Green veggies are certainly a powerhouse of essential nutrients, be it spinach abounding in iron for improved blood circulation, okra overflowing with vitamin B6 for brain power or bitter gourd filled with vitamin A for enhanced eyesight. While palak, bhindi and karela might feature prominently in desi cooking and cuisine, a verdant bounty from the Mediterranean diet that has become rather popular in India in recent times is broccoli. And for good reasonS too.
Also Check Out: 5 Unique Vegetables From The Mediterranean Diet To Uplift Overall Wellbeing – Infographic
Nutrition And Health Benefits Of Broccoli:
Being a cruciferous green vegetable belonging to the cabbage family with the scientific name Brassica oleracea, broccoli is a superfood that is low in calories and brimming with key nutrients. These include, apart from calcium, vitamin K, potassium, iron and folate, the ultimate immune booster - vitamin C. So while consuming broccoli as part of the regular diet aids in weight loss, strengthens bones and regulates blood pressure, the generous amounts of vitamin C in these lush crisp florets also keeps infection, cough, cold, sore throat and flu at bay amidst the ongoing monsoon season.
Tasty And Healthy Broccoli Recipes:
And if you are pondering over how or where to procure these nutrient-dense green stalks, well then, here’s some good news - broccoli sprouts very well in cool climates and is in season now. So stock up on some fresh broccoli florets and rustle up these nourishing recipes of cream of broccoli soup and garlic roasted broccoli. These dishes will not only bestow the wealth of nutrition and outstanding health benefits of the green veggie but are also sure to be irresistible and yummy for both kids and adults alike.
Cream Of Broccoli Soup
3 large broccoli
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed into a paste
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp rock salt
2 – 3 tsp black pepper powder, as per taste
1 tsp lemon juice
3 cups water
2 tbsp fresh cream, for garnish
Cut the tough outer skin on broccoli florets and slice the broccoli tops as well as the stalks into tiny pieces.
In a deep vessel, melt the butter, add the onions, garlic paste along with salt and pepper and cook for 8 – 10 minutes on medium flame until the onions become soft, golden brown and the raw smell fades away.
Transfer the cut broccoli tops and stalks into the vessel, pour in 3 cups of water and cook on high for 10 – 15 minutes, so it becomes a bit mashed.
Pulse this cooked broccoli, onion and garlic mix in a bender to obtain a smooth puree.
Add the lemon juice and mix well for extra flavour, top it off with fresh cream and serve this cream of broccoli soup hot for lunch or dinner.
Loaded with vitamin C, broccoli promotes the defence mechanism in the body and builds resistance to infections, disease and seasonal illnesses like cough, cold, flu. Onions contain ample quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that prevents cancer, while garlic is imbued with dietary fibres, stimulant compounds that aid in digestion and regulate appetite.
Garlic Roasted Broccoli
4 medium broccoli, split into single florets
2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ lemon slice
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt, as per taste
Pepper, as needed
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius i.e. around 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a bowl, combine the broccoli florets with olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper.
Coat a baking sheet with a light cooking spray and place the seasoned broccoli florets neatly and separately on this.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes so the florets become tender.
Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top, drizzle the juice from half a lemon and serve the garlic roasted broccoli hot as a side dish for pasta, rice or noodles.
Blessed with calcium and vitamin K, broccoli fortifies bones, joints and also supplies iron, folate for optimal blood circulation. Olive oil provides healthy unsaturated fats for heart wellness and parmesan cheese is packed with proteins for growth, development of tissues, organs in the body and enhanced muscle strength.