How would you like your broccoli to be done? Boiled, baked, streamed or stir-fried. The options are plenty. But which method of cooking ensures that your broccoli meal is not robbed of its goodness and rich nutrients?
The power of the ‘mini trees’
Broccoli is rich in vitamin C.
Vitamin C: Also known as ascorbic acid, this antioxidant vitamin protects our immune system and possibly defend us from cardiovascular disease, eye disease and even skin wrinkling.
Steamed or baked broccoli is the way to go!
Nutrients contained in broccoli can be easily dissolved away when boiled. Antioxidants tend to leave the vegetable and into the boiling water. Thus, it is preferred to steam or bake (methods that use minimum amount of water) broccoli, to retain as much nutritional value as possible.
Food for thought: If heating broccoli results in a diminished nutritional value, can I consume it raw instead?
A small study* done in The Netherlands has shown that consumption of raw broccoli results in faster absorption and higher nutritional content compared to cooked broccoli. If the bitterness of the broccoli is not of a concern to you, eating it raw may allow you to have the full nutritional content that broccoli can offer.
What if boiling is my only option?
‘Blanching’ is a method where food is briefly exposed to the boiling water to remove the undesirable taste and then put into cold water or in the freezer to stop the cooking process.
Step 1: Boil broccoli in hot water for about 1-2 minutes/ use a microwave oven to heat the broccoli for a brief time interval.
Step 2: Gently dry the heated broccoli and place it into a freezer bag for freezing as soon as possible. This way, the broccoli’s bright colour and its texture can be maintained.
Now, you should be equipped with various alternatives to prepare your broccoli meals. Go forth, and be creative!
*Vermeulen, M., Klöpping-Ketelaars, I. W., van den Berg, R., & Vaes, W. H. (2008). Bioavailability and kinetics of sulforaphane in humans after consumption of cooked versus raw broccoli. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 56(22), 10505-10509.