***SPECIAL UPDATE**** Broccoli is ON SALE for only 79¢ right now!
Two Whats for Dinners posts in one week this week…..and it may be that way for the next few weeks because there are SO many things that are coming in fresh from the fields right now! So for today we are going to talk about Broccoli!
- Broccoli originated in Italy off of the Mediterranean. It has been eaten there since the time of the ancient Romans in the 6th Century BC.
- Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family, making it a cruciferous vegetable. It’s name is derived from the Italian word broccolo, meaning the flowering top of a cabbage.
- Want something high in Vitamin C but don’t feel like eating fruit? Broccoli is very high in Vitamin C, making 1 cup of chopped broccoli the Vitamin C equivalent of an orange. One cup of raw chopped broccoli will give you your entire daily needed intake.
- California produces almost all the broccoli sold in the USA. Americans eat an average of 4# broccoli a year that’s 900% more than 20 years ago!
- Broccoli is high in fiber. Not only in soluble fiber but insoluble as well. Since your body needs both types, it’s great to know that broccoli is can fulfill both your needs.
- Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of the United States, was a fan of broccoli, importing the seeds from Italy to plant at Monticello. He recorded planting the vegetable there as early as May of 1767.
Broccoli can be cooked using several methods. Some common methods are steaming, boiling, sautéing, stir frying, and microwaving. Broccoli should be cooked until they are tender-crisp. Before starting to prepare the broccoli, rinse the head thoroughly in cold water and remove any wilted or damaged leaves. After the broccoli has been cut, soak it in salt water or vinegar water to help force any insects out that are lodged within the florets.
- Do not overcook broccoli. Overcooking will cause it to break apart, lose its color, diminish its taste, and will cause the lose of many nutrients.
- If adding broccoli to a cold salad, first blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes and then immediately rinse with cold water. Blanching for a short period of time will bring out the flavor of the broccoli and brightens its color.
- Enhance the flavor of broccoli with flavored butter, lemon juice, flavored vinegar, or seasonings, such as basil, dill, caraway seed, oregano, tarragon, and thyme.
- For a flavorful side dish, cover broccoli with a cheese sauce and brown under the broiler.
- When selecting broccoli, be aware that the stronger its smell the older it is.
- Peeling the fibrous outer layer of the broccoli’s stalk makes it easier to digest.
- Throwing a few chunks of bread into the water when cooking broccoli will help remove the smell.
- One pound of broccoli equals 2 cups cut up. One 10 oz. frozen package equals 1 1/2 cups chopped.