I hear it all the time. My mom said it, every health guru says it, there’s even a million hashtags devoted to it.
Eat your veggies.
I say it to my kids every day. Sometimes, that’s three times a day.
Your body needs 5-8 portions of fruits and vegetables a day.
But there is another side of this conversation. Did you know that over-cooking or wrongly cooking a vegetable leaches away all its nutritional value? Research has proven that many vegetables are sensitive to the cooking process and broccoli is top of that list. So when I make all the effort to cook for my kids, not only do I want them to eat the food I prepare, but I also want it to be healthy for them.
What’s the point of cooking when the effort is not helping your kids? I’d rather binge-watch Netflix!
Cooking broccoli so your kids will eat it
Broccoli has over the years developed a nasty reputation with the teeny-tiny crowd. And I agree mushy and soggy, the florets can taste pretty gross. So I was delighted to learn that the most delicious way to cook broccoli (that my kids will ALWAYS eat) is also the healthiest.
Healthiest Way to Cook Broccoli
Lightly sauteed with garlic and a splash of water. It’s that simple. Cooking broccoli in this way retains most of its colour, nutritional value along with that crunch that results in a delicious side dish that even my youngest and pickiest eater enjoys. Boiling or over-cooking the broccoli florets turns the texture into mush and also draw away much of its cancer-fighting goodness.
So yes there is a right, dare I say it, ONLY WAY to cook broccoli.
Over-cooking broccoli can result in a tasteless mush. A quick saute with garlic and a splash of water, that is enough to not only cook this under-appreciated vegetable but also retain all it's flavour and nutrition.
- 1 tsp Olive or Canola Oil Or any other mild tasting oil
- 1 head of Broccoli trimmed and washed, cut into small florets
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- A splash of Water
Heat the oil in the pan.
2. Add garlic and saute for a few minutes.
3. Add broccoli florets and cook and toss lightly for a few minutes. Add salt.
4. A splash of water and cover pan for a couple of minutes. Remove cover and toss.
5. When I have company, or I'm in a mood for more flavour, I add 1/2 tsp of chilli peppers to the oil or cumin seeds or both. They add delicious flavour to the broccoli.
Many vegetables like broccoli are flavourful and healthiest when cooked lightly. All of this is not to say that you should avoid boiled broccoli or that pureed broccoli soup. Over-cooked vegetables still contain fibre and count towards your 5-8 fruits and vegetables a day.
Here are a couple of other healthy recipes that my family enjoys and use broccoli: