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Vegetables Facts and Tips (3): Broccoli

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In a recent National Geographic Magazine survey, Broccoli was at the very top when considering nutrients beneficient to humans in our everyday food!

Vegans, Vegetarians and Omnivores, rejoice! Doctors, start moaning!
A cousin of cabbages and cauliflowers, the flowers are the mainly consumed part, but people forget that the stems are great, too (explained later)!

FACTS:
-Season: November to January and March to April in the Northern Hemisphere.
-Main elements:
Carotene, Vitamin C and Vitamin E in very large amounts. Together they combine as an elixir to fight ageing and stress.
Potassium
Iron, which helps increase red blood cells and control cholesterol.
Calcium
Fibers, which help digestion.
Sulforafan which helps fight poisonous intruders.

VARIETIES:


Italian red broccoli


Broccoli Romanesco, a favourite of mine!


In Japan, a violet variety (bottom) is becoming popular, making for some great combinations with white and yellow cauliflower,


and other dishes!

TIPS:
-As I said above, the stem is not only edible, it is succulent, with a taste between avocadoes and asparaguses! Peel the skin, cut it in any shape you wish and boil it for a while in slightly salted water. let cool and use for salads, stews and gratins!
-Choose specimens with big and dense buds, shiny and fat stems. Check whether the cut at the stem looks fresh!
-After boiling in slightly salted water, plunge into cold water immediately. The colour will not change!
-Preservation: Wrap in wet paper towel, seal it inside a polyester rigid box and keep inside refrigerator’s chilled compartment away from light.
As it will change in contact with natural light, better to cut it, boil it, cool it, seal it inside vinyl pouches and freeze if you have too much of it!

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