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5 min read

This week’s Vegetable Box Feature: Broccoli, aka “Crown Jewel of Nutrition” due to it being rich in vitamins and minerals.

Did you know?

  • Broccoli is one of the most well-known vegetables.  However, people either love it or despise it!
  • Broccoli has been considered a very valuable food by the Italians since the Roman Empire, but when first introduced in England in the mid-18th century, broccoli was referred to as “Italian asparagus”.
  • It is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, chromium and folate. It is also a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin E, manganese, phosphorus, choline, vitamin B1, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), potassium and copper.
  • There are 27 different types of broccoli, including white and purple.
  • Broccoli leaves are edible. They can be eaten raw or heated to make them sweeter.
  • Over the last 25 years, the consumption of broccoli has increased over 940%.
  • It has more protein than most other vegetables. One cup of chopped broccoli contains 3 grams of protein.

Fun Fact

  • Broccoli is a large edible flower. If the broccoli plant were left in the ground, the floret would continue to mature and become a beautiful head of yellow flowers before developing into seeds.
  • According to the Guinness World Records, the heaviest broccoli on record weighed 35 pounds. This record was set by John and Mary Evans in 1993 in the United States of America.

Where to Store it?
The best place to store broccoli is in the refrigerator, but like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli likes having some room to breathe. Keep it in a loosely wrapped or in a perforated plastic bag so it will still get some air circulation. Do not wash your broccoli before storing — the excess moisture may encourage mold growth. Wait until right before you eat broccoli to wash it.

Preparation
Before eating or adding it to your recipe give it a good wash. Then, trim away the trunk of the main stem. This is the thickest part of the broccoli. The stem of the broccoli is completely edible, but the last inch or so will be a bit tougher and not as tasty. You can eat the stem, or discard part of it. The head is the flowering, upper section of the broccoli plant, and it’s the most common part that we cook with and eat. Cut the broccoli head into smaller pieces and you get broccoli florets.


How to Use:
Broccoli is a staple for a reason: the crucifer is incredibly versatile and tastes great whether it's fresh, roasted, steamed, blanched, air-fried, or incorporated into a comforting soup or casserole.

 

Recipes:

Broccoli and Cranberry Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing
Created by: Joyous Health

A delicious & flavourful salad, especially thanks to the fresh dill!

Ingredients:
6 cups (1.5 L) broccoli florets
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (125 mL) roughly chopped raw cashews or almonds
1/2 cup (125 mL) dried cranberries or halved grapes

Creamy Dressing:
1 cup coconut yogurt or sheep's yogurt (you can also use Greek yogurt)
1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice
2 TBSP chopped fresh dill
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions
1. Prepare the broccoli. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until crisp-tender and bright green. Drain the broccoli and rinse in cold water. Place in a large bowl and chill in the fridge while you make the dressing.

  1. Meanwhile, make the Creamy Dill Dressing in a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, dill, garlic powder, apple cider vinegar and sea salt.
  2. Assemble the Broccoli and Cranberry Salad. To the broccoli, add the red onion, cashews and cranberries. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Refrigerate until ready to serve. This salad is best served the day it is made or it gets soggy.
  3. Enjoy!

The Best Roasted Broccoli
Created By: Erren Hart

A delicious side dish that’s quick and easy to prepare and makes a great accompaniment to meat, poultry or fish.

Ingredients:
4 pounds broccoli
4 garlic cloves peeled and sliced
6 ½ TBSP olive oil
1½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.

  1. Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets.
  2. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.
  4. Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1½ tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, and Parmesan.  

    6. Serve hot.

Broccoli Pesto
Created by: Megan Gilmore

Broccoli pesto is a delicious pesto variation, made without nuts! Once you taste it, you'll want to eat it straight with a spoon, but it's also delicious on pasta, sandwiches, and more.


Ingredients:
1 cup chopped broccoli florets
1 cup fresh basil, tightly packed
2 garlic cloves
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or 1 TBSP white miso)
2 TBSP water

Instructions:
1.To prepare the broccoli, fill a small saucepan with 1-inch of water and arrange a steamer basket inside. Add the broccoli to the steamer basket, keeping it lifted up out of the water, and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and cover, cooking until the broccoli is easily pierced with a fork, about 8 minutes.

  1. While the broccoli is cooking, you can add the rest of the pesto ingredients to a blender to be efficient with your time. When the broccoli is done, add it to the blender and blend until smooth, about 60 seconds.

    3. Taste and adjust any seasoning, as needed. Serve right away with your favorite pasta, or on a sandwich. Store the leftover pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 


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