Buying: Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family, and it comes in a variety of colours such as dark green and purplish-green. Buy broccoli with bright green leaves and firm, thin stalks. Limp stalks are a sign of poor quality and woody stems a sign of over-maturity. The florets should be compact and tightly closed. Avoid florets with yellowing heads (a sign of age), wilting, or water-soaked spots (a sign of decay).
Storing: Store broccoli in the fridge in a plastic bag for up to three to four days. Cover and refrigerate cooked broccoli. Alternatively, freeze broccoli: wash broccoli thoroughly before cooking, then blanch in boiling water for three minutes or steam for five minutes. Cut in sizeable florets and stalks in pieces. Wait for broccoli to cool completely before placing in containers or plastic bags. You can freeze broccoli for at least six months.
Preparation: Dunk tired looking broccoli in cold water. Trim broccoli in florets when serving raw with dip or in salads. When ready to cook, wash thoroughly. Cook broccoli ideally by steaming for about five minutes over boiled water until bright green and tender. Be careful not to overcook or broccoli will lose nutrients. Alternatively, briefly boil broccoli, stir-fry, or bake in casseroles.
Nutrition: Broccoli is packed with nutrients with good amounts of vitamins C, B6 and folate plus fibre. Broccoli is also a rich source of a number of phytochemicals and is the nutritional star of the Brassica vegetables, having high levels of sulphoraphane, a compound which helps inhibit the development of several cancers. In laboratory testing, sulphoraphane has also been shown to kill the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which causes stomach ulcers and can lead to stomach cancer.
- Make broccoli and blue cheese soup: cut up a head of broccoli and cook in a large pot with 1 cup of water or stock. When tender, purée with a stick blender. Crumble in 100g blue cheese. Thin with extra water or stock. Season to taste.
- For a simple side dish, stir-fry broccoli with garlic and almonds in a little olive oil until tender.
- Instead of cauliflower and cheese, try broccoli and cheese: blend cottage cheese with a small amount of parmesan. Pour over broccoli and bake until golden.
- Enjoy a tasty pasta dish: cook penne or spiral pasta and toss through steamed broccoli, chopped tomatoes and grilled bacon. Season with chilli flakes, salt and pepper.
- Toss steamed broccoli florets in a little olive oil, with 1-2 chopped garlic cloves, the zest of 1 small lemon and slivered almonds.
- Make a quick soup by frying 1 chopped onion and 2 garlic cloves in a little olive oil, add 1kg broccoli, cut into florets, 3 cups salt-reduced stock and 3 cups water. Simmer until broccoli is tender. Purée with a blender, then season with pepper and top with toasted hazelnuts, chopped chives and a dollop of low-fat plain yoghurt.
- Steam 500g broccoli (stems removed), then finely chop and fry in a little olive oil with 1-2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 birdseye chilli,1/2 cup pine nuts and 2-3 anchovy fillets. Add orecchiette or other cooked short pasta to the pan and toss well to combine. Serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, grated parmesan and chopped flat leaf parsley.
- Steam equal amounts of broccoli and cauliflower. Whisk together 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard. Layer broccoli and cauliflower on a serving plate, then serve warm drizzled with vinaigrette.
- Next time you make a frittata, add some steamed broccoli florets or chopped steamed broccolini. Tomato and feta work well with broccoli.
Did you know? Recent research has shown broccoli sprouts have a higher and more reliable source of sulphoraphane (a compound with anti-cancerous properties) than mature broccoli.
First published: Sep 2009
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So…What is Riced Broccoli and What Do I Do With It?
Well it’s just that. Broccoli that has been prepared in a manner so that it resembles rice. You simply cut it into florets and then chop it finely or throw it in a blender or food processor and whizz until it resembles rice.
I use this for my ricing (and so many other) needs:
Once you have the right consistency, then you can either steam it or pop it in the saucepan or wok with some cooking oil of choice and a little bit of salt. After a few minutes, you have a great grain-free low-carb alternative to serve up with your next meal. Or you can even have it raw.!
Broccoli rice is:
- low carb;
- whole 30 compliant;
- gluten free;
- fiber rich;
- nutrient rich, containing everything from vitamin C, E, K, to folate, calcium, potassium, omega 3, 6 fatty acids, protein and dietary fiber;
- a great alternative to grains.
How Should I Serve Up My Riced Broccoli?
Try serving it up in place of your normal rice in:
Or this is my absolute favorite way to enjoy:
And get this, you can even freeze it too! So, if you happen to overcommit with the Costco sized broccoli (you too?), you can blend it up, pop it in a ziploc and store that stuff in the freezer until needed. How could you say no?
Have you tried riced broccoli yet? What is your favorite way to serve it up? I love hearing from you, so be sure to leave a comment and let me know how you went. Happy Eating.
Keyword: broccoli rice, how to make broccoli rice, what is broccoli rice
Cut the broccoli heads into large florets and peel the outer layer off the stem and cut into chunks
Blender or Food Processor
In batches (the size of your machine will determine how much you can get in there, but don't fill it more than 3/4 full) pulse in one second bursts until the broccoli resembles grains of rice.
Use a tamper to push down or a spatula to scrape the sides as needed. I use this food processor.
Chopping with a Chef's Knife
Use a chef’s knife to cut the broccoli florets into small 1-inch pieces. Then chop into smaller grain sized pieces, keeping some of the florets intact.
If you don't have a food processor or a good knife, then use the largest holes on a box grater to grate the broccoli until it resembles grains of rice.
Add 1 inch of water to the bottom of a saucepan with lid. Add in the broccoli and turn the stove top to high heat. Pop the lid on the pan and allow to steam for 3 minutes, remove from heat, strain and serve.
Heat a large pan or wok over medium heat. Add in 1 tbsp cooking oil of choice or butter and sauté the broccoli rice until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season to your liking.
To freeze store uncooked rice broccoli in large ziploc bags. Allow to thaw and then cook as directed. You can also store it in the freezer after it has been cooked but you may need to stir-fry it once thawed to remove excess moisture.
What is Riced Broccoli and How to Prepare it Calories 134 Calories from Fat 36 Total Carbohydrates 20g 7% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tips and Tricks for Freezing Broccoli
Cutting broccoli florets into smaller ones is messy. Instead of cutting them all the way with a knife, cut them halfway from the bottom (stem). Then, tear apart with your hands. This way there’s little to no mess involved.