Broccoli has been widely used and known for its health benefits since the 1920’s. Since then, it has been studied in over 300 research articles proving its superfood power. Evolving from its cabbage family, broccoli is very similar to cauliflower. An “edible flower” with strong nutrient power, broccoli is a diverse and flavorful food!
- Ability to lower cholesterol when steamed
- A great “detox food” that eliminates unwanted contaminates
- Contain a strong combination of vitamin D, A and K
- Anti-inflammatory properties
Fun fact: Broccoli means “the flowering top of a cabbage”
Seasonal tip: Broccoli is available all year round, but is best during October through April.
Broccoli is a powerful superfood no matter how it is eaten. However, steaming broccoli provides even more nutrient benefits. When steaming broccoli, you do not want to risk over cooking. This can damage the nutrients and remove the flavor. Steam using this effective method:
- Add 2 inches of water to the bottom of a pot
- Cut and prepare broccoli florets
- Once water comes to a rapid boil, add florets
- Steam for 5 minutes or less (this is the key to not over cooking)
Broccoli can be a challenging food to make appealing to kids. An effective way to give kids the nutrient benefits of broccoli is to add it to a delicious recipe! Our very own registered dietitian nutritionist Chandis Siwek created this hearty recipe. It is delicious and healthy!
Broccoli and White Bean Soup with Croutons
1/2 large yellow onion
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium crowns of broccoli
1-15oz can of white beans
1 clove of garlic, rough chopped
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 spring rosemary, rough chopped
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
6 pieces of bread (French bread, whole wheat, gluten-free, etc)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
In a food processor or blender, add onion and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Blend until smooth. Heat a medium-sized pot on medium heat with 2-tablespoon olive oil. Once oil is shimmering, add onion puree.
Add 1 crown of broccoli, 1⁄2 can of white beans, and 1-cup broth to food processor. Blend until smooth.
Add puree to pot. Add the rest of the broccoli, beans, and broth to the food processor with garlic. Blend until smooth and add to the pot. Add rosemary, paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Add additional broth for a more liquid consistency.
Preheat the oven to 350oF or set to broil. Stack 3 pieces of bread and cut in a grid to create cubes. Repeat. In a mixing bowl, add bread cubes, olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix together until the pieces are coated evenly.
Spread the bread cubes on a sheet pan and place in the oven for about 5 minutes or until crispy.
Avoid overcooking the croutons. Sprinkle croutons and parmesan cheese over each bowl of soup and enjoy!