Harvest of the Month: Broccoli
Broccoli, while not the most glamorous vegetable (and one that may cause kids turn up their noses), is one of the superfoods of the vegetable world. Being a dark green, cruciferous vegetable means this food is chock full of vitamins and nutrients. You get more nutritional bang for your buck as opposed to lighter, less dense vegetables such as iceberg lettuce.
The health benefits from broccoli are many, but its anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties are some of the most well known. Several links have been made between the nutrients in broccoli and the ability to reduce risk for certain cancers and cardiovascular disease.
How to Select
Depending on the variety, broccoli can be dark green or green-purple in color. Look for florets that are compact and not bruised or wilting.
How to Store
Broccoli should be kept cool and dry. Keep it in a plastic bag without open access to air, and do not wash until you are ready to prepare. After broccoli has been cooked, it can remain in the refrigerator for a few more days.
How to Prepare
Run broccoli under cold running water. Chop into small sections using both the stalks and floret clusters, as there are health benefits to both. As with any vegetable, the healthiest route of cooking is steaming, lightly grilling, or sautéing without excessive use of fats like butter or oil. Dot not overcook, otherwise the broccoli florets start to fall apart.
Try broccoli in the delicious recipe for Five Ingredient Broccoli Salad from The Food Network.