Steam or stir-fry it, roast or boil it, bake it in casseroles, or just eat it raw -- broccoli rewards you, no matter the method.It comes in a number of varieties, the most common being Calabrese broccoli, with its large flowering heads and sturdy, coarse stalks.Choose unblemished, dark green tops and firm stalks with no soft spots.The florets should be tightly bunched together, no yellowing at the edges and no budding or mushy spots.At most stores, you can also buy packages of pre-cut broccoli florets -- look for the same characteristics to ensure quality.Broccoli can stay fresh for up to two weeks if you store it unwashed, dry, and tightly wrapped in a plastic bag.Another alternative is frozen broccoli -- you can use as much or as little as you like and freezing does a great job of preserving nutrients.In fact, acccording to a researcher at the University of Illinois, sulforaphane, one of broccoli's cancer-fighting compounds, "is one of the most powerful anticarcinogens found in food."."It works by increasing the enzymes in your liver that destroy the cancer-inducing chemicals you ingest in food or encounter in the environment.".Perfectly cooked broccoli is an appetizing bright green with a mild, pleasant flavor and a tender but firm texture.You can also plunge it into an ice bath to stop the cooking -- this will preserve the color, flavor, and nutrients.Here's a friendly visual to help you avoid overcooking broccoli, which may strip it of some nutrients.The broccoli cooked to "crisp-tender" still holds its healthy crunch and likely has retained vitamins and other nutrients a bit better than the flabby, overdone version.Just the right mixture of garlic and cashews with our favorite side dish, broccoli," says SALSIEPIE.Sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of water and microwave on high for 5 to 7 minutes or until it reaches your desired doneness.This high-heat method is a terrific technique for coaxing delicious caramelized flavors from your roasted broccoli.Cooking broccoli on the grill creates delicious caramelized flavors and it's lightning quick.You might also toss the broccoli florets in a little bit of olive oil -- but watch out for flare ups!Adding broccoli to casseroles is a great way to sneak something healthy and green into weeknight meals."This moist bread with a sweet corn flavor can be served as a side dish with any meaty entree," says Susie P. "Adding Cheddar cheese helps seal the deal to convert the picky broccoli hater.".Pro Tip: To crisp up broccoli florets that have gone a bit limp, soak 'em for a spell in ice-cold water. .
How to Cook Broccoli from Roasting & Steaming to Stovetop
She's boiled dozens of eggs, mashed a concerning number of potatoes, and seared more porterhouse steaks than she cares to recall.“Aspetti!” hisses the emperor’s chef, his eyes wide as the tiny treelike structures make their way to the grand dining table of Domus Augusti.And the emperor, never one to mince words, takes a single bite before pronouncing it “fine but kinda boring,” thereby relegating it to side dish status, at best, for thousands of years.I’m fairly certain that none of the above actually happened, unless you count as fact a wild quarantine dream I had on Advil PM, which also involved Billie Eilish and, at one point, a boy I barely knew in high school.The green stuff, which does in fact have origins in ancient Rome, is said to have been engineered by the Etruscans, as an offshoot of cabbage.And some of its many modern iterations—looking at you, cafeteria steam tables, salad bars, and my late grandmother’s “casserole surprise”—are a stark reminder of that cabbagey connection, with brocc that’s soft and grassy, lacking in notable character.Good broccoli is the stuff not of quarantine nightmares, but of year-round daydreams, with tender, savory stalks and, optionally, crispy browned tops.Sometimes it’s just chilling by itself on a sheet pan and you’re not sure if you’re allowed to eat it, but you suspect your significant other will say it’s for his lunch the next day, so you sneak a floret while he’s just out of sight and burn the roof of your mouth.I prepared nine heads of broccoli—yes, I averted my eyes in the grocery checkout line in lieu of explaining the task at hand—the exact same way:.When it reaches a boil, remove the lid and add the broccoli florets and stem coins.In a large sauté pan or skillet, heat a few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil over a medium flame.Cover the pan and cook for about 2 hours, until broccoli is extremely tender, gently stirring a few times throughout.When the water reaches a boil, remove the lid and add a couple tablespoons of salt.Set a large pot with a few inches of water and a steamer basket over high heat, then cover.When the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli florets and stem coins to the steamer basket, then cover again.Toss the broccoli florets, stem coins, and a few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil on a rimmed sheet pan.Toss the broccoli florets, stem coins, and a few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil on a rimmed sheet pan.(If the crispy bits begin to burn before the stalks are tender, you can turn down heat to 350°F or so and continue to cook.).Add the broccoli florets and stem coins, and cook until they reach desired tenderness, 3 to 5 minutes.Toss broccoli florets and stem pieces with a few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and pinches of salt.But looks be damned, slow-roasted broccoli is tender, with concentrated flavor and lots of crispy bits, almost like French fries.That said, it browned so quickly that I had to pull it from the oven before the stalks were fully cooked, which might suit someone looking for more bite.Aim for as little water as possible in the steaming step to avoid soaking previously crisped bits.Steaming broccoli produces a more deeply flavored, almost earthy specimen than boiling, blanching, or microwaving.Consider grabbing a wok and sautéing broccoli at a high temp for just a few minutes, before finishing with a quick in-pan steam. .
How to Cook Broccoli (5 Easy Methods)
Learn how to cook broccoli 5 different ways by microwaving, steaming, sauteing, roasting, and boiling!Mushy, overcooked, and drab green color can be easily avoided for a more delicious experience.Make sure to select broccoli that is deep green in color, with firm florets and stem.The large crown can be swiftly broken down into smaller, more palatable sized pieces that resemble tiny trees.All of these methods I’ve standardized for 1 large head cut into about 2-inch size florets, yielding 6 cups of broccoli.If you want the stem extra tender, peel the stalks with a paring knife or peeler for each floret.Microwave technology utilizes electromagnetic waves to cook the broccoli from the inside very efficiently.Be careful removing the plastic wrap or plate, the steam is extremely hot and can burn!Make sure to keep an eye on the cooking time, as each minute in the heat environment can rapidly change the texture from crisp-tender to mushy.Adding the florets to rapidly boiling salted water for just a few minutes instantly changes the color and texture.This works great for broccoli salad, meal planning, or prepping a side dish in advance.The trick is to saute for the first few minutes to encourage browning, and then just add a few tablespoons of water, cover, and steam the veggies until fork tender.By preheating the baking pan and then adding the broccoli encourages Maillard browning to occur much quicker.Tossing the broccoli in olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper get those crispy crowns and stalks.If you are feeling adventurous, give broccoli rice a try for a low carb side dish.Steaming, sauteing, stir-frying, microwaving, and roasting retains the most nutrients because the cooking time is brief and exposure to water is at a minimum.Learn how to cook broccoli 5 different ways by microwaving, steaming, sauteing, roasting, and boiling!Very carefully lift the lid to check if the broccoli is bright green and crisp tender.Steamed Broccoli Fill a medium pot with enough water on the bottom to not touch the steamer basket.Add the broccoli florets and cook until bright green in color and crisp tender, about 1 to 2 minutes.Add the water and cover, cook until broccoli turn bright green and crisp, 2 minutes.In a medium bowl toss broccoli with olive oil, sugar (if using), salt, and pepper. .
Is Steaming or Boiling Better?
The longer they cook, the more nutrients escape and overcooking also dulls colour and flavour.The goal of steaming is to cook the vegetables until they are no longer raw, but still bright and crisp.Bottom line is that vegetables are always a good addition to your daily menu no matter how they are prepared, raw, cooked, steamed or fried. .
Can You Eat Raw Broccoli? Benefits and Downsides
Broccoli can be prepared in numerous ways, including sautéed, steamed, boiled, or roasted, but it can also be served raw in salads or with dips.Use your fingers to rub clean any noticeably dirty spots and gently pat the broccoli with a paper towel until it’s completely dry.Another study noted that microwaving, boiling, and stir-frying caused significant losses in vitamin C and chlorophyll, a health-boosting pigment that gives broccoli its green color ( 4 ).Steaming broccoli appears to offer the greatest retention of these nutrients, compared with the other cooking methods mentioned ( 4 ).Sulforaphane has been linked to various health benefits and may help protect against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and digestive issues ( 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 ).Specifically, cooking may boost broccoli’s content of carotenoids, which are beneficial antioxidants that help prevent disease and enhance the immune system ( 10 , 11 ).Summary Cooking broccoli may significantly increase its antioxidant activity but decrease its content of heat-sensitive nutrients like vitamin C and sulforaphane.FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides, and polyols) are poorly absorbed short-chain carbs that are found naturally in foods, including cruciferous vegetables like broccoli ( 12 ).Both cooked and raw broccoli offer beneficial nutritional profiles that are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and important vitamins and minerals ( 1 , 13 ). .
The healthiest ways to cook veggies and boost nutrition
Studies show the process of cooking actually breaks down tough outer layers and cellular structure of many vegetables, making it easier for your body to absorb their nutrients.For example, compared to raw, "studies found that eating cooked spinach and carrots resulted in higher blood levels of the antioxidant beta carotene, which then converts to vitamin A," said registered dietitian Elaine Magee, author of "Food Synergy: Unleash Hundreds of Powerful Healing Food Combinations to Fight Disease and Live Well."."Cooking vegetables also helps increase the amount of minerals, like calcium, magnesium and iron, available to the body," she said."When buying fresh broccoli, look for firm florets with a purple, dark green, or bluish hue on the top," Magee said.Another 2009 study found peas, cauliflower and zucchini to be particularly susceptible to a loss of nutrients through boiling, losing more than 50% of their antioxidants.A 2003 study found significantly higher levels of phytonutrients in zucchini, carrots and beans cooked with minimal water.Phytonutrients are compounds naturally found in plants that provide health benefits and disease protection in the human body.Avoid microwaving cauliflower to preseve vitamins and phytonutrients that have been shown to help lower cholesterol and fight cancer.Not only does it maximize flavor, but the addition of olive oil "appears to increase the absorption of phytonutrients like phenols and carotenes," said Magee, who is also the corporate dietitian for the grocery firm Albertsons Companies.2015 study linked sauteing certain highly popular Mediterranean vegetables, such as eggplant, in extra-virgin olive oil with an increase of antioxidants that can protect against cancer.Contrary to grilling, which normally involves some sort of charcoal, "griddling" uses a pan with distinctive raised edges and is normally done on the stove or in the oven.The 2009 Spanish study found artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, celery, eggplant, green beans, onions and spinach kept their antioxidant capacity after baking."As researchers have begun to see patterns emerge that show how various food components and cooking methods actually work together to yield even greater health benefits," Magee said, "the study of nutrition has been taken to a higher level.But Magee added that for days when you're too busy to look up the latest research, here's how to boil it down (so to speak): Default to steaming and microwaving with just a little bit of water, throw in a splash of olive oil when you can, and your veggies -- and body -- will thank you. .
Three Easy Ways to Steam Broccoli
Steaming softens broccoli's sometimes bitter taste and coaxes out its inner sweet and nutty flavor.Top steamed broccoli with a bit of salt and pepper, a pat of butter to meld with its earthy flavor, a sprinkle of soy sauce or tamari for something simple and delicious, or a drizzle of toasted sesame oil to really highlight its nuttiness.Add about 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and at least a handful and up to 2 pounds of trimmed and cleaned broccoli florets.Bring about an inch of water to a boil in the bottom of a pot into which your steamer basket or insert fits.Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid or plate (avoid plastic wrap in microwaves) and cook on high power for 1 minute.Crisp-tender broccoli will last longest if it is cooled and dried prior to storing in a sealed container in the refrigerator. .
Simple Steamed Broccoli
An easy side dish, this simple steamed broccoli is perfect with a pat of butter and some salt and pepper.My kids actually prefer it this way, topped with a simple pat of butter and seasoned with salt and pepper.Cover with a tight-fitting lid, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the broccoli is tender. .
Boiled Broccoli Vs. Steamed Broccoli: Which Is Better?
While it largely — pardon the pun — boils down to personal preference in terms of taste and texture, there is some science behind which method is ideal if you're concerned with the nutrient value of the fibrous green vegetable. .
Boiled Broccoli – A Couple Cooks
Boiled broccoli comes out perfectly crisp tender and bright green!Spritz with lemon and drizzle with olive oil, and it’s a healthy and easy side dish.Boiled broccoli comes out perfectly bright green and crisp tender after just 2 minutes in hot water.Taste test and immediately stop cooking once the broccoli is crisp tender.Taste test and immediately stop cooking once the broccoli is crisp tender.Drain in a colander, then mix in olive oil, lemon juice and kosher salt.This recipe technically isn’t blanching since it doesn’t have the ice water part.The ice water is generally to keep the veggies as colorful as possible, and you’ll notice that this recipe still is beautifully bright green.If you cut the stems short and stubby, you’ll end up with tiny florets that make a mess on the plate and look less than appetizing.It doesn’t have to be perfect, but keeping the florets similar sized helps them to cook at the same rate.A shake or two of rice vinegar, soy sauce, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.Aside from our basic broccoli recipes, we’ve got lots of other great ways to cook it!Shrimp and Broccoli Flavored with soy and vinegar, it comes together in minutes for a fast and easy healthy dinner.Broccoli Stir Fry Make this green vegetable taste irresistible!Serve it as a tasty side dish, or add a protein and you’ve got dinner. .