Broccoli – Throwing out the Baby with the Bath Water

Broccoli, what a gift of a veggie. Its tightly packed florets are not only unique and pretty, they pack a healthy punch.

The other night my boyfriend was in charge of preparing the Broccoli for steaming, and after separating the florets to my horror he was about to toss out the stems!  I must have shrieked, because he froze, holding the stalks in mid-air on his way to the garbage bin, not daring to do whatever it was that elicited that reaction.

Slowly his eyes met mine, and hoping to erase the look of horror on my face, tried to grin.

“You’re NOT about to throw those out are you?” I asked.

“These?… Uh, no.. of course not.” He slowly backed up to the cutting board.

“Good!’ I went back to stirring the lentils.

From the corner of my eye, I watched as he placed them back on the board and twisted the knife around seemingly to slice the stems.

“You can peel them first, if you like,” I hinted. “Bite size is good.”

“Yeah,” he looked relieved.

Stem Injustice!

I have often felt that we throw away much more than we should of the Veggies we prepare.  Stems seem to be thought of as unnecessary ‘extras’, when they are actually the conduit of foods to the parts we do eat… hence are likely to be filled with ‘good stuff’.

I feel this way about greens, like Chard, Mustard Greens, Parsley, and Kale.  If the stem is woody, like Mint, then of course you wouldn’t want to eat it.

Broccoli Benefits

On my list of the Anti-oxidant Capacity of Veggies, Fruit n’ Spices, Broccoli was up there with about 1600 ORAC units per 1 cup serving.  (We’re aiming for at least 6,500 units per day).

Broccoli  contains an anticancer phytochemical that increases the body’s ability to get rid of toxic substances linked to the development of cancer. It is also capable of inducing cancer cell death. A friend indeed!

This is a quick and tasty way to serve Broccoli:

Sesame Broccoli Recipe

  • 1 large organic Broccoli, broken into florets, stems peeled and chopped
  • Salt
  • 1/2 c toasted Sesame Seeds
  • 3 Tbs. Rice Vinegar
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. organic Tamari Sauce
  • 2 tsp. Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. grated fresh Ginger
  • 2 tsp. Stevia (or organic Honey)

Steam or cook Broccoli in salted boiling water until crisp-tender. Drain thoroughly and hold under running cold water for 30 seconds, then drain again.

Let cool to room temp.

Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Shortly before serving, add broccoli and toss to mix well.

Good with Fish like Ginger Cod, and Brown Rice.

~ Sihk faahn!

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