A delicious, Roman vegetable!

BROCCOLI was cultivated in Italy, in ancient Roman times, from wild cabbage. It is really a very large flower top, picked before it blooms.

It gets its name from the Italian word “broccolo”, which means “cabbage sprout”. Broccoli was first introduced to the US by Italian immigrants, but did not become widely known until the 1920s. The States are the third-largest broccoli producers in the world (after China and India), and grow over one million tons a year.

Broccoli’s “sister-vegetable”, cauliflower, is also a mild anti-allergic. It encourages the production of antibodies, and is thought to help protect against allergies, asthma, migraines and depression. Just ½ a cup per day, or a couple of two-cup servings per week, has been shown to be enough to obtain some cancer-prevention benefits.

Broccoli sprouts have also, recently, become popular, as a result of research uncovering their high concentration of the anti-cancer phytonutrient, sulforaphane.

A cup of cooked broccoli offers as much Vitamin C as an orange, and is a good source of beta-carotene. It contains Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. It also provides fibre, and is low in calories.

For those interested in lowering cholesterol, the fibre-related components in broccoli do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they’ve been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it’s easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Raw broccoli has slightly less effect on cholesterol, but more in other areas.

Avoid overcooking broccoli because about half of its beneficial substances may be destroyed in the process. Also, microwaving is thought to remove valuable nutrients.

Light steaming is best, for just a couple of minutes, until it turns bright green. Stop cooking while it still has a bit of firmness to it. It can be added with cauliflower to soups and stews.

* Eat broccoli or cauliflower, raw or lightly steamed, with a dip, or pour an olive oil lemon dressing over it

* Chop lightly-steamed broccoli and cauliflower and add to a pasta salad. Add pepper to taste

* Purée cooked broccoli and cauliflower, then combine with seasonings

* Toss pasta with olive oil, pine nuts and steamed broccoli florets

* Add broccoli florets and chopped stalks to omelettes.

A new way to enjoy broccoli is to roast it! Place fresh broccoli on a metal sheet lined with aluminum foil, and spray with oil. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and some Parmesan cheese on top, and roast the broccoli at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. It will have a deliciously nutty taste that will have you craving more!




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Posted by on Sep 14 2018. Filed under Food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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