Try Recipes with Broccoli, a Super-Healthy Vegetable

Broccoli is a vegetable that not only tastes great, but does wonders for our health. Its high contents of vitamin C make it one of the foods considered as natural reservoirs of substances beneficial for human organism. There are many ways to prepare broccoli, whether separately fresh or boiled or as an ingredient. Apart from interesting information on this plant, this article also brings broccoli recipes, including popular broccoli au gratin with cheese, broccoli soup or a light broccoli salad.

Many people like broccoli not only because of its pleasant taste, but also for its fresh green colour (even though there are also purple or yellow varieties); broccoli supports the theory that food must be appealing for our eyes in order for us to enjoy it. And so broccoli finds its place on our plates instead of classic side dishes such as potatoes or rice. Its appearance reminds us of cauliflower, but its inflorescence has much finer structure. When stewing/boiling broccoli, we need to make sure it doesn't become too soft because then it falls apart failing to hold its shape together. Furthermore, abrupt thermal processing reduces efficiency of the healthy substances in it. Among other things, we will give you some tips on how to prepare broccoli correctly.

Where Did Broccoli Come From?

It originally comes from the Mediterranean, more specifically probably from the Italian Peninsula. That is also why Italy holds the first place in growing and exporting this vegetable. Broccoli is becoming increasingly popular, despite the fact that it has entered Czech households in larger sense only recently (more or less in 1990s). For that matter, it has only become popular worldwide during the 20th century. It is therefore not a vegetable that people have been consuming since the time immemorial. As far as the Czech Republic is concerned, sprouting broccoli prevails (it has fairly long harvest period). On the other hand, France prefers Calabrese broccoli (unlike sprouting broccoli, it has larger central stalk, not several smaller ones).

Broccoli Is a Vitamin Bomb

Broccoli should be a regular ingredient in our diet. It contains a wide range of vitamins, minerals, fibre and other beneficial nutrients. With this unique composition, it may help you fight various health problems. What does broccoli provide for the human organism?

  • vitamin C (more than 100 mg in 100 g!)
  • vitamin D
  • vitamin E
  • vitamin B6
  • vitamin B12
  • carotene
  • riboflavin
  • folic acid
  • potassium
  • calcium
  • iron
  • selenium
  • magnesium

 

Vitamins are vital substances which human body can produce only to a very limited amount. Humans therefore need to acquire them from their food, mainly from fruits and vegetables. There are about 20 basic vitamins which further occur in approximately 200 further derivatives. They can be divided into fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins.

What Trouble Can Broccoli Help Us With?

Based on its contents, broccoli is often recommended in therapy for various illnesses, but also as powerful preventative agent, e.g. to cold and flu. It often finds its place in the diet of people striving to lose weight, because it is 90% water and it doesn't contain almost any carbohydrates. What are the healing effects of broccoli then?

  • it has anti-cancer benefits (colon cancer) and digestive benefits
  • it strengthens blood vessels, heart and circulation
  • protects from infectious diseases
  • accelerates metabolising of proteins and carbohydrates
  • improves the immune system
  • helps against nervousness and sleep disorders (tips and tricks on fighting insomnia are available in the article HERE )
  • mitigates menstrual cramps
  • helps haematopoiesis
  • has anti-stroke benefits
  • helps prevent development of prostate cancer

How to Cook Broccoli Properly?

It has been mentioned in the introduction to this article that broccoli must not be overboiled, otherwise it loses integrity, taste and vitamins. That is why it is recommended to steam it (ca 5 minutes). When boiling it water, only do it lightly, at approx. 60-70°C for 10 minutes on medium flame. Keep trying its integrity with a knife or fork - much depends on the size of broccoli. Before you start preparing it, it is necessary to wash it carefully, cut it and remove the stem from the flowers. (Not many people know that broccoli leaves are also edible; you can prepare them as cabbage). Broccoli should be boiled in slightly salted water. If you suffer from flatulence, add a little fennel in it.

Broccoli - Recipes

Broccoli recipes are a very simple opportunity to give your body many beneficial nutrients. Preparing broccoli or using it in recipes is not difficult at all. In order for the result to meet the expectations, pay sufficient attention even when buying broccoli. Cooking will go well when the plant is not too old or damaged in any way. Only select pieces that: 

  • are not squished, cut, etc.
  • are rich green colour (with slightly blue tips)
  • do not have yellowish and withered leaves and flowers
  • have no spots

 

Tip: If you know you won't be able to process the broccoli you bought within 3 days, it is better to freeze it.

Broccoli Au Gratin With Cheese and Potatoes

Ingredients: 

  • ca 150 g grated cheese (cheese-lovers may add more)
  • 4 to 5 larger potatoes
  • 1 medium-sized broccoli
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • a small red onion
  • 1 egg
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chives
  • a bit of olive oil
  • 150 ml whipping cream

 

How to Make Broccoli Au Gratin with Cheese?

Wash the broccoli, cut it and boil slightly, approx. 5 minutes, to make it semi-soft. Boil cut potatoes in the same way - they must not get too soft. Take a bowl and mix cream with the egg in it, add salt and pepper and pressed garlic. As soon as everything is ready, grease the baking bowl with oil and cut the onion into thin round slices. Then alternate layers of potatoes, broccoli, onion and cheese. The uppermost layer should only be made of broccoli. The pour the prepared cream over it and finally add a layer of cheese. Bake in the oven preheated to 180°C for approx. 20 minutes. Serve on a plate and decorate with sprinkled chopped chives.

Broccoli Pasta

Ingredients: 

  • broccoli
  • your favourite pasta (fusilli make the best)
  • at least 3 cloves of garlic
  • salt
  • a pinch of curry spice
  • olive oil

 

How To Make Broccoli Pasta?

Make the pasta according to instructions on the package - be careful not to overboil them. Prepare the broccoli in salted water or steam it. As soon as these are ready, put both ingredients into one bowl and mix them. During mixing, the broccoli should slowly disintegrate into small bits and "stick" to the pasta. Then fry chopped garlic on olive oil, then reduce the flame, add a bit of curry and the pasta with broccoli. Season with salt (and pepper) to your taste, or fry the mixture some more. With this final step, broccoli pasta is ready.

Broccoli Salad

Ingredients: 

  • broccoli
  • ca 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs apple vinegar (Did you know that apple vinegar supports weight reduction?)
  • half a lemon
  • salt
  • pepper

 

How to Make Broccoli Salad?

Boil the broccoli and leave it to cool off at room temperature, then chop it. Meanwhile, prepare salad dressing of oil, apple vinegar and lemon juice. Mix the dressing with the chopped broccoli and finalize with salt and pepper. Serve the broccoli salad with wholemeal bread.

Chicken with Broccoli

Ingredients: 

  • ca 250 g chicken meat
  • broccoli
  • 2 onions
  • spring onion
  • oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • blue cheese as you like (optional)

 

How to Make Chicken With Broccoli?

Chop the onion finely and fry it on oil until it becomes glassy. Remove possible membranes and bones from the chicken meat and cut it into small noodles. Add to the onion and fry quickly, add salt and pepper. Then turn down the flame and let the meat go soft. Meanwhile, boil the broccoli in salted water and add it to the meat with onion. Mix them together in order to make the broccoli disintegrate and finally sprinkle grated blue cheese on it to make it melt onto the mixture. Serve on a plate decorated with finely chopped spring onion. We can serve chicken with broccoli with wholemeal bread or other vegetables (such as tomatoes which make the beneficial substances in broccoli work to 100%, or potatoes).

Broccoli Soup

Ingredients: 

  • broccoli
  • 2 medium-sized onions
  • oil
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 litre water
  • 150 ml cream
  • salt
  • pepper

 

How to Make Broccoli Soup?

Fry the chopped onion on oil (in a pot), add chopped potatoes and let the mixture fry, stir it from time to time. Add salt and pepper, pour water in, add a cube of vegetable bouillon and let everything boil on gentle flame. Then divide the broccoli into the stem and the flowers. Cut the stem and put it into water, boil it for 15-20 minutes until it gets soft. As soon as that happens, add the cream, mix and blend carefully. Boil the rest of the broccoli slightly in salted water, then add to the soup and boil for 2 more minutes. Add salt and pepper if necessary and the fast broccoli soup is ready.

Fried Broccoli

Ingredients: 

  • broccoli
  • soft flour, egg, breadcrumbs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • oil

 

How to Make Fried Broccoli? 

Divide the broccoli into same-sized flowers and steam it or boil it slightly to make it semi-soft. It will get even softer during frying and it could start to disintegrate. Then coat it in flour, egg (seasoned with salt and pepper) and breadcrumbs. Heat up generous amount of oil in a frying pan and put the coated broccoli into it very carefully, keep it there until fried to golden colour.

If our broccoli recipes inspired you, enjoy your meals! You will make your diet interesting with a super-healthy vegetable that will boost your health and provide your body with many vital nutrients that will protect you from many illnesses and risks not only in the form of lifestyle diseases. Mainly in summer, broccoli is one of the most available vegetables - you can store it in your freezer for the winter. And you don't have to worry that its valuable contents gets reduced in any way.


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