How to choose your broccoli?
The best broccoli is the fresh one, recently picked from the garden. At the time of purchase we will consider its freshness. It must be a vegetable with a fresh look, the darker the better, because it has a higher content in carotenoids (vitamin A). The stems should maintain its strength when we press a little on them.
We will reject those that look withered or begin to yellow. The best are usually those with small inflorescences, firm and fresh. Its color can be green, purple or white. Of these, we must point out Calabrese broccolis that have a bluish green tint. Purple varieties are not as tasty.
You can also buy frozen broccolis. The freezing system allows this vegetable to maintain all its properties, although they are not so delicious as when using fresh broccolis.
Once purchased, they should be eaten as soon as possible. It would be best eaten fresh on the day of purchase. In any case, it should be stored in the refrigerator in the vegetable section and should not be stored beyond t 4 days. To do this, place it in a plastic bag with some holes for breathing.
If you want to freeze it at home, it must first be cooked for a few minutes. After being cooked, could it through cold water to stop cooking. In this way, you ensure that your broccoli will stand firm.
Broccoli with quinoa
How to clean broccoli?
First we must separate the harder stems from other more tender stems and floral tops. Flower stems are easier to clean. Once clean, they must be reserved for making soups or other foods that require longer cooking since they are tougher than floral tops. Before adding them to any preparation they must be crushed so as not to be fibrous.
With respect to other more tender flowering branches, it should be borne in mind that they should be washed thoroughly, because they are very tangled and dirt can be deposited in them. It is interesting to leave some time in water with vinegar. Vinegar helps better clean impurities and eliminate any possible organism and, at the same time, protects it against oxidation. Once thoroughly washed, it should be well drained and placed vertically.
How to cook broccoli?
Broccoli is normally consumed cooked, although it can also be eaten raw or lightly poached. In the latter case, it is usually used in salads, which can also be prepared with cooked broccoli. It normally appears in tortillas, cooked, mashed, au gratin, soups, etc..
Depending on how you cook the broccoli, it might lose many properties. It is estimated that, when boiled with water, can eliminate up to 60% of vitamin C, while, if it is steamed, usually only a 20% is destroyed. The same applies to folate and other vitamin B. Like vitamin C, they are water soluble so they are washed away. The glucosinalates (components with anticancer properties) are also partially removed in this case. When performing a prolonged boiling with water, all these components are deeply affected.
Cooking as quickly as possible and with the lowest possible temperature favors the conservation of all these components. The best way to keep these components is to use the microwave, as it takes place without the presence of water and the cooking time is very short. The pressure cooker is very interesting, because although the temperature is high, the cooking time is very short. Equally interesting is cooking without the presence of water vapor. Sauting the broccoli is also another good way to prepare it (More information on how to preserve vitamins)
After cooking, it is important to pass the broccoli under running cold water. This gets back the original color and stops cooking so as this vegetable can remain firm.
If you want to cook ultrafrozen broccoli, before cooking, you should thaw it completely. It is inappropriate to leave it straight into boiling water because it gets very soft and becomes disgragated.
To use frozen broccoli at home, you can cook it directly, by means of placing it in a skillet with butter over low heat. If a soup or stew is made with hot water, it can be deposited directly into the water. Unlike the ultrafrozen one, it does not require a slow and whole previous thawing.
How do you boil broccoli?
Although the boiling is the preferred method to cook broccolis, if you want to prepare in this way, we can follow the following method so as to keep as many vitamins and phytochemicals as possible:
– Place a saucepan on the fire with half water.
– Add salt to taste and heat it until it starts to boil.
– Bring to the boil without boiling it too strongly, add the broccoli. This will stop the boil, so you will raise the heat to high.
– Bring to the boil, reduce the heat down until the water almost stops boiling and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid.
– Boil for 10 minutes. Do not prolong the cooking.
– After 10 minutes, remove from heat. Pour the contents onto a strainer.
– This way the broccoli is already cooked and ready to add the different ingredients that may can it more palatable.
How to cook steamed broccoli?
Alone or with other vegetables, the steam cooking method is best suited for cooking broccoli. To this end, the best way is to use a pan specifically designed for steaming. The steaming time of this vegetable is usually about 15 minutes.
How to combine the broccoli?
The broccoli can be well-combined with other vegetables, especially those that are rich in vitamin B such as tomatoes or spinach. Season broccoli with olive oil and lemon juice. Doing this is a natural and delicious way to take advantage of all its properties.
There are a lot of broccoli recipes. Among all of them we can point out the following: