Broccoli is an edible green plant in the family of cabbage whose large flowering head is eaten as a vegetable. The term broccoli comes from the Italian word of broccoli, which means “the flowering crest of a cabbage “, and is the diminutive form of brocco, meaning “sprout”.
Broccoli is almost most often considered to be an exotic vegetable and it draws resemblance to cauliflower. It is said that broccoli was in Europe first cultivated about 2000 years ago and was brought to other countries by Italians. Broccoli is one of the most nutritious vegetables which has a dark green, crisp and sturdy floret.
There are three common types of broccoli. The most familiar is Calabrese broccoli, named after Calabria in Italy. It is a cool season annual grown crop. Sprouting broccoli has a large number of heads with many thin stalks. Purple cauliflower is another type of broccoli grown in Europe and North America. It has a head shaped like cauliflower but consists of tiny flower buds.
How to Prepare Broccoli
A few would say broccoli is boring but that is far from the truth. This is otherwise believed if not tried in different ways. Broccoli is juicy, fresh, firm and needs to be cooked in the right way.
Plunking down broccoli in boiling water breaks down its cells faster than any other cooking methods. If you want to have your broccoli sooner, dice it, braid it up with olive oil and salt and throw it in the oven.
You could also consider grilling, bake broccoli florets. After cooking broccoli make sure you let off steam and let the florets absorb the flavor and not get soggy.
Health Benefits of Broccoli
Broccoli contains magnesium and calcium, both of which are great for regulating blood pressure and bone health. Just one cup of it also contains the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. The Vitamin C in broccoli works actually as an antioxidant, which means it helps in fighting off free radicals that can lead to cancer.
The vitamin C in Broccoli is also a potent antihistamine and it helps the body fight off colds. Broccoli is high in beta-carotene, and contains trace minerals like selenium, which work to strengthen the immune system, which also keeps the body system flu-free.
Broccoli also helps the eye health greatly. This comes to play by vitamin A and the carotenoid lutein in the vegetable. The carotenoid lutein also supports our heart health, along with other vitamins like vitamins B6 which reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
There has been a lot of frenzy about broccoli. Broccoli is not usually boring as viewed by most people. This is true if it is spiced up with different recipes. Below are 7 recipes to spice your boring Broccoli;
1. Creamy Almond Broccoli salad
Most creamy salads are usually loaded with mayo, but this version, not necessarily new, opts for an almond butter, orange juice and miso dressing that gives it a pick overall. Toss the ingredients together, sprinkle with sauce, and you’ve got a side dish vegetable lunch ready for a meal.
2. Crispy Broccoli Parmesan Fritters
These potato pancake imitator fritters only require a food processor and a frying pan and can be ready under an hour. Then top it with a cup of Greek yogurt or sour cream, plus maybe a little salsa. The broccoli will come out delectable and crunchy.
3. Cheesy Cauliflower Broccoli Bake
This cheesy, vegetable-filled dish is the super healthy casserole. It’s lighter than the usual role thanks to low-fat cheese, fat-free milk, and olive oil; Dijon gives these things a notch flavor-wise.
4. Lemon Garlic Magic Broccoli
Anything called a “magic broccoli” is worth a try. This particular recipe requires only a tiny bit more effort than your usual roasting-on-the-pan, but the extra time makes such a big difference.
Add lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and Parmesan to broccoli and toss them in the oven for 30 minutes. It’s definitely a game-changer. You can as well fry the broccoli with just a little butter, onions and garlic in a pan and voila.
5. Shrimp and Broccoli
This broccoli and spicy shrimp dish rivals any major delivery and is so simple to make. If you like things extra spicy, add a bit more red pepper flakes.
6. Ginger Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry
A stir-fry should be your favorite weeknight meal, and this one is no exception. Garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and a pinch of brown sugar go a long way in transforming chicken and broccoli into a major dish.
7. Vegan Bang Bang Broccoli
This vegan broccoli dish is as tasty and colorful as the name implies. Chili paste and hot sauce give it a kick, and you probably already have most of the other ingredients you need in your pantry. Go on with the broccoli!
External sources for this article include AthleanX1https://athleanx.com/for-women/10-new-ways-to-make-broccoli-taste-awesome, Wikipedia2https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broccoli, NDTV Food3https://food.ndtv.com/lists/10-best-broccoli-recipes-731246, and Greatist4https://greatist.com/eat/best-broccoli-recipes as referenced below.
References [ + ]