If you eat broccoli regularly but are still wondering if you’re cooking it right, you’re not the first. Broccoli is naturally very firm. Because of this, many end up overcooking it in an attempt to make it tender. There are various ways to prepare it without cooking out essential nutrients. Apply these tips at home and learn how to cook broccoli that is crisp and nutritious.
Why You Should Know How to Cook Broccoli
There is a reason why broccoli is one of the top healthiest foods. It contains an impressive amount of nutrients, some of which include fiber, vitamin A, C and K, iron, zinc and phyto-nutrients. Combined, these nutrients can increase oxygen flow to all parts of the body, prevent common ailments and reduce the risk of chronic conditions. Knowing how to cook broccoli, therefore, can help you preserve as many of these nutrients as possible.
How to Cook Broccoli at Home
The best ways to prepare broccoli is through blanching and steaming. You also have the option to roast or sauté it according to your recipe.
Broccoli is entirely edible, which means you can eat both stems and florets. If you plan on consuming both, keep in mind that stems take more time to cook than florets. To prep broccoli, start by cutting off the tip of the stem and throwing it away. Proceed to cut off stems and then separate divide the crown into bite-sized florets. Run them under cold water to rinse before cooking.
How to Blanch Broccoli
In a large pot or pan, bring water with a teaspoon of salt to a rapid boil. Make sure you have a bowl of very cold or ice water close by. Throw broccoli florets into the boiling water and cook for a minute or 1 ½ minutes at the most. When florets are slightly tender but still crispy, scoop them out and plunge them into the cold water. Do the same with stems, boiling them for 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Serve.
How to Steam Broccoli
If blanched broccoli is not tender enough for you, learn how to cook broccoli by steaming it. If you’re using a stovetop, place broccoli in a steamer basket over boiling water. Water should be boiled at medium heat. Cover and steam for approximately 5 minutes until tender.
If you’re using a microwave, place the dry broccoli in a suitable dish. Pour about 3 tablespoons of cold water over the florets and stems. Use a plate to cover the dish and cook on high heat for 3 minutes. If you want them to be tenderer, add another minute to cooking time.
Sautéing and Roasting Broccoli
With these methods, broccoli should be dry. Avoid rinsing them before cooking. To sauté, coat a pan with oil and sauté broccoli over medium heat until they are a bright green color and slightly tender. Saute florets first and add stems a minute later. To roast, pre-heat oven to 425 F. Lay the broccoli on a baking tray and sprinkle a few teaspoons of oil and add a pinch of salt to each. Cook for 30 minutes until it is caramelized and crunchy.
Knowing how to cook broccoli properly and adding it to dishes can transform your diet. With so many nutrients in one serving, you can use it to treat or prevent diseases. A nutritional powerhouse with a fresh, crisp taste, broccoli should be at the top of your healthy food list.