Growing up, broccoli was not one of my favorite vegetables. But, over the years, I have become a huge broccoli fan, especially after learning about its potent anti-cancer qualities. Fortunately, three of my four boys like broccoli. My oldest son is not a broccoli eater. I’ve tried feeding it to him at least 15 times over the years, and he still refuses to eat it. Although he doesn’t like broccoli, he does like Roasted Cauliflower, so I consider that a win.
The last several weeks, I’ve been finding broccoli in my CSA Box and came up with a new dip for my kids this past week. I’ve been playing around with miso lately, and made this Miso Peanut Butter Sauce to go along with some steamed broccoli for dinner. It can be a bit of a challenge satisfying all the different tastes in our household, so I try my best to make vegetables at dinnertime appealing to everyone since I want them to eat them. The basic steamed broccoli satisfies my son who likes his vegetables plain – no sauce, no dip, just plain. Then, I have my youngest son who loves dips and spices, so this Miso Peanut Butter Sauce was something I created for him. And, for my other broccoli eater, he enjoyed this sauce, but I think he would have eaten the steamed broccoli on its own as well.
This week, a group of bloggers is featuring Broccoli as a Power Food. This weekly food blogging group features a different Power Food each week based on the book Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with 38 Healthiest Ingredients from the editors of Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine. Power Foods are foods that are outstanding in the amounts of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, fiber and more, that help fight disease and promote good health.
What makes Broccoli a Power Food? Not only is broccoli the most nutritious of cruciferous vegetables (including cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, kohlrabi, napa cabbage, kale, and arugula, but it’s also exceptionally high in vitamin C and vitamin K, and is a good source of calcium, fiber, folate, vitamin B6. riboflavin, potassium, iron, and vitamin A. Broccoli is one of the best ant-cancer vegetables you can eat. One characteristic that sets cruciferous vegetables apart from other vegetables is their high glucosinolate content which may help prevent cancer by helping to eliminate carcinogens before they can damage DNA. Not only does broccoli contain indoles which help prevent stomach, prostate and breast cancer, but it also contains carotenoids and other nutrients that help kill free radicals.
Steaming broccoli is the best way to preserve its nutrients. I use a steam basket, placed in a saucepan filled with about 1/2″ of water. It’s so easy to steam broccoli. Simply bring a the water to a boil in the saucepan (with the steam basket in the pot), then place the broccoli florets and peeled steams in the steam basket, cover the saucepan, and steam for 5-6 minutes, until just tender. Of course, if you like raw vegetables, don’t bother steaming the broccoli. I find that briefly steaming broccoli makes it sweeter.
All part of vegetables are full of nutrients, so I try to use every part of each and every precious vegetable I get in my CSA Box – steams, leaves, roots, flowers. Broccoli stems are great in stir-fries, and broccoli leaves are wonderful in pesto (just blanch slightly).
- 1 head broccoli
- 1 tablespoon light miso
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon mirin
- 1-2 tablespoons water, to thin sauce
- Cut stem of broccoli from broccoli crown. Gently separate broccoli crown into florets. Trim off end of broccoli stem and peel skin. Slice into ½ inch pieces. Steam for 5-6 minutes, until just tender.
- Mix together Miso Peanut Butter Sauce ingredients until blended. Thin sauce with additional water if desired.
Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up for this week: (If you’re interested in joining our group, contact Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits.
Alyce – More Time at the Table
Ansh – Spice Roots,
Casey – Bookcase Foodie
Jill – Saucy Cooks
Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living
Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits
Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink
Bambi – Adobo Down Under
Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with the 38 healthiest ingredients from the editors of whole living magazine
The World’s Healthiest Foods: Broccoli
Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute: Cruciferous Vegetables