When I was a kid, broccoli was an occasional guest to the dinner table. Soft and mushy, kind of a green/gray color. I rarely asked for seconds. Or firsts. Sorry, mom. But it’s true.
At 27 years old, I finally learned how to make broccoli. Delicious, beautiful broccoli. Now it’s a favorite. (OK, I’ll tell you how I make it: Add broccoli, 1/4 C water and 1 T minced garlic to a pot. Cover with a lid and cook on high for 5 minutes. Only 5 minutes. It will be bright green, slightly crunchy, and delicious. You’re welcome).
My girls love broccoli. I’m not taking all the credit for this one. (Even though the way I just went on about my amazing recipe would probably have you assume differently.) I’m not exactly sure why they love it, other than the fact that I introduced it early and often. In a variety of ways. I modified my recipe above and cook for 7-8 minutes for them. It takes out a bit of the crunch and appeals more to their 2-year-old pallet. But either way, it makes me really happy that they dig in.
Aside from being a vegetable and gaining immediate mommy points, broccoli is a very powerful superfood.
1. Broccoli is cited as one of the most effective cruciferous vegetables at fighting several types of cancer. Other cruciferous vegetables are cabbage, cauliflower, and bok choy. According to SuperfoodsRx, “at least 30% of all cancers are believed to have a dietary component.” Since cancer starts at the cellular level, and can take a decade or more to show itself, the benefits of introducing kids to ways of loving vegetables is critical.
2. Fiber, fiber, fiber. Helps them feel full and (more importantly) helps with digestion.
3. Per serving, broccoli contains over 50% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C and potassium (vitamin K) – that’s more than an orange!
4. There’s more vitamin A in a serving of broccoli than in a glass of milk.
Get broccoli of their plate and into their stomach:
1. Steam them on the stove for 5-7 minutes and drizzle with parmesan cheese and olive oil.
2. Let them dip raw broccoli into a small cup of 1-2T of hummus.
3. Mix steamed broccoli into pasta sauce, soup (chop into small pieces first), scrambled eggs with cheese, or any rice dish.
4. Add it to any dish they already love!