Don’t Hide From Broccoli

karlee1.JPGIn 1992, President George Bush the elder made a troubling proclamation, “I’m president of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.” In one sentence, he undermined every parent who attempted to convince their kid that broccoli is good.

The mighty cruciferous may have lost a battle, but ultimately won the veggie war. In the last 25 years, people are eating 900 times more broccoli. Today, broccoli is one of the best selling vegetables in the U.S.

Broccoli is one of the healthiest foods you can buy. Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family and it has more than twice as much vitamin C as oranges. Broccoli will boost your immune system and helps to prevent cancer. It also contains folate, vitamin A, potassium, and calcium. In fact, broccoli is loaded with calcium. It strengthens bones, especially important for children whose bones are growing. It is good for your eyes, heart, and colon, too. It’s especially healthful for people with stomach problems and helps prevent indigestion.

Baby broccoli sprouts have super powers. Researchers estimate broccoli sprouts provide ten to 100 times the power of mature broccoli to neutralize carcinogens.

Karlee sees through broccoli’s mild-mannered appearance to its hidden super powers.

When buying broccoli look for a head with a dark green color; sometimes with a purple tinge. The purple means that it has more beta-carotene. If it’s a bit yellow, pass on it. Yellowish color means that it’s old and some of the nutrients are lacking. As with most vegetables, it’s best when eaten within four days of purchase. For even cooking, cut off the woody part of the stalk and discard. Cut the broccoli into little spears.

To make the most of the nutrients STEAM broccoli. The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture reports that boiling broccoli will destroy its nutrients. A study found microwaving the broccoli in water for five minutes at full power produced the greatest nutrient loss and microwaved broccoli lost 74 percent to 97 percent of three key antioxidants. Boiling also led to a significant loss of these antioxidants. In contrast, steaming broccoli over water for three and a half minutes caused only minimal loss of the three antioxidants (0 percent to 11 percent).

Ways to make broccoli interesting for a picky eater:

1) Make a funny-face sandwich with broccoli flowers for hair.

2) Make a dip and serve with broccoli and other sliced veggies.

3) Have your child help clean, cook, and serve it.

4) Buy broccoli sprouts and serve in an omelet or on a sandwich.

5) Make broccoli the Italian way.

6) Have Try Rannosaurus and Betty Baby Bites join you for dinner. They LOVE broccoli.



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