How To Cook Broccoli?
- 1 How long should you boil broccoli?
- 2 Is it better to boil or steam broccoli?
- 3 Do I need to soak broccoli?
- 4 Should I boil or steam?
- 5 How do you boil broccoli without it going soggy?
How long should you boil broccoli?
Purple sprouting – This is a slender variety of broccoli, with long stalks and small purple flower heads. The leaves, heads and stalks are all edible. Prepacked purple sprouting broccoli is sold in Waitrose, choose from Purple sprouting broccoli (400g) or Purple sprouting broccoli spears (200g).
Uses: Serve cooked purple sprouting broccoli as an accompanying vegetable dressed with melted butter or a drizzle of olive oil or in stir-fried dishes. To store: Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. To prepare: Discard any tough leaves and rinse in cold water before cooking. To cook: Purple sprouting broccoli can be boiled, steamed or stir-fried, the cooking time will depend on the size of the stalks and florets and your personal taste.
To boil, place in a pan of boiling water and cook for 6-8 minutes. To steam, place in a steamer over boiling water and cook for 6-8 minutes. To stir-fry heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan, add the broccoli and cook for 4-5 minutes or until tender.
What is the healthiest way to cook broccoli?
Broccoli eaten raw may be the best way to take advantage of its cancer-fighting compounds.J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption toggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP Broccoli eaten raw may be the best way to take advantage of its cancer-fighting compounds.J. Scott Applewhite/AP Is there a right or a wrong way to cook a vegetable? If you want to unleash all its disease-fighting superpowers, then the answer is probably yes.
- And as scientists poke and prod the inner world of vegetables down to the molecule, they’ve learned that broccoli is among the veggies sensitive to cooking technique.
- If cooked more than a few minutes, broccoli’s antioxidants aren’t as adept at knocking out carcinogens that cause cancer.
- And if you want broccoli to do just that – fight cancer — forget about taking broccoli supplements, which don’t hold a candle to the whole vegetable, an expert says in a new paper,
A lot of other vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals and valuable chemicals that can be unlocked or blocked, depending on preparation and the foods they’re eaten with, as The Salt’s co-host, Allison Aubrey, has reported, Tomatoes are best eaten with a little fat, like olive oil, while carrots may be more willing to offer up their antioxidants when cooked.
- But as Emily Ho, an associate professor and researcher at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, tells The Salt, cooking broccoli too long destroys the enzyme that breaks down chemicals called glucosinolates into cancer-fighting agents.
- That means a savory cream of broccoli soup, for example, is sadly not going to showcase broccoli at its nutritional best.
But choppin’ broccoli is still just fine, as fans of Dana Carvey’s classic Saturday Night Live skit will be glad to hear. And the best way to eat it once chopped is raw or steamed for just two to three minutes. This applies to other cruciferous veggies – like cauliflower, kale, wasabi and cabbage — too, says Ho, who’s been studying broccoli for years.
- These vegetables all have compounds that can “target sick cells and keep normal cells happy, which is what you want for cancer prevention,” Ho says.
- Her latest paper, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, however, shows that most broccoli supplements don’t have enough of the good enzyme that will put those compounds to work.
Ultimately, Ho says, the best way to use food to prevent cancer is to eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day and eat a wide variety of them. The way cancer does damage in the body is, after all, pretty complex stuff, and each fruit or vegetable may play a different role in helping fend off disease.
Is it better to boil or steam broccoli?
How to Steam Broccoli leszekglasner/Getty Images Steaming broccoli is a fast and healthy way to cook this nutritious vegetable. It preserves broccoli’s vibrant green color and fresh flavor without the addition of oil. While boiled broccoli is often soggy, steamed broccoli is characteristically crisp-tender.
- Plus, when you boil broccoli, some of the nutrients leach into the boiling water.
- You don’t have to worry about that with steaming.
- Your steamed broccoli will be a great meal-prep building block because it’s like a blank canvas.
- It can be served on its own as a simple side or stirred into many dishes later.
However you choose to enjoy it, start steaming with our easy step-by-step guide below. First things first, you’ll want to make sure your broccoli is completely washed. Although the heads you buy from the grocery store aren’t usually super dirty, dirt can be hiding in some of the nooks and crannies.
- The best way to thoroughly wash broccoli is to submerge the head in a large bowl of water.
- If it boba up, weigh it down with another bowl filled with water.
- Let it soak for a few minutes then rinse them under a stream of cold water.
- Many people cut off and discard broccoli stems, but you can actually steam and eat them too.
If the end of the stem is dry, you’ll want to trim off that bit. Then peel off the outer tough skin with a vegetable peeler. Slice the peeled stem into rounds until you get to the part of the stem where the florets branch off. Using your chef’s knife, slice down through the head of cauliflower to whittle off florets, turning the head as you go.
Fill your skillet with about 1/2-inch of water and bring the water to a boil. Make sure you don’t use more water, otherwise the broccoli will boil rather than steam, making for soggy results. Add your broccoli to the skillet and cover it with a lid. Cook until the broccoli reaches your desired level of tenderness, about 3 to 5 minutes. Test out your broccoli with a fork: the tines should just be able to go into the stems of the broccoli, but it shouldn’t be limp or have a brownish hue. Drain the broccoli and season with salt and pepper.
Presenting the most classic way to steam broccoli: in a steamer basket. If you don’t own one, you can use a metal colander instead — as long as it fits inside one of your pans. The step-by-step is below, but if you’d like a complete recipe, check out Food Network’s recipe for,
Pour about an inch of water into a skillet or wok and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Put the broccoli florets in a steamer basket and season with salt. Set the steamer basket over boiling water and cook until the broccoli is crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the florets. Remove the steaming basket from the skillet.
The microwave is a fast, smart way to steam broccoli. The only downside is that you have to open it up frequently.
Add your freshly washed broccoli florets to a microwave-safe bowl. Don’t dry them off because you’ll want some water clinging onto them. It’ll drip into the bottom of the bowl; if you don’t see any there, add several tablespoons. This water will turn into steam. Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe plate. Microwave the broccoli on high heat, checking every 30 seconds for doneness. All in all, this should take about 3 minutes, although cook time depends on the size of your florets. Remove the broccoli from the bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Surprise, electric pressure cookers can steam gorgeous crisp-tender broccoli in 10 minutes. All you need is a,
Place 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot. Add the broccoli to the steamer basket and place that in the pot too. Close the lid and select the steam setting for 0 minutes, which means the veggies will be done as soon as the Instant Pot comes to pressure. All in all, it’ll take about 10 minutes for it to pressurize and naturally release. Remove the broccoli from the steamer basket insert and season with salt and pepper.
Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved. Steamed broccoli is an empty canvas. You can eat it with salt and pepper or serve it with some lemon wedges to up the ante. Use it in recipes that call for already cooked broccoli like this or these (above).
Should you always boil broccoli?
Broccoli More Nutritious When Raw or Cooked? Is broccoli more nutritious raw than when cooked? Actually, raw broccoli is not necessarily more healthful than cooked. Broccoli is part of the cruciferous vegetable family and great food to include in your diet either raw or lightly cooked.
- These vegetables provide many nutrients but their unique contribution is a group of compounds called glucosinolates.
- When we chew or chop these vegetables, glucosinolates are exposed to an enzyme stored elsewhere in the plant that converts these inactive compounds to isothiocyanate compounds which studies suggest may reduce cancer risk.
The latest research shows that you can get high amounts of these protective compounds if you blanch the vegetables first. Blanching is a quick dip in boiling water, followed immediately by cooling. You can also preserve both nutrients and the enzyme needed to form protective isothiocyanates if you steam broccoli for three or four minutes (just until crisp-tender) or microwave for less than one minute.
- Especially if you won’t be consuming the cooking liquid (as in soup), boiling broccoli—or other cruciferous vegetable—is not the optimal method.
- Boiling leaches out the vegetable’s water-soluble vitamins in these vegetables, such as vitamin C and folate, as well as many of the glucosinolate compounds, which are water-soluble, too.
Moreover, too much exposure to high temperatures destroys the enzyme that converts the inactive glucosinolates to active compounds. Serving broccoli raw is an excellent option, since it retains these nutrients and the enzyme that forms isothiocyanate compounds.
Before serving on a relish tray or salad, quickly blanching and cooling allows you to get even a bit more of these compounds. When you want cooked broccoli, steaming or very brief microwaving are excellent choices. The American Institute for Cancer Research helps the public understand the relationship between lifestyle, nutrition and cancer risk.
We work to prevent cancer through innovative research, community programs and impactful public health initiatives. : Broccoli More Nutritious When Raw or Cooked?
Should you boil broccoli?
Boiling broccoli can reduce its nutritional value – voyager_human/Shutterstock In order for the cancer-fighting isothiocyanate compounds to form, the glucosinolate compounds found in broccoli must be exposed to an enzyme stored elsewhere in the vegetable that is released when the vegetable is chewed or chopped, explains the American Institute for Cancer Research,
- Blanching or steaming broccoli is fine, but boiling broccoli, or any extended exposure to high temperature, destroys the crucial enzymes required for the conversion of the inactive glucosinolate to helpful isothiocyanate compounds.
- Moreover, you should never boil cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli — not only does boiling often result in mushy and lackluster florets, it also causes the water-soluble vitamins, including vitamins C and B and folate, to leach out into the water, warns Healthline,
That may be fine if you are planning to consume the water that the broccoli is boiled in, say in a soup or a sauce, for instance. Otherwise, avoid boiling broccoli if you want to get the most nutrients from the vegetable. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways you can prepare and enjoy broccoli, including raw, in a salad, steamed, roasted with olive oil, charred in a cast-iron, or in a cheesy casserole, as just a few examples.
Should broccoli be boiled or fried?
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing. Allow me to present the humble broccoli — beloved steamed side dish with lemon and butter, faithful team player to quick stir-fries, virtuous add-in to any number of cheesy pasta dishes, Broccoli is the vegetable we reach for when we need a little something extra to round out a meal.
- Here’s how to trim it down to bite-sized pieces, along with five ways to cook it up.
- When buying broccoli, choose vegetables that have a uniform green color with no major brown or yellowing spots.
- The broccoli stem should feel firm and the crown should be tight and springy; soft stems or limp florets are a sign of old broccoli.
Store broccoli in the crisper drawer in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Broccoli should keep fairly well for at least a week. Broccoli can be eaten raw, but blanching it quickly in boiling water helps give it a more crisp-tender texture and bring out its flavor.
Do I need to soak broccoli?
How to Clean Broccoli By Soaking It – The preferred method of the USDA for how to wash broccoli or other harder-to-clean veggies: give it a good soak. Fill a large bowl with cold or warm water. Allow it to soak for 2 minutes, then dump the vegetables into a colander and allow the soaking water to drain away. Rinse the broccoli again under running water while it’s still in the colander.
Should you boil broccoli before chopping?
Chop your broccoli after you cook it – not before – Alexander Prokopenko/Shutterstock If you are “today-years-old” realizing that the easiest way to prep broccoli is to add it to the pot whole and then cut, you’re not alone. Even better, once it’s been boiled for a bit, it’s so easy to remove all the florets with just a single slice of a knife.
Sidneyraz changed the broccoli process #todayilearned #tipsandtricks #cooking #cookinghacks #lifehack ♬ original sound – sidneyraz To try this tip yourself, place the whole broccoli head, floret side down, in a large pan of boiling water, and cook for 10 minutes. Then remove the head from the pot using a pair of tongs, and put it on a chopping board.
You’ll notice the broccoli florets are already starting to fall away from the stem when the cooking time is up, and the rest can simply be removed with one single chop. However, although it’s undoubtedly a fast and easy way to prepare broccoli, it’s worth noting that some nutritionists believe that boiling the vegetable might not be the best way to retain all its vitamins, when compared to other cooking methods such as blanching, grilling, or baking.
Is broccoli healthier boiled or roasted?
Does microwaving vegetables destroy nutrients? – Water is the enemy when it comes to nutrient losses during cooking. That’s why steaming is one of the best methods to preserve easily damaged nutrients, such as vitamin C and many B vitamins. Since vegetables don’t come in contact with cooking water during steaming, more vitamins are retained.
- Dry cooking methods such as grilling, roasting and stir-frying also retain a greater amount of nutrients than boiling.
- If you prefer to boil your vegetables, save the nutrient-rich cooking water to add to soups and sauces.
- Contrary to popular belief, microwaving does not kill nutrients in vegetables.
- In fact, it may outrank steaming when it comes to retaining antioxidants.
A 2009 report in the Journal of Food Science found that compared with boiling, pressure cooking and baking, microwave cooking helped maintain the highest levels of antioxidants in beans, beets, artichoke, asparagus, garlic, onion and spinach. Microwave cooking increased antioxidant activity in eggplant, corn, peppers and Swiss chard.
- On the other hand, boiling and pressure cooking led to the greatest antioxidant losses.
- Cornell researchers found that spinach retained nearly all of its folate when microwaved but lost most of the B vitamin when boiled on the stove.
- Microwave ovens use less heat than many other cooking methods and involve shorter cooking times.
If you use a minimal amount of water and don’t overcook your vegetables, microwave cooking is a nutritional win. (A 2003 study concluded that microwaving destroyed most of the antioxidants in broccoli – but the researchers had added far too much water.)
Can I eat broccoli raw?
Broccoli has a fantastic nutritional profile that offers plenty of potential health benefits. It’s rich in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants ( 1 ). Broccoli can be prepared in numerous ways, including sautéed, steamed, boiled, or roasted, but it can also be served raw in salads or with dips.
- This article explores whether you can safely eat raw broccoli and the advantages and disadvantages of eating it raw or cooked.
- While it may be more commonly served cooked, broccoli can be a nutritious addition to your diet without hardly any preparation.
- To enjoy raw broccoli, first clean the head of broccoli under cold running water,
Use your fingers to rub clean any noticeably dirty spots and gently pat the broccoli with a paper towel until it’s completely dry. Using a sharp knife, cut the broccoli florets from the main stem into bite-sized pieces. Both the florets and stems are completely safe to eat.
However, the stems may be stringy and tougher to chew. The thinner the stems are cut, the easier they’ll be to chew. At this stage, the broccoli can be enjoyed just as it is, though you may choose to boost the flavor by dipping the florets in a yogurt -based dressing, hummus, or another vegetable dip.
You can easily add broccoli to a raw vegetable platter or mix it into a tossed salad or pasta dish to add texture, flavor, and nutritional value. Summary Broccoli can be enjoyed raw with little preparation. Florets can be incorporated into salads, added to a veggie platter, or enjoyed dipped in various dipping sauces and dressings.
Some cooking methods may reduce broccoli’s content of certain nutrients. For instance, broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C, One cup (90 grams) of chopped raw broccoli provides 90–108% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for this nutrient for men and women, respectively ( 2, 3 ). However, vitamin C is a heat-sensitive vitamin, and its content can vary greatly depending on the cooking method,
One study found that stir-frying and boiling broccoli decreased the content of vitamin C by 38% and 33%, respectively ( 4 ). Another study noted that microwaving, boiling, and stir-frying caused significant losses in vitamin C and chlorophyll, a health-boosting pigment that gives broccoli its green color ( 4 ).
- Steaming broccoli appears to offer the greatest retention of these nutrients, compared with the other cooking methods mentioned ( 4 ).
- Broccoli is also rich in the natural plant compound sulforaphane.
- Sulforaphane has been linked to various health benefits and may help protect against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and digestive issues ( 5, 6, 7, 8 ).
Interestingly, your body is able to more readily absorb sulforaphane from raw broccoli than cooked broccoli ( 9 ). Nevertheless, cooking broccoli may have its benefits. For example, cooking broccoli significantly enhances its antioxidant activity. Specifically, cooking may boost broccoli’s content of carotenoids, which are beneficial antioxidants that help prevent disease and enhance the immune system ( 10, 11 ).
Summary Cooking broccoli may significantly increase its antioxidant activity but decrease its content of heat-sensitive nutrients like vitamin C and sulforaphane. Steaming broccoli appears to offer the greatest retention of nutrients. In most cases, raw broccoli is safe to enjoy with little or no risks.
However, like most vegetables in the cruciferous family, both raw and cooked broccoli may cause excessive gas or bloating in some people. Broccoli may cause digestive distress, particularly in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) ( 12 ). This is due to its high fiber and FODMAP content.
FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides, and polyols) are poorly absorbed short-chain carbs that are found naturally in foods, including cruciferous vegetables like broccoli ( 12 ). In individuals with IBS, FODMAPs can pass to the colon unabsorbed, which may cause excessive gas or bloating ( 12 ).
It’s unclear whether certain cooking methods can affect the FODMAP content of food. Still, cooking broccoli may help soften tough plant fibers that are found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli. Therefore, it may make broccoli easier to chew and digest for some individuals.
- Summary Both raw and cooked broccoli contain FODMAPs, which are short-chain carbohydrates that may cause gas and bloating in some individuals.
- Cooking broccoli softens its fibers, making it easier to chew and digest.
- Making broccoli a part of your diet is a healthy choice regardless of how you prepare it.
Both cooked and raw broccoli offer beneficial nutritional profiles that are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and important vitamins and minerals ( 1, 13 ). To reap the greatest health benefits, it’s best to eat a variety of raw and cooked broccoli. Enhance tossed salads by topping them with chopped raw broccoli florets, or simply munch on raw broccoli as a nutritious and crunchy snack.
- On the other hand, enjoy lightly steamed broccoli as a stand-alone side dish or mixed into a hearty casserole.
- Summary Both raw and cooked broccoli are nutritious.
- Incorporating a combination of the two into your diet will offer the greatest health benefits.
- Broccoli is a nutrient-packed vegetable that can be eaten safely either raw or cooked.
Cooking may enhance the antioxidant activity of broccoli, but it may also reduce its content of certain heat-sensitive nutrients, such as vitamin C and sulforaphane. When cooking broccoli, it may be best to steam it, as this appears to offer the greatest retention of nutrients, compared with other cooking methods.
What makes broccoli taste better?
Sautéing – My favorite way to prepare broccoli is by sautéing it in a large skillet with a little olive oil, red pepper flakes, and salt. This gives it a little bit of roasted flavor while locking in that bright green color. Sometimes I like to give my broccoli a distinctively Asian flavor by swapping in sesame oil for olive oil.
Does boiling broccoli remove nutrients?
Eating nutritious foods can improve your health and energy levels. Surprisingly, the way you cook your food has a major effect on the amount of nutrients it contains. This article explores how various cooking methods affect the nutrient content of foods.
- water-soluble vitamins: vitamin C and the B vitamins — thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid (B9), and cobalamin (B12)
- fat-soluble vitamins: vitamins A, D, E, and K
- minerals: primarily potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium
Summary Although cooking improves digestion and the absorption of many nutrients, it may reduce levels of some vitamins and minerals. Boiling, simmering, and poaching are similar methods of water-based cooking. These techniques differ by water temperature:
- poaching: less than 180°F (82°C)
- simmering: 185–200°F (85–93°C)
- boiling: 212°F (100°C)
Vegetables are generally a great source of vitamin C, but a large amount of it is lost when they’re cooked in water. In fact, boiling reduces vitamin C content more than any other cooking method. Broccoli, spinach, and lettuce may lose up to 50% or more of their vitamin C when boiled ( 4, 5 ).
- Because vitamin C is water-soluble and sensitive to heat, it can leach out of vegetables when they’re immersed in hot water.
- B vitamins are similarly heat sensitive.
- Up to 60% of thiamine, niacin, and other B vitamins may be lost when meat is simmered and its juices run off.
- However, when the liquid containing these juices is consumed, 100% of the minerals and 70–90% of B vitamins are retained ( 6 ).
On the other hand, boiling fish was shown to preserve omega-3 fatty acid content significantly more than frying or microwaving ( 7 ). Summary While water-based cooking methods cause the greatest losses of water-soluble vitamins, they have very little effect on omega-3 fats.
- Grilling and broiling are similar methods of cooking with dry heat.
- When grilling, the heat source comes from below, but when broiling, it comes from above.
- Grilling is one of the most popular cooking methods because of the great flavor it gives food.
- However, up to 40% of B vitamins and minerals may be lost during grilling or broiling when the nutrient-rich juice drips from the meat ( 6 ).
There are also concerns about polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are potentially cancer-causing substances that form when meat is grilled and fat drips onto a hot surface. However, researchers have found that PAHs can be decreased by 41–89% if drippings are removed and smoke is minimized ( 8 ).
- Summary Grilling and broiling provide great flavor but also reduce levels of B vitamins.
- Also, grilling generates potentially cancer-causing substances.
- Microwaving is an easy, convenient, and safe method of cooking.
- Short cooking times and reduced exposure to heat preserve the nutrients in microwaved food ( 9, 10 ).
In fact, studies have found that microwaving is the best method for retaining the antioxidant activity of garlic and mushrooms ( 11, 12 ). Meanwhile, about 20–30% of the vitamin C in green vegetables is lost during microwaving, which is less than most cooking methods ( 5 ).
- Summary Microwaving is a safe cooking method that preserves most nutrients due to short cooking times.
- Roasting and baking refer to cooking food in an oven with dry heat.
- Although these terms are somewhat interchangeable, roasting is typically used for meat while baking is used for bread, muffins, cake, and similar foods.
Most vitamin losses are minimal with this cooking method, including vitamin C. However, due to long cooking times at high temperatures, the B vitamins in roasted meat may decline by as much as 40% ( 6 ). Summary Roasting or baking does not have a significant effect on most vitamins and minerals, except for B vitamins.
With sautéing and stir-frying, food is cooked in a saucepan over medium to high heat in a small amount of oil or butter. These techniques are very similar, but with stir-frying, the food is stirred often, the temperature is higher, and the cooking time is shorter. In general, this is a healthy way to prepare food.
Cooking for a short time without water prevents the loss of B vitamins, and the addition of fat improves the absorption of plant compounds and antioxidants ( 6, 13, 14 ). One study found that the absorption of beta carotene was 6.5 times greater in stir-fried carrots than in raw ones ( 15 ).
In another study, blood lycopene levels increased 80% more when people consumed tomatoes sautéed in olive oil rather than without it ( 16 ). On the other hand, stir-frying has been shown to significantly reduce the amount of vitamin C in broccoli and red cabbage ( 5, 17 ). Summary Sautéing and stir-frying improve the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and some plant compounds, but they decrease the amount of vitamin C in vegetables.
Frying involves cooking food in a large amount of fat — usually oil — at a high temperature. The food is often coated with batter or bread crumbs. It’s a popular way of preparing food because the skin or coating maintains a seal, which ensures that the inside remains moist and cooks evenly.
The fat used for frying also makes the food taste very good. However, not all foods are appropriate for frying. Fatty fish are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have many health benefits. However, these fats are very delicate and prone to damage at high temperatures. For example, frying tuna has been shown to degrade its omega-3 content by up to 70–85%, while baking causes only minimal losses ( 18, 19 ).
In contrast, frying preserves vitamin C and B vitamins, and it may also increase the amount of fiber in potatoes by converting their starch into resistant starch ( 20 ). When oil is heated to a high temperature for a long period of time, toxic substances called aldehydes are formed.
Aldehydes have been linked to an increased risk of cancer and other diseases ( 21 ). The type of oil, temperature, and length of cooking time affect the amount of aldehydes produced. Reheating oil also increases aldehyde formation. If you’re going to fry food, don’t overcook it, and use one of the healthiest oils for frying,
Summary Frying makes food taste delicious, and it can provide some benefits when healthy oils are used. It’s best to avoid frying fatty fish and minimize the frying time of other foods. Steaming is one of the best cooking methods for preserving nutrients, including water-soluble vitamins, which are sensitive to heat and water ( 4, 5, 6, 17 ).
Researchers have found that steaming broccoli, spinach, and lettuce reduces their vitamin C content by only 9–15% ( 5 ). The downside is that steamed vegetables may taste bland. However, this is easy to remedy by adding some seasoning and oil or butter after cooking. Summary Steaming is one of the best cooking methods for preserving nutrients, including water-soluble vitamins.
Here are 10 tips to reduce nutrient loss while cooking:
- Use as little water as possible when poaching or boiling.
- Consume the liquid left in the pan after cooking vegetables.
- Add back juices from meat that drip into the pan.
- Don’t peel vegetables until after cooking them. Better yet, don’t peel at all to maximize their fiber and nutrient density.
- Cook vegetables in smaller amounts of water to reduce the loss of vitamin C and B vitamins.
- Try to eat any cooked vegetables within a day or two, as their vitamin C content may continue to decline when the cooked food is exposed to air.
- Cut food after — rather than before — cooking, if possible. When food is cooked whole, less of it is exposed to heat and water.
- Cook vegetables for only a few minutes whenever possible.
- When cooking meat, poultry, and fish, use the shortest cooking time needed for safe consumption.
- Don’t use baking soda when cooking vegetables. Although it helps maintain color, vitamin C will be lost in the alkaline environment produced by baking soda.
Summary There are many ways to preserve the nutrient content of foods without sacrificing taste or other qualities. It’s important to select the right cooking method to maximize the nutritional quality of your meal. However, there is no perfect cooking method that retains all nutrients.
Should I boil or steam?
Story highlights – Cooking vegetables can release nutrients and boost antioxidant capabilities Maximize nutrition by matching the cooking method to the vegetable Good defaults are steaming and microwaving CNN — Whether you love vegetables or not, there’s one thing you know for sure: Veggies are really good for you.
And you can make them even more nutritious if you prepare them in ways that maximize their benefits. Oddly enough, that’s not likely to be raw. Studies show the process of cooking actually breaks down tough outer layers and cellular structure of many vegetables, making it easier for your body to absorb their nutrients.
For example, compared to raw, “studies found that eating cooked spinach and carrots resulted in higher blood levels of the antioxidant beta carotene, which then converts to vitamin A,” said registered dietitian Elaine Magee, author of “Food Synergy: Unleash Hundreds of Powerful Healing Food Combinations to Fight Disease and Live Well.” And it’s not just limited to vitamins, Magee said.
Cooking vegetables also helps increase the amount of minerals, like calcium, magnesium and iron, available to the body,” she said. As a general rule, it’s best to keep cooking time, temperature and the amount of liquid to a minimum. That’s why steaming is one of the best ways to cook most vegetables.
It turns out that’s especially true for broccoli, long touted as one of our top anti-cancer foods, “When buying fresh broccoli, look for firm florets with a purple, dark green, or bluish hue on the top,” Magee said. “as they are likely to contain more beta carotene and vitamin C than florets with lighter green tops.” A 2009 study prepared broccoli using five popular methods – boiling, microwaving, steaming, stir-frying and stir-frying/boiling.
Researchers found steaming kept the highest level of nutrients. “Boiling vegetables causes water soluble vitamins like vitamin C, B1 and folate to leach into the water,” Magee said. “So unless you are going to drink the water along with your vegetables, such as when making soups and stews, these vitamins are typically poured down the sink.
Steaming is a gentler way to cook because the vegetables don’t come in contact with the boiling water.” Another 2009 study found peas, cauliflower and zucchini to be particularly susceptible to a loss of nutrients through boiling, losing more than 50% of their antioxidants.
Water is not the cook’s best friend when it comes to preparing vegetables,” the researchers summarized. But what’s a rule without exceptions? In this case, it’s carrots. Another study showed both boiling and steaming increased levels of beta carotene. But try to cook carrots whole, as cutting can reduce nutrients by 25%.
In fact, cooking veggies whole is often the best choice to preserve nutrients. When that’s not practical, be sure to cut them into large uniform pieces that will cook evenly. And wait to wash your vegetables until just before you cut – washing before storing may promote bacterial growth and speed up spoilage, Magee said.
- Microwaving uses little to no water, and can heat the veggie quickly from within, preserving nutrients such as vitamin C that break down when heated.
- A 2003 study found significantly higher levels of phytonutrients in zucchini, carrots and beans cooked with minimal water.
- Phytonutrients are compounds naturally found in plants that provide health benefits and disease protection in the human body.
Another exception: Don’t microwave cauliflower. The 2009 Spanish study found the highest losses of nutrients in cauliflower after boiling and microwaving. Studies show that during deep-fat frying, fat penetrates the food and vegetables dehydrate. But sauteing in a bit of healthy cooking oil, such as extra-virgin olive oil, is a great way to cook many vegetables.
Not only does it maximize flavor, but the addition of olive oil “appears to increase the absorption of phytonutrients like phenols and carotenes,” said Magee, who is also the corporate dietitian for the grocery firm Albertsons Companies. That’s because many of the vitamins and nutrients in vegetables are fat soluble, meaning your body absorbs them better in the presence of fat.
A 2015 study linked sauteing certain highly popular Mediterranean vegetables, such as eggplant, in extra-virgin olive oil with an increase of antioxidants that can protect against cancer. Olive oil is a great option for sauteing because it has one of the highest levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients of the cooking oils.
Can I eat boiled broccoli everyday?
05 /8 Enhanced bone health – With its significant vitamin K and calcium content, broccoli supports bone health. Vitamin K is essential for bone metabolism and helps maintain bone density. Consuming broccoli every day can contribute to stronger bones and reduce the risk of conditions like osteoporosis. readmore
Why don’t you boil broccoli?
– Boiling broccoli is my least favorite way to cook it. Sure, it’s super easy. But it often produces soggy, limp florets. And the longer it is cooked submerged in boiling water, the more nutrients it will lose. If you’re going to cook broccoli in hot water, I suggest blanching it as described above.
How do you know when broccoli is done boiling?
Description – Boiled broccoli comes out perfectly crisp tender and bright green! Spritz with lemon and drizzle with olive oil, and it’s a healthy and easy side dish.
- 1 1/2 pounds (2 large heads) broccoli
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
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- Chop the broccoli into florets.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli florets and boil them for 2 ½ to 3 minutes until bright green and crisp tender, taste testing often (basically, don’t leave the pot!). Once they’re cooked, drain into a colander.
- Place in the serving dish and stir in the olive oil, lemon juice, and kosher salt, Taste and add additional seasoning to taste.
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Boiled
- Cuisine: Vegetables
- Diet: Vegan
Keywords: Boiled Broccoli, How to boil broccoli
Can you boil broccoli too long?
Download Article Download Article Broccoli is a nutrient-rich vegetable from the cabbage family. Nutritionists recommend that you avoid boiling it for too long, since it takes away many of the anti-carcinogenic properties. You can boil broccoli until it is soft, or blanch it to preserve nutrients and texture. Blanching broccoli removes its bitterness but maintains texture and taste similar to raw broccoli.
- 1 Purchase fresh broccoli. Look for broccoli that is uniformly green, without a lot of brown or yellow areas. Feel the stem and crown to make sure they are firm and not limp. Check that the florets are in a nice, tight bunch.
- You can store raw broccoli in your refrigerator drawer for at least a week. However, its nutritional properties will begin to decline after three days.
- 2 Clean the broccoli with vinegar and water. Fill a spray bottle with three parts water to one part white vinegar. Spray the broccoli well. Alternately, soak the broccoli in vinegar water before cooking it, which will also drive out any insects that may be in it. Rinse the vegetables under cold tap water.
- You can wash produce with water alone, but using the diluted vinegar method first removes about 98% of surface bacteria.
- To make rinsing easier, place the broccoli in a colander inside of a clean sink basin. Use the spray setting on your faucet to rinse the vegetables.
- 3 Cut the stalks away from the florets. Use a sharp knife to cut through the vegetable stem about two inches below the crown. Break the crown apart into big florets. Slice each floret’s trunk to get bite-sized chunks.
- Remove any damaged or wilted leaves.
- If desired, save the stalks to add to stew, salad, or stir-fry.
- You can leave the stalks on if your recipe calls for it. Just peel back and remove the outermost layer, which is tough to eat, with a knife or vegetable peeler.
- 1 Bring a pot of water to a boil. Pour enough water in a pot that it will completely submerge your broccoli. Add a sprinkle of salt to the water. Set the heat to high.
- You can use regular table salt or sea salt.
- If you’re unsure whether you’ll have enough water in the pot to cover the broccoli, you can put the broccoli in the pot and cover it with water. Then take it back out and set it aside.
- 2 Cook the stalks first. Wait until the water has reached a rolling boil. If you want to cook the stalks, add them to the pot. Cook them for two minutes.
- Broccoli stalks take longer to cook then florets.
- 3 Add the florets. Lower the florets gently into the boiling water with a slotted spoon. Cook them in the pot with the stalks, if applicable, for four to five minutes. Don’t overcook them, or they will lose texture and taste.
- The broccoli is done when it is tender enough to easily insert the tip of a knife.
- 4 Cool the vegetables. Remove them with tongs or drain them with a heat-safe colander. Spread the broccoli on a baking sheet. Allow it to cool down at room temperature.
- If you believe you may have cooked the broccoli too long, you can place the baking sheet into your fridge to speed up the cooling process.
- 1 Boil water. Put a large pot of water over high heat. Add between a sprinkle and a tablespoon of salt to the water, if desired. Allow the pot of water to come to a boil.
- Adding salt is optional. The advantage is that it will enhance the broccoli’s flavor. The disadvantage is that, over time, the sodium will cause the broccoli to be mushier.
- 2 Prepare an ice bath. Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. Use a container that is at least five quarts. Alternately, you can use a clean sink basin with a drain stopper.
- Skipping this step will affect the color and texture of your broccoli.
- 3 Cook the broccoli in boiling water. Lower the broccoli into the water with a slotted spoon. Let it cook for about three minutes.
- 4 Test the doneness with the tip of a sharp knife. If the vegetable clings onto the knife, it’s not yet done. If the knife goes in and out with ease, the broccoli is done.
- 5 Plunge the broccoli into the ice bath immediately. Take the broccoli out of the water with tongs or a slotted spoon. “Shock” it by putting it into the ice bath.
- Shocking vegetables cooks them moderately, then cools them rapidly so they stay crunchy.
- 6 Leave the broccoli in the ice bath to cool. Allow the broccoli to sit in the ice bath for about five minutes. Don’t remove the broccoli from the ice bath until it is entirely cool, or it will keep cooking from the inside out.
Add New Question
- Question Is there a good way to boil broccoli without blanching? Constance Matic Community Answer After boiling the broccoli, you can cool it on a baking sheet (in or out of the refrigerator) instead of plunging it into an ice bath.
- Question How long do you boil Tenderstem broccoli? You can simmer tenderstem broccoli for 3 to 4 minutes. Be sure that you simmer the water; don’t bring it to a roiling boil, or you’ll overcook the broccoli.
- Question How long does it take to boil broccoli? This depends on what part of the broccoli you are cooking. You should boil the stalks for 6 to 7 minutes, and the florets for 4 to 5 minutes.
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Blanching vegetables maintains more flavor and nutrients than fully boiling them. Blanch broccoli if you plant to freeze it.
Thanks for submitting a tip for review! Advertisement Article Summary X Boiling is an easy way to cook broccoli. First, clean the broccoli by spraying it with a mixture of 3 parts water and 1 part white vinegar. Rinse it again with cold tap water. Cut off the stem about 2 inches (5 cm) below the crown and break the crown up into smaller florets.
- Fill a pot with enough water to completely submerge the florets and add a sprinkle of salt.
- Bring the water to a boil over high heat and add the florets.
- Boil the broccoli for 4 to 5 minutes, or until it’s tender enough to easily pierce with a knife.
- Remove the broccoli from the water with tongs or pour it through a strainer, then spread it out on a baking sheet to cool.
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How do you boil broccoli so it’s not mushy?
How long to boil frozen broccoli: – To boil frozen broccoli, you’ll do the same as fresh:
Fill a pot up with water about ¾ of the way full and bring to a boil Add broccoli to the boiling water Because the broccoli is frozen, it’ll cool off the water and it’ll stop boiling so you can put a lid on the pot to keep the heat in Boil for about 3 minutes only
Boiling frozen broccoli takes about the same time as fresh – only about 3 minutes so it stays firm and not mushy. After 3 minutes, the stems of the broccoli should be still firm when you pierce it with a fork. After boiling, drain the broccoli and serve.
Is it better to microwave or boil broccoli?
Is it better to steam or microwave broccoli? – Microwaving is a safe way to cook broccoli and requires less time than steaming. Microwaving is also thought to preserve the nutrients in vegetables most effectively.
How do you boil broccoli without it going soggy?
Braised broccoli with anchovy, chilli and garlic – As a topping on grilled bruschetta, drizzled with good olive oil and maybe with a little parmesan grated on top Photograph: Tamin Jones for the Guardian Cooking time: 10 minutes Prep time: 10 minutes Serves 4 500g broccoli 1 tbsp olive oil 4 garlic cloves, chopped A pinch of dried chilli flakes 4 anchovy fillets plus oil from tin Salt and pepper 1 Prepare the broccoli by cutting away the florets and peeling the central stalk.
Cut the stalk into thin batons.2 Cook the broccoli florets and stalk pieces in lots of salted boiling water for 3-5 minutes. They should be a little soft, but remember they are going to be cooked again, so not too soggy. Drain and set to one side ensuring they are in a well aerated place so that the steam coming off them dries them out a bit.3 Heat the olive oil with another tbsp oil from the anchovy tin in a large pan.
Add the garlic and chilli flakes and turn down the heat to cook gently for 1 minute – without colouring the garlic. Remove from the heat and add the anchovies – stir quickly with a wooden spoon and the anchovies will start to break up and “melt” into the oil,4 At this point add the broccoli, return to the heat and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, tossing the greens in the oil till heated through and well coated.
Season carefully with salt and pepper. Now you can use the braised broccoli Added to pasta – chop the broccoli roughly and toss with cooked orecchiette or penne Served with a piece of grilled salmon or white fish As a topping on grilled bruschetta, drizzled with good olive oil and maybe with a little parmesan grated on top.
Recipe by Jane Baxter Tip: Lots of other greens can be cooked in this way, including purple sprouting broccoli, kale, savoy cabbage, spinach and swiss chard. Henry Dimbleby is co-founder of the natural fast-food restaurant chain Leon ( @henry_leon ). Get your kids cooking at cook5.co.uk
What is the best way to eat broccoli and why?
Download Article Download Article Broccoli is a nutritious and delicious vegetable that can be eaten many different ways. Eat it raw, with a dip or in a salad, to get the most nutrients out of it. Roast, steam, or pan-fry it for a healthy and tasty side dish or snack, or add it into recipes like pasta, stir fry, and soup.
- 1 Eat broccoli raw to get the most nutrients out of it. Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane, which has been shown to help prevent cancer and promotes detoxification in the body. Your body absorbs more sulforaphane from raw broccoli than from cooked broccoli because cooking it locks some of the compound in.
- Broccoli is also high in fiber, potassium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B-6, and vitamin A. It contains more protein than other vegetables as well.
Tip: If you’re going to cook broccoli, steam it for about 4-5 minutes to cook it in a way that provides the most nutrients.
- 2 Wash broccoli and separate the florets before eating it raw. Rinse the whole head of broccoli under cool running water to clean it. Pick off any leaves and use a knife to cut the large stem away from the head. Pull apart the individual florets or cut them apart where they connect at the bases.
- You can also eat the stem by cutting off the very bottom part, shaving the outside layer off with a paring knife or vegetable peeler, then cutting the stem into bite-sized medallions.
- 3 Eat raw broccoli plain or with a dip for a healthy and tasty snack. Prepare a head of broccoli by washing it and separating it into bite-sized florets. Eat them plain, or dip them in your favorite vegetable dip or salad dressing.
- You could try making a homemade ranch dressing to dip the broccoli in for a tasty snack.
- Broccoli also goes very well with Mediterranean dips like tzatziki or hummus.
- 4 Make a broccoli salad for a side dish. Traditional broccoli salad has a creamy dressing and often bacon bits for added flavor and texture. It goes well with any meal as a side dish, or tastes great on its own!
- Try adding broccoli into any other salad recipe you like. The possibilities are endless! You could even use it to make coleslaw by using shredded broccoli stalks instead of cabbage.
- 5 Puree raw broccoli with cottage cheese to make a dip. Put 1 part broccoli florets with 1 part cottage cheese and salt to taste in a blender or food processor. Blend it until it is smooth and serve it with your favorite crackers or chips.
- Pita chips go really well with this dip recipe!
- You can add other spices and ingredients to create variations of this recipe to suit your tastes. For example, paprika or cayenne pepper to make it a bit spicy.
- 1 Cook with broccoli to enhance the flavor and add nutrients to other dishes. Prepare it as you would for eating it raw: by washing it under cool running water and then separating the florets into bite-sized pieces. There are many different ways to cook broccoli to eat on its own or in other dishes to add texture, flavor, and nutrition.
- If you want to eat broccoli strictly for the nutrients that it contains, you should eat it raw since it will provide your body with the most nutrients that way. Cooking broccoli will make it lose at least 10% of its vitamins.
- 2 Roast broccoli in the oven for a crispy broccoli recipe. Place bite-sized broccoli florets on a pan and season them with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and anything else you want to try. Roast the broccoli at 450 °F (232 °C) for 25-35 minutes.
- Try serving roasted broccoli with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top for extra deliciousness!
- Use about 1–2 US tbsp (15–30 ml) of olive oil, 1 chopped clove of garlic, and salt and pepper to taste for 1 head of broccoli.
- 3 Steam broccoli in a steamer basket or in a microwave. Use a steamer basket to steam bite-sized florets of broccoli in a pot on the stove for 5-6 minutes. Cut broccoli florets smaller than bite-sized and put them into a ceramic dish with 2–3 US tbsp (30–44 mL) of water. Cover the dish and microwave them on high for 3-4 minutes as an alternative to steaming broccoli on the stove.
- Steamed broccoli can be eaten as a side dish plain or seasoned with anything you want. Try seasoning steamed broccoli with salt, vinegar, and olive oil for a simple and tasty seasoning mix.
- Use 1–2 US tbsp (15–30 ml) of olive oil and vinegar, and salt to taste for 1 head of broccoli.
Tip: Steaming broccoli is the cooking method that preserves the most nutrients of the broccoli compared with other cooking methods. Stir frying broccoli is the method that makes it lose the most nutrients.
- 4 Cook broccoli in a pan for a quick and easy cooking method. Heat up oil in a pan on medium-high heat until it starts to shimmer. Add broccoli florets, sprinkle them with salt, and cook them for 5 minutes.
- You can add any other seasonings you want, such as diced garlic or spicy red pepper flakes. Use red pepper flakes to taste, depending on your spice tolerance, and about 1 chopped clove of garlic per head of broccoli.
- 5 Add broccoli to pasta for more texture and taste. Broccoli makes a great ingredient in any vegetarian pasta. It’s also a tasty addition to something like a creamy chicken alfredo pasta,
- You can cook the broccoli first and toss it in with everything later, or cook it right in the pasta sauce for 5-10 minutes.
- 6 Use broccoli in stir fry recipes as the main vegetable. Broccoli is a common ingredient in many Asian-style stir fry recipes such as broccoli beef. Toss some broccoli into any stir fry recipe for a crunchy and healthy vegetable ingredient.
- If you aren’t sure how to stir fry, start by making a stir fry sauce. Then, just fry any combination of vegetables and proteins in a wok or frying pan with the sauce!
- 7 Make a creamy broccoli soup for a comforting vegetable soup. Cook broccoli, onions, and potatoes in chicken or vegetable stock until they are soft, then puree them in a blender or food processor. Add heavy cream to create the creamy, comforting texture.
- Try adding grated cheddar cheese to make broccoli-cheese soup!
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Broccoli and romanesco have similar flavors. You can eat romanesco if you do not get broccoli or if you’d just like to try something new.
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