broccoli is an all star food with many health benefits. Low in calories ( about 45 calories per stalk) broccoli is rich in essential vitamins and minerals in addition to loads of good fiber.

Broccoli belongs to a family of vegetables called cruciferous vegetables and its close relatives include brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage.

A cup of cooked broccoli offers as much vitamin C as an orange, and is a good source of beta-carotene. Broccoli contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc too. It also provides fiber and is low in calories.

Broccoli has some great nutrients….

Vitamin K – essential for the functioning of many proteins involved in blood clotting

Vitamin C – builds collagen, which forms body tissue and bone, and helps cuts and wounds heal. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and protects the body from damaging free radicals.

Fiber – diets high in fiber promote digestive health. A high fiber intake can also help lower cholesterol.

Potassium – a mineral and electrolyte that is essential for the function of nerves and heart contraction.

Folate – is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells in the body

Do you know how you cook it can affect the nutritional quality of broccoli?  Boiling can leach out up to 90% of it’s important nutrients.

So not only did your mom make you eat green mush, she made you eat green mush with no nutrients 😉

Better cooking options are steaming, roasting, stir flying and microwaving.

Roasting it with a little olive oil, sea salt, and parmesan cheese is pretty amazing.

A weird bit of broccoli history….

Broccoli was developed from wild cabbage during Roman times, and was enjoyed immensely by the Romans. Broccoli was introduced to the United States during colonial times, but did not gain popularity until the 1920’s.

Did you know…

Broccoli gets its name from the Italian word “broccolo”, which means “cabbage sprout”.

You think those “detox” things sound cool ? ( for the record… don’t. Just don’t ok??) Phytocheimcals glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin and glucobrassicin compose a terrific trio in broccoli. Together, they aid all steps of the body’s detoxification process, from activation to neutralization and elimination of contaminants.

You wanna detox? Eat your broccoli.

One hundred grams of broccoli has three grams of protein, which is pretty good for a vegetable.

In fact, the structure of broccoli’s protein is similar to that of animal protein, without the punch of cholesterol.

Apart from its rich amount of vitamins and minerals, you should include broccoli in your everyday diet thanks to its high content of antioxidants and plant compounds, some of which promote good heart health and even prevent cancer

Broccoli has a number of science-proven health benefits, including cancer prevention, lowering cholesterol levels, improving eye and gut health, and many others.

Seriously. Eat your broccoli.

Enough of the science stuff…. how do we make it tasty?

Alright, I’m gonna toss some tasty little recipes at you. Of course you can’t ever go wrong just nibbling on the raw stuff… just stay away from all those creamy dips…. well unless you do what I do.

Make a creamy dip with non fat greek yogurt… protein, no fat and tasty. I get the Ranch dip mix, add yogurt. No one knows.

Win/win

Roasting, I’ve said before, is the bomb for most veggies. I can eat my body weight in roasted veggies, which is a lot 😉

Find a roasted recipe below

 

and one of my favorite things to make…

I love to make a salad with broccoli, apples, craisins, some red onion, some bacon bits ( because well, bacon.) and sometimes some crushed walnuts.

Here’s the deal breaker for me on so many of these types of salad, the dressings are mainly mayo based therefore driving up calories on an otherwise healthy salad. I found a dressing locally by a company called Kens and the flavor was Apple Cider Vinegar. It’s pretty low in calories, so I mix enough of that in to kinda lightly coat stuff. It gives it the sweet, lightly creamy taste and texture of the mayo/sugar dressings but definitely less calories and fat.

Oh my gosh. So good.

Even my pickier veggie eaters ask for it now.

So that’s a wrap on our eat your veggies spotlight.

Tell me about your broccoli adventures. Do you like it? How do you eat it? Any favorite recipes?

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