Broccoli is a cool-season biennial crucifer. Its Latin name is Brassica oleracea var. italica, and origin is Mediterranean region. This belongs to the plant order Papaverales. This important vegetable is grown for the thick branched lower stalks that end up in clusters of loosened green flower buds. Stalks and buds are for cooking as a vegetable or might be processed in either canned or frozen state. In US, California and Texas are two of the essential broccoli-producing states.
Nowadays, one of the reasons for the jump in Broccoli consumption is its arising reputation as nutritional power plant. No only rich in vitamins, minerals and fibers, broccoli is fully loaded with antioxidants and other defensive phytochemicals too. Interestingly, no less the authority than the National Cancer Institute, states that the plant can prevent certain types of cancer.
Broccoli, the term origins from the Italian word for “cabbage sprout” and so, broccoli is a kind of cabbage, Brussels sprout and cauliflowers. Broccoli is deep emerald-green vegetable (that sometimes got purple tinges) comes in tight cluster of tiny buds that locate on stout and eatable stems. It is available throughout the year, with a peak season from October to April. For better quality, go for broccoli that has a deep, strong color (green, or green with purple). Broccoli’s buds are to be tightly closed and the leaves should be crispy.
Broccoli is to be refrigerated unwashed and in an airtight bag for approximately four days. If the stalks are tougher, peeling before cooking is advisable. Broccoli, a member of the cruciferous family, is very good source of vitamin A and vitamin C. It also has riboflavin, Ca (calcium) and Fe (iron) in good amounts.
Broccoli also contains significant amounts of folic acid that may prevent some birth defects and is good in warding off cardiac disease, strokes and some of the cancerous growth.