Broccoli is a vegetable that is a member of the cabbage family, and is closely related to cauliflower. It was originally cultivated in Italy. The whole broccoli can be eaten and as such, provides a range of tastes and textures from soft and flowery (the florets) to fibrous and crunchy (the stem and stalk). The colour can range from dark green to purplish-green, depending on the variety.
Introduction: 8 months
As with other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli may cause gas. Start with small amounts of the florets at first and gradually increase the amount if it is well tolerated, introducing the stems last. Adding grated ginger or ginger powder to the broccoli will aid digestion and reduce gas.
Choose broccoli that is not bruised, yellow or slimy. The stalks and stems should be firm and the leaves should be vibrant in colour and not wilted.
Store raw broccoli in a sealed bag in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Store cooked broccoli in a sealed glass container in a sealed container for up to 1 week.
The Vitamin C content degrades shortly after the broccoli has been picked, so it is best to eat it as fresh as possible.
Soak the broccoli in a salt water, vinegar water or hydrogen peroxide water solution for 20 minutes then rinse under running water.
Cut to desired sizes and leave to stand for 10 minutes. The nutritional value of broccoli increases if it is left to stand after cutting and before cooking (much the same as garlic).
Steam broccoli for a short time (5 minutes) to maximum flavour and nutrition. The stems may need a couple of minutes longer.
To blanche, place the cut broccoli in a colander and pour a kettle full of boiling water over the florets.
Broccoli can also be enjoyed raw, in juices or dehydrated.
Dehydrated Broccoli – Mila went through a phase where she happily ate a bowl of broccoli ‘chips’ while sitting next to her friends who were eating ice-cream! I am still trying to remember why I didn’t include the recipe for those ‘chips’ (dehydrated broccoli soaked in tamari sauce ) in my book! I will post it to the blog soon.
Juiced Broccoli – I have to admit, I am not a fan of broccoli! But I was completely surprised to find that broccoli juiced with pears is absolutely DELICIOUS! Give it a try!
Sprouted Broccoli – Broccoli seeds make delicious and nutritious sprouts that have high concentrations of Vitamin C.
Sprouting involves soaking seeds, nuts, legumes or grains for several hours, then repeatedly rinsing them until they begin to develop a ‘tail’.
Soaking softens the hull, allowing the sprout to grow. They are usually ready to use when the sprout is ¼ inch.
Sprouts contain all the elements that a plant needs for life and growth. The simple process of sprouting breaks down the anit-nutrients and activates beneficial enzymes – making the seeds easier to digest and increasing the bioavailability of the protein, vitamins and minerals.