When you receive a bouquet of flowers, the last thing you would do is prepare it for a delicious meal. But that is just what broccoli is – a cluster of tiny flower buds, packed tightly together to form the florets that appear on dinner plates across the world. In season from January through May, broccoli is a tasty vegetable to add to your springtime menu.
There is a reason parents force their children to stay at the table until their broccoli is gone. These green bundles provide valuable nutrition for healthy living. Benefits include:
- High fiber content, which helps with digestion and keeps you full
- 150% of daily immune system-boosting vitamin C in one 100-gram serving
- Phytonutrients, such as sulforaphane, lower the risk of breast cancer and osteoarthritis
- Vitamins A, K and B
- Studies have shown that topical application of broccoli extract may prevent skin cancer caused by UV radiation from the sun
A relatively new crop in America, broccoli was introduced in 1923 and has continued to grow in popularity.
- Originally introduced to the United States from Italy, broccoli was first grown in California, which remains one of America’s top producing states.
- Fresh-market production accounts for 95% of the U.S. crop.
- California exports 15 to 20% of its fresh market broccoli
- Arizona ranks second in the U.S. in broccoli production
- U.S. farmers harvested approximately 129,400 acres of broccoli in 2017.
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You can use fresh broccoli in a variety of dishes. Steamed, sauteed or even pureed, this vegetable makes a delicious side dish or entree.
Many people use only the broccoli florets and miss out on the tender stalks of the plant.
Learn how to make the most of your broccoli with this informational video from The Steamy Kitchen: