Broccoli is not only nutritionally impressive, but can be delicious when cooked the right way. Its bright green florets are filled with vitamin C and other wonderful nutrients, which can get lost if the broccoli is overcooked. This is why steaming broccoli is one of the best ways to prepare it. Here are some pointers on how to steam broccoli and ensure that all its nutritional goodness is preserved.
Shopping for Broccoli
Fresh foods are often tricky because they spoil quicker. Most produce can only last a few days in the refrigerator before they start going bad. The same is true for broccoli. The next time you visit your local grocer or fresh food market, look for broccoli that is firm with dark green florets. The color of florets becomes brighter when it is cooked. Also, try to avoid broccoli with discolored spots on both florets and stems.
If you prefer frozen, packaged broccoli, make sure you check the expiry date. When it comes to taste and nutrition, it is always best to buy fresh broccoli. However, frozen varieties offer longer shelf life. Just make sure you defrost frozen broccoli before cooking to avoid sogginess and a watery taste.
Prepping Broccoli for Steaming
Frozen broccoli is washed before it is packaged, so all you need to do is defrost. Fresh broccoli, on the other hand, needs to be washed under cool water because it might have some dirt and chemical remnants. After it is washed, you can either slice off the stems completely or simply divide the florets with stems into smaller chunks. Smaller pieces reduce the steaming time.
- 2 cups Fresh or frozen broccoli
- 1½ cups Water
- Salt, pepper, butter or salad dressing to taste
- Add 1-2 inches of water in a medium pot. Place over high heat and bring to the boil.
- Arrange the broccoli chunks on a steamer basket and suspend it over the boiling water. Close the pot lid and allow steaming for not more than 5 minutes. You can extend or shorten steaming time depending on the tenderness you prefer.
- When broccoli florets turn a bright green color, remove the steamer basket from heat and set aside to cool. You can season broccoli by sprinkling a little salt and pepper, adding butter or drizzling salad dressing.
How to Steam Broccoli in a Microwave
Arrange broccoli in a microwave-friendly dish and pour about ½ cup of water over the vegetables.
Seal the dish with either a lid or microwave-proof plate. Cook on the highest heat setting for 2-3 minutes or until it turns bright green and you can easily pierce it with a fork or knife. Season and serve.
How to Steam Broccoli Cooking Tips
If you do not have a steamer basket lying around the kitchen, the next best option is to boil or blanch the broccoli pieces. Be careful not to overcook as it can become soggy and lose its fresh flavor. Serve as a side dish for meals or in a salad.
There are several recipes that make use of broccoli in this site. You should check it out.