Season: May to July and September to December
Description: Broccoli is a source of vitamins A and C, which are antioxidants that may reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. The vitamin A in broccoli helps maintain eye health. Vitamin C helps protect skin from bruising, helps heal cuts and keeps gums healthy. Eating foods with vitamin C helps the body absorb iron. Broccoli is also a source of folate, which may reduce your risk of heart disease. Eating foods with folate before pregnancy helps lower the risk of delivering a baby with neural tube defects. Broccoli also provides calcium, magnesium, vitamin K, potassium and fiber. Calcium, magnesium and vitamin K help build and maintain strong bones, potassium helps maintain healthy blood pressure, and fiber helps control cholesterol and keeps you regular.
Vitamins: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium, Fiber
Selection: Florets should be firm, compact and dark blue-green in color.
Storing: Unwashed in an air-tight bag in the refrigerator up to 4 days.
Preparation: Clean broccoli under cool running water just before preparing. Trim leaves and end of stalk. Cut apart spears or cut off the florets and slice the stalks.
Serving: Blanch broccoli uncovered in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and plunge broccoli into cold water, drain. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Add to pasta, pizza or scrambled eggs. Microwave broccoli in a covered dish with 1/4 cup water for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir-fry broccoli florets and stalks cut into 1- to 2-inch strips in 1 teaspoon of oil for each cup of broccoli. Steam broccoli in a steamer basket over 1 inch of boiling water. Cover and steam until tender.