Let's face facts, no matter how healthy broccoli is, not many fancy its taste. But today, with innumerable diseases and disorders coming into the picture, it's time we realise the importance of such nutritious vegetables.
A 2009 study points out that broccoli is a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin E - two nutrients essential for good skin and hair. It is also an excellent source of phytochemicals and antioxidants that protect the body from infections and boost immunity. Furthermore, it is also a rich source of vitamin A and vitamin B12, adds chef Gautam Mehrishi.
Now that you've read about the many benefits of this cruciferous vegetable, here's how you can buy, cook, and store broccoli.
Fresh, bright green broccoli is what you should be looking for. Its stalks should be firm, compact and standing upright. If you see yellowing of the tiny bulbs on the broccoli floret, avoid buying it, it is a sign of flowering. Additionally, also pass on the varieties that have brown and dried stem bottoms.
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Since broccoli is a distant cousin of cauliflower, you can prepare both the vegetables in a similar manner. Chop off the stem and separate the broccoli florets. Chef Mehrishi suggests blanching the florets before using them in recipes. Just place them in boiling water for a couple of minutes and then transfer it into a bowl filled with ice cold water to stop the florets from cooking further. "The stalks of broccoli are packed with Vitamin B12, and so never discard them. Instead, chop them into smaller parts and add them to pulaos, parathas or paneer bhurji," says the chef.
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Broccoli can remain fit for consumption for up to 7 days if stored well. However, this is only true if you’ve purchased a recently harvested variety of broccoli. Keep aside the broccoli which you wish to keep for further use. Do not wash it as moisture initiates bacterial growth. Wrap it in a cling wrap or a nylon mesh bag and store it in the fridge. Use it within 4-7 days.