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Food Guide

Broccoli

Buying Tips

Broccoli is available year-round but is a cool-weather vegetable that is best between January and March. Broccoli should have a fresh smell, a bright green color, and firm, tender stalks. Avoid broccoli with yellowing leaves or flower buds, limp stalks or wilting heads, a pungent odor, or stalks that are thick and woody.

Varieties

Only one type of broccoli is generally found in markets, but a few close relatives of this vegetable are also available. Broccoli rabe has thinner stalks and is leafier, with smaller bunches of buds. It has a stronger, more bitter flavor, and all of the plant, including its leaves, is edible. Broccolini is a new vegetable that looks just like regular broccoli except that the stalks are delicate, with thin stems; the flower buds are also smaller.

Broccoli is available frozen and is sometimes included in frozen vegetable mixes.

Preparation, Uses, & Tips

Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked. Place it in a colander and rinse it thoroughly before preparing. Unless the stalks are especially tender, cut off the thick base of the stalks and peel them. Cut the head into florets. Raw broccoli can be used for crudités served with dips, or can be added to salads. When adding broccoli to cold grain salads, blanch it first by boiling for just two minutes. Then drain and rinse immediately with cold water. This brightens the color of the broccoli and develops the flavor.

To cook broccoli, first cut into bite-sized pieces.

To boil

Boil broccoli in lightly salted water until just tender crisp, about four minutes.

To steam

Steam pieces about five minutes and whole stalks of broccoli for about ten minutes, until tender-crisp.

To sauté

Sauté in olive oil with garlic and herbs until tender-crisp, about ten minutes. Sautéed broccoli can be tossed with cooked pasta and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

To microwave

Cook on High for five minutes; then let stand for three minutes before serving.

Flavors that go well with broccoli are basil, caraway seed, curry powder, dill, fresh lemon juice, herb-infused vinegar, marjoram, oregano, tarragon, and thyme.

Storing

Store broccoli unwashed in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable crisper. It should be used within a few days of purchase.

Nutrition Highlights

Broccoli (raw), 1 cup (chopped) (88g)

  • Calories: 30
  • Protein: 2g
  • Carbohydrate: 6g
  • Total Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 2g

*Excellent Source of: Vitamin C (79mg)

*Good Source of: Folic acid (55.44mcg) and Vitamin A (580.80IU)

Copyright © 2021 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

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The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2021.

Copyright © 2021 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2021.