By Hallie Hopkins, Education Program Assistant SNAP-Ed, OSU Extension Service, Tillamook County

Broccoli might be seen as the most loathed vegetable of childhood. Although many of us might have enjoyed broccoli as kids, it is often depicted as the enemy of dinner time in popular children’s books. I picture children being forced to finish their plates as they slip broccoli florets under the table, attempting to feed them to the dog.

Broccoli can be one of those vegetables that, if cooked improperly, can have its taste and texture ruined making it hard to trust again. Many times people tell me that they had to eat broccoli as kids and it was cooked to death. However, broccoli is a wonderful vegetable that has something to offer for everyone. Broccoli is part of the cruciferous family along with Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and kale. Cruciferous vegetables are known for their bitter tendencies but are also important for offering essential nutrients.

Before slipping it to the dog, consider the nutritional benefits you might be passing up. Broccoli is considered an excellent source of both Vitamin C and Vitamin K. Vitamin K is an important nutrient our body needs for blood clotting and bone metabolism. Because Vitamin K is poorly transported through the placenta and lack of blood clotting factors, newborns lack the essential blood clotting function and are at an increased risk of bleeding. This is why Vitamin K shots are routinely administered at birth.  One cup of broccoli provides about 92 µg of vitamin K. Adequate intake of vitamin K for adults is considered 90 µg for females and 120 µg for males.

There are many different ways to enjoy broccoli so before you sentence it to veggie purgatory, try cooking it a diffident way. Broccoli can be steamed, sautéed, roasted or eaten raw. Each way provides different opportunities to find a flavor of broccoli you may enjoy. Approximately a quarter of the population are considered super tasters. These people hold more taste buds per square inch making them more sensitive to the bitter notes of broccoli. Roasting broccoli triggers chemical changes that allow the natural sugars to balance out the bitterness of the veggie. So before you falsely accuse broccoli of being bitter, bland and boring, try our recipe below and check out many other delicious broccoli recipes from foodhero.org!

Ingredients

3 cups raw broccoli, chopped

1 medium carrot, peeled and diced

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

1⁄2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

1⁄4 cup onion, chopped

1 cup cooked ham, chicken, turkey, or sunflower seeds

1⁄4 cup light mayonnaise

1⁄2 cup plain, non-fat yogurt

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon vinegar

Directions

  1. Wash and prepare vegetables.
  2. In a large bowl mix together broccoli, carrot, celery, raisins, onion and meat.
  3. Mix together mayonnaise, yogurt, sugar and vinegar in a separate bowl.
  4. Add mayonnaise mixture to salad and mix well.
  5. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Notes

  • Try adding apples or jicama.
  • This salad can be prepared the day before and stored in the refrigerator.

 

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