Broccoli contains phytochemicals: isothiocyanates
such as sulphorophane, indoles, and carotenoids. These neutralize
free radicals (causes of aging), block cancer causing substances
before they can damage cells, stimulate anticancer enzymes,
suppress tumour growth, are useful for asthma due to the high
level of quercitin, a bioflavonoid which prevents the release
of histamine, thus inhibiting the allergin response, and knock
harmful hormones off track — e.g. deactivate estrogen,
a hormone linked to breast cancer.
Dr. Earl Mindell recommends two cups
of cruciferous vegetables daily to supply the sulphorophane
necessary to stimulate the phase II enzymes to protect against
cancer. The fibre also acts as anti-cancer for the colon.
Wow! After even this brief summary of
broccoli's benefits I hope you will all add broccoli to your
daily fare. Check out the recipes below!
BUYING, STORING, AND COOKING
To buy broccoli, look for tenderness
in the stalk, especially the upper portion. If the lower stalk
is tough and woody, and if the flower clusters are open and
have a yellow tinge, the broccoli is overmature. Buy heads
that are tightly closed with compact bud clusters and tender
stalks with fresh leaves. Do not buy wilted or flabby broccoli.
Broccoli is available year round. It does not keep very long
in the fridge so buy smaller amounts often.
Keep unwashed broccoli in a plastic
bag in the fridge. Uncooked, it will keep about 3 days, and
1-3 days cooked.
Wash just before using. Trim off the
toughest part of the stalk and peel the remainder if it is
more than 1" in diameter.
When washing home grown broccoli, vigorously
swish small pieces in cold water as often as necessary to
remove any pesky worms, usually 1-3 fresh waters. Steaming
or blanching for freezing usually removes any you've missed!
Steam briefly (about 5 minutes) until just tender but still
crisp. Do not overcook! Remove lid several times to allow
steam to escape as this keeps the broccoli green. Stems may
be cut into thin diagonal slices or julienned and used in
salads — e.g. coleslaw, or briefly sauteed.
Leftover cooked broccoli is also an
excellent addition to salads.
To freeze a bumper crop, pick
fresh, wash well, peel and slice stalks, and cut florets to
one and one half inch sizes. Steam blanch about 5 minutes.
Immerse in ice water immediately after removing from kettle,
drain, and freeze on cookie sheets, then place in zip lock
bags. Fast freezing is the best way to preserve nutrients!
Seasonings that go well with broccoli
are onions, garlic, vinegars, olive oil, and bacon bits. Soy
bacon bits are available for those who do not wish to eat
pork or nitrates.
We use pieces of raw broccoli in salads
regularly and I love the stems julienned and used as a coleslaw.
My favourite ways to cook broccoli are: the recipe below from
and the recipe for Ed's Broccoli Salad. Broccoli is great
in soups, purees, dips, salads, oven baked with other veggies,
casseroles, stir fries, and marinated veggies.
Yummy, easy and full of sulphorophane
Peel stems and chop the stem and florets into small pieces.
Wash. Place in a pot with 1/4 cup cold water, 1 tbsp olive
oil and several cloves of mashed garlic. Steam until bright
and crunchy (5 minutes max). Remove lid and boil off water.
Serve as is, or with parmesan cheese (soy, rice, or dairy)
and red pepper flakes, or mix with cooked pasta.
— from Spontaneous Healing
2 bunches broccoli, washed
and ready for cooking
4 tbsp butter, cut in pieces
freshly ground pepper (optional)
2 - 4 tbsp heavy cream (try substituting yogurt)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Cook the broccoli until tender, drain and reserve liquid.
Puree in a blender, adding a little of the cooking liquid
for easier blending. Return broccoli to saucepan and stir
in butter, salt and pepper if using. Cook over medium heat,
stirring constantly, until the puree is on the dry side. Stir
in 2 tbsp of the cream. The puree should be creamy but not
soupy. Add more cream if necessary. Stir in the nutmeg and
Keeps well for two days. Reheat leftovers in a steamer or
3 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups sliced zucchini
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup asparagus pieces, 1/2 inch long
2-1/4 cups chopped yellow squash
1 cup fresh or frozen small peas
8 ounces whole grain linguini or spaghetti
3 cups chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, or 1 tbsp dried
grated parmesan (soy or rice, fine)
oil and vinegar
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large fry pan or pot. Saute garlic,
and then add zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, squash, and peas
and saute until they are slightly soft but still crunchy,
about 10 minutes.
Break the pasta into thirds and add to boiling water along
with 1 tbsp olive oil. Cook until al
dente. Drain and add to the vegetables. Mix in the
tomatoes and basil and any garnishes you wish. Stir until
everything is well blended and serve hot.
2 heads broccoli, chopped fine
3 chopped green onions
1 cup sliced water chestnuts
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup diced celery
1/2 pound firm tofu, cut in small cubes
1 tbsp tamari sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 cup mayonnaise (homemade
with natural ingredients or a good quality from the health
2/3 cup parmesan (may use rice or soy parmesan)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp liquid honey
Marinate tofu pieces in tamari and sesame oil; saute until
browned and set aside to cool while preparing veggies. Place
all ingredients together in a large bowl and refrigerate overnight.
— a friend, Ed, brought this delicious salad to a nutrition
workshop. He okayed the healthy changes I made!
Very yummy and versatile!
3 cups cut up broccoli florets
2 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup slivered almonds or pine nuts
1 tbsp dried basil or one quarter cup fresh
2/3 cup grated parmesan (soy is great)
Cook broccoli in boiling water four to five minutes until
crispy tender; drain and cool. In a blender or food processor,
combine broccoli, garlic, oil, almonds, and basil. Blend until
coarsely chopped. Add cheese; process until well mixed. May
add a bit of water to get a thinner consistency if desired.
Ways to use Broccoli Pesto:
- spread on heavy bread, add diced tomatoes and broil 2-3
- use on baked potatoes.
- stuff celery.
- salad dressing: one third cup olive oil, 2 tbsp apple
cider vinegar or lemon juice, 1 tbsp broccoli pesto.
- dip: stir pesto into sour cream or plain yogurt. Serve
- pasta: toss broccoli pesto with hot cooked pasta. Sprinkle
with parmesan cheese.
- freeze for later use by adding a touch of olive oil to
the top of the container before freezing.
Spicy, creamy, and pretty!
1 tomato, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced (use more for a hotter version)
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions hot sauce to taste
2 tbsp lime juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup light ricotta cheese
1 cup cooked broccoli, coarsely pureed in a blender
Combine tomato, garlic, green onions, hot sauce, lime juice,
coriander and salt. Add ricotta and mix well to combine all
ingredients into a paste. Add broccoli and stir to combine.
Serve as a dip, sandwich spread or on fajitas.
— this yummy spread was brought to a class pot luck.
and Healing by Paulette Millis, R.N.C.
**The Unabridged Vegetable Cookbook by Nika Hazelton
***Superimmunity by Leo Galland, M.D.
References: Foods That Heal,
Bernard Jensen, MD; The Kitchen
Gardener's Companion, Pat Katz; The
Unabridged Vegetable Cookbook, Nika Hazelton; Anti-Aging
Bible, Earl Mindell, PhD; Powerfoods,
Stephanie Beling, MD.
The above information regarding nutritious food is not intended
to replace any instruction from medical or health professionals.
Paulette Millis lives and works
in Saskatoon as a nutritional consultant. Her cookbook, Nutrition,
Cooking, and Healing, is available in health food stores or
by calling (306) 244-8890.