Healthy Food Choice, Broccoli
Florets of Goodness!
A memory of this healthy food choice..
No greater fear came over us as children as when we heard the words, eat your broccoli! Now that our palates have developed, we still may find that adding broccoli to our menus may be difficult at times.
However, once we look into the wealth of nutritional value that these little florets of goodness can bring to the table, we find broccoli can reward us with better health, aiding us in our fight against certain cancers (prostate and colon), and improving our digestive function.
Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family and has many of the same nutrients. This healthy food choice, broccoli also contains a suitable amount of fiber which improves colon health and nutritional uptake. This fiber also aids in restoring intestinal wellness in those who suffer from constipation and diarrhea as well as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. A powerhouse of antioxidant Vitamin C it is crucial for immune response.
Vital Nutrients of this healthy food choice.
- Vitamins C, A, K, B6
Healthy Tips for Broccoli!
Do not cook broccoli like your parents did! Over cooking through boiling, and yes, even microwaving can virtually wipe out the nutritional punch that broccoli brings to the table. Try methods like stir-frying, roasting, and steaming to get the most benefits from this healthy vegetable.
To get your grand kids to eat broccoli, here are two tips. First, although effective, using lots of cheese sauce only adds to the fat, negating the nutrition. Allow them to dip the florets into low fat or fat free ranch dip which will reduce “some” of the calories that some sauces may add.
Second, the stalks often have a tougher texture which can turn kids off to broccoli. By trimming more of the stalks closer to the tops (you can save them for soups and stock or eat them yourself) and also cutting the pieces a bit smaller, kids will be more open to this healthy food choice!
Roasted Parmesan and Garlic Broccoli
- 1 bunch broccoli
- 1 clove fresh garlic
- extra virgin olive oil (or Canola)
- grated fresh parmesan cheese
- cracked pepper
- Fresh Lemon Juice
Trim broccoli into bite-size pieces.
Par cook in a steamer for approximately 10 minutes to add tenderness (this can be done in advance).
Preheat oven to 350.
In a 1 gallon freezer bag add broccoli and enough olive oil to very gently coat–just a slight drizzle! Add clove of garlic which has been minced or pressed. Add a pinch or two of cracked pepper to taste. Shake bag to coat.
Place on baking pan and spread out pieces. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and place into oven for 10-15 minutes or until parmesan starts to brown. (The “saltiness” that parmesan has naturally will allow you to forego adding extra table salt.)
Note – The Parmesan cheese adds about 22 calories per tsp. so you may adjust according to your dietary desires.
Upon serving, a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon will add a burst of tart freshness. Enjoy!
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