How to prep & cook broccoli perfectly without losing valuable nutrients, maybe a little different to how you thought! I’ve been experimenting for years, and I’ve finally got it down. Being a holistic nutritionist, one of my main concerns is nutrient preservation. What’s the point of buying beautiful organic broccoli if my cooking methods zap it of all of it’s cancer-fighting nutrients? Broccoli is delicious regardless, however, I’ve come to understand that by cooking and prepping it properly, I not only make it more delicious than ever, but I also get to reap the health benefits too.
Prepping all of your cruciferous veggies properly is everything when it comes to the disease-fighting nutrients! Here’s why: The main detoxifying and disease-fighting compound in broccoli (and all crucifers), is something called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane production requires a precursor and an enzyme, which act together to produce the sulforaphane. When you cook broccoli (any method), these precursors and enzymes are deactivated – so NO sulforaphane. But stay with me – Dr. Greger from Nutrition Facts explained to me that if you chop your broccoli 40 minutes or so before cooking it, the chopping action creates the sulforaphane, and once it’s created, it won’t and can’t be killed – no matter which method of cooking you choose. So, the takeaway is simply, chop your broccoli (and all crucifers), at least 40 minutes before cooking them. Dr. Greger has a little hack if you forget to do this: Add 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds or mustard powder to your cooked broccoli – this reactivates the sulforaphane. But if you don’t want mustard on your broccoli, simply remember to chop, wait, and then cook! I recommend doing some serious food prep on a Sunday by way of chopping all your broccoli, cauliflower and Kale – keep it fresh in reusable plastic bags, or even better, glass containers.
On a side note: I don’t recommend frozen broccoli. It gets flash frozen soon after harvesting, so the active compounds won’t be produced.
Okay, now you’re ready to cook it. Presuming you’ve done the chop and wait technique, the cooking is about creating broccoli that is sweet-tasting and crisp. There is nothing so disgusting as over-cooked, grayish broccoli. This is why some kids don’t like it! It’s cooked into a nasty-tasting, watery mush. The key is to almost undercook your broccoli, because it continues to cook even when taken off the heat. But, I’ve found that the pan you use to cook your broccoli is vitally important. And it was seeing broccoli being cooked in a 36o Cookware saucepan, that originally piqued my interest in my now favorite cookware line. I was at a homewares expo and saw a demo of a chef cooking broccoli using the 360 Cookware vapor-lock technology. I was blown away – a perfectly cooked head of broccoli in just 3 minutes with zero nutrients lost in the cooking water. The great thing about this cookware is that you are basically steaming your broccoli but in way that is much quicker and less messy than a regular steamer.
You might have heard me wax lyrical about 360 Cookware before, because I was turned onto them eight years ago. But the fact that I’m still obsessed after eight years, and the fact that I still use my pans every single day, is testament to how good they are. They are made out of surgical-grade stainless steel and employ a simple technology whereby you use very little water because the lid suctions onto the base as soon as steam in created. It forms a seal and thus your veggies cook very quickly. Take a look at my video to see how it works.
Anyways, for the time being (and until supplies last), I’ve managed to get you an incredible deal on the 1-quart 360 Cookware pan! It is usually $150.00 and you can snag one for just $49.00. It will never ever be this price again. And when they run out at this price, I’ll be removing this part of the post – boo hoo!! So grab your pans at this one-time-only price. Grab one for everyone you know because the Holidays are coming up. Instead of buying someone another expensive candle, get them something they’ll use for years to come (and always think of you!)
Finally, eat your cruciferous veggies no matter what. They need to be part of your everyday detoxification regimen. Eat them raw (chewing is the same as chopping in terms of releasing the disease-fighting compounds), or prep and cook as outlined above.