Monday, January 4, 2010

A Healthy New Year's Resolution: Eat more broccoli

In the top ten of the world's most healthiest foods is broccoli. Eaten regularly, along with other healthy foods it is touted to help reduce heart disease. That's enough to make me want to eat it, however being the vegetable lover that I am, I eat it because I love it. Usually I lightly steam it and eat it as a side to whatever dish I'm having. Sometimes I eat it raw or simply blanched. And, here's my secret: I drink the water it is steamed in. Yes, that's right.....I drink the broccoli broth. It's actually more like a tea in that it is very subtle in flavor. I'm convinced it holds much of the nutrients from the broccoli.

A few tips about broccoli:
  • when buying broccoli, select florets that are dark green, even bluish or purplish green, because they contain a higher concentration of beta-carotene then pale green or yellowish-green florets. Select broccoli that is firm and not limp.
  • consume both the stems and the leaves as they are good sources of nutrients as well -- the stems are high in fiber and the leaves are high in beta-carotene.
  • when cooking broccoli it is best to peel off the tough outer layer of the stem before cooking (use a potato peeler). Slice them into medium size pieces and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the florets; add the leaves along with the florets.
Don't throw away those stems and leaves.... enjoying them will not only give you added flavor and nutrition, but more broccoli for your buck! And, make it a nutritious ritual to drink the broth.