Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family, and is closely related to cauliflower.
What is Broccolini?
Broccolini is a green vegetable similar to broccoli but with smaller florets and longer, thin stalks. Often misidentified as young broccoli, it is a hybrid of broccoli and kai-lan. Kai-lan is a leaf vegetable featuring thick, flat, glossy blue-green leaves with thick stems and a small number of tiny flower heads similar to those of broccoli.
The entire broccolini is consumable, including the occasional yellow flower. The heads are more open than broccoli and are sometimes mistakenly thought to be broccoli that has been harvested incorrectly. This is a mistake and it is broccolini will normally have open, yellow flowers.
Common cooking methods include sauteeing, steaming, boiling, and stir frying. In Japan, it is highly popular as a spring vegetable called nanohana, and usually eaten steamed. Its flavor is sweet, with notes of both broccoli and asparagus, although it is not closely related to the latter.
Nutritionally, it is high in vitamin C and contains vitamin A, calcium, folate, and iron.
- Broccoli is very perishable and should be stored in open plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper where it will keep for a week.
- Since water on the surface will encourage its degradation, do not wash the broccoli before refrigerating.
- Broccoli that has been blanched and then frozen can stay up to a year.
- Leftover cooked broccoli should be placed in tightly covered container and stored in the refrigerator where it will keep for a few days.
- The phytonutrients in broccoli will be greatly reduced if this vegetable is overcooked.
- Steam or sauté broccoli no more than 5 minutes.
- Broccoli’s cancer-preventive compounds form after it has been cut, but heat denatures the enzyme necessary for this process. For optimal nutrient formation, cut broccoli florets in half or into quarters, depending on their initial size, and let sit for 5 minutes before cooking.
Excellent Source of
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
A Very Good Source of
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin E
Recent studies show the following health benefits of broccoli or broccolini.
- Protection against Cancer
- Cut Risk of Bladder Cancer
- Protective against Ovarian Cancer
- A Weekly Serving of Cruciferous Vegetables Halves Advanced Prostate Cancer Risk
- Broccoli Teams Up with Tomatoes to More Effectively Fight Prostate Cancer
- Optimize Cells’ Detoxification / Cleansing Ability
- Help for Sun-Damaged Skin
- Cataract Prevention
- Stronger Bones
- Immune System Booster
- Birth Defect Fighter