The healthiest (and only) way to cook Broccoli

The healthiest way to cook broccoli | Kid friendly vegetables | Five a day | Half your plate | Maple and Marigold

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.

The healthiest way to cook broccoli | Kid friendly vegetables | Five a day | Half your plate | Maple and Marigold
The healthiest way to cook broccoli | Kid friendly vegetables | Five a day | Half your plate | Maple and Marigold

Healthiest Way to Cook broccoli

Print Recipe
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.
Cook Time 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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:

Steamed broccoli topped with Indian tadka

Cooking broccoli – stems and all

Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma<br/><small>Photo by Tanvi Madkaiker</small>
Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma
Photo by Tanvi Madkaiker

About Puneeta

Author, Educator, Speaker

Puneeta is a writer, food advocate and guide for those who seek earth-friendly, delicious solutions that work for real life.

11 Comments

  • I will have it try cooking it this way. I usually roast it, but worry about loosing all the nutrients given it roasts at such a high heat!

    Reply
    • I love roasting as well but it takes too long for me let me know what you think of this way of cooking broccoli!

      Reply
  • 5 stars
    I grated some parmesan on top and even my picky 5 year old ate it all. Thanks! Do you think would work with other veggies as well, cauliflower or asparagus come to mind?

    Reply
    • I don’t see why not. Cauliflower is a tricky one tbh and needs a little bit longer cooking though with the lid off the results should be similar to broccoli. Tag @MapleandMarigold in your photos on Instagram or Facebook so that I can share your dish with others 🙂

      Reply
  • Here s how to cook broccoli in the oven. Toss cut broccoli with olive oil and a pinch of salt, and spread the broccoli out in a single layer on a baking dish pre-heated in a 400-degree oven. The broccoli should sizzle when it hits the pan. Roast the broccoli until tender and a little browned at the edges. Here s how to bake broccoli, take 2: it s called, Flash-Blasted Broccoli. This high-heat method is a terrific technique for coaxing delicious caramelized flavors from your roasted broccoli. It s arguably the best way to cook fresh broccoli in the oven.

    Reply
  • Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I’ve read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark this blog.

    Reply
  • You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

    Reply
  • 2 stars
    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Cheers!

    Reply

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