How To Cook Broccoli



Best Tips on How to Cook Broccoli

            As one of the healthiest vegetables we can consume, everyone should have the knowledge of how to cook broccoli.  Called by many a “miracle food”, all of us should be eating adequate portions; however, many shun this delicious vegetable.

            For many years, overcooked and limp broccoli stalks stared back from the plate to the dismayed diner’s eyes.  Mushy and unappetizing, this background has many people believing they just don’t like broccoli.  The truth is, they likely have never had the opportunity to delight in the many wonderful and delicious recipes that exist nowadays.

            Broccoli is such a nutritional benefit to our diets that it is shameful to not find a method of cooking the vegetable in a manner that is pleasing to the palate.  High in vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and fiber, the vegetable has been found to combat various types of cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and arthritis.  It is even believed to slow the aging process! 

            Eating broccoli raw is a great way to capitalize on absorbing all of the nutrients in the vegetable, but many people simply do not enjoy raw broccoli.  Learning how to cook broccoli in a way that captures the nutrient qualities as well as making it flavorful is easy once you know how.  The first step is preparing the vegetable for cooking.  Broccoli is a stalk vegetable, and both the stalk and the florets are edible.  The thinner stalks holding the florets will be naturally tender and good.  Separate these from the large stalk and set aside, leaving just the large stalk.  This part needs just a bit of work.  Peel away the outer layer of the large stalk and then cut the inner part into strips or cubes.  Some of the larger florets can be cut in half, leaving part of the stalk for each, while the smaller florets can be left as is.  You are now ready to cook the broccoli, using one of the following methods.

Steaming.  Steaming broccoli is one method of cooking the vegetable so that it retains the valuable nutrients.  Using a steamer basket on the stovetop is the best way to do this.  Add only enough water to cover the bottom of a large pan, but not so deep as to rise above the steamer basket when placed inside.  Arrange the broccoli on the steamer basket and cover.  Cook over high heat for about 5 minutes until tender.  Take care when lifting the cover from the pan; lifting the lid away from your face as the escaping steam could cause burns.  When serving, a cheese sauce will add a great deal more flavor as well as entice even the most reluctant vegetable eater.

Stir-Frying.  This method of cooking vegetables is a Chinese tradition.  Add a small amount of oil to a large frying pan or wok; place over high heat.  When the oil is hot, add broccoli and any other raw vegetables desired, such as onion, mushrooms, slivered carrots, zucchini or spinach.  Sauté until vegetables are crisp tender.

            Broccoli can also make a delicious entrée or soup.  Several casseroles using rice, pasta or breads along with cheddar or Swiss cheese make a perfect showcase for the tender, delicious broccoli.  Meats can be added if desired, but the casseroles will be just as tasty as a vegetarian meal.  Cheddar broccoli soup is a hearty meal as well as a great way to serve broccoli to your family.

            When considering how healthy broccoli is and the benefits it has for our overall health, it just makes sense to ensure that it is a regular part of our diets.  This miracle food could very well be the ticket to keeping your family healthy.