The Broccoli – Essence of Real Food

The Broccoli – Essence of Real Food

The Broccoli – Essence of Real FoodWhen you were a youngster you probably didn’t see what was so great about broccoli. What you didn’t know then, but probably know now is that broccoli is the essence of real food, as it has been dubbed one of many, a super food.

The broccoli from top to bottom is overflowing with macro-nutrients, including vitamins and minerals that are needed for overall health and well-being. This vegetable has been around for millenniums, and has forever been used and viewed as the ideal go-to food.

It’s healthy, can be eaten in a number of different ways, comes with a variety of benefits, is easy to cook, and offers the body a boost of vitamins and minerals in every serving.

Continue reading to get an overall understanding of this vegetable, the essence of real food.

Understanding the Broccoli from Top to Bottom

Broccoli is an edible plant that closely resembles the cauliflower, and is associated to the cabbage family. It’s a vegetable that originated in Italy, and was first mentioned of about 2,000 years ago.

Due to the broccoli’s rich green color, and its counterpart the purple broccoli, both are high in antioxidants and macro-nutrients for excellent health.

Anatomy of the BroccoliAfter harvesting the broccoli plant and removing the root system, it contains three main parts:

  • Flowery Head
  • Leaves
  • Stalk

The root system of the broccoli plant needs nutrient rich soil in order to grow and support the plant and produce its vital vitamins and minerals.

Broccoli plants need to be watered often in order to keep the plant hydrated and well fed as it approaches maturity.

The leaves and stalk are lesser known parts of the broccoli plant because gardeners and farmers often discard these pieces at harvest. However, they are actually edible and highly nutritious.

Broccoli leaves can be long and thin or short and wide and grow along the stalk. They are often blue-green in color and thicken towards the head of the plant.

The crowning head is the part of the broccoli most familiar to people. Sometimes called the curd or the head, the top of the broccoli is most commonly eaten. This head is made of small, dense edible floral shoots. Usually, the head is harvested long before the shoots, or little florets open.

There are two cultivars of broccoli, purple and green, though the green shoots are most commonly cultivated by gardeners. The best environment for planting and harvesting broccoli,  is in full sun, with plenty of water, and nutrient rich soil.

Broccoli Rates High In Nutrition

broccoli head and leavesBroccoli is a great food to eat as it contains various nutrients that hold anti-cancer properties and support a strong, healthy immune system.

Broccoli is an essential source of energy, healthy complex carbohydrates, protein, and low in fat.

Nutrients: Broccoli contains vitamin-C and many of the B-vitamins, including thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and folate. It also has traces of calcium, iron, potassium, and phosphorous.

High Fiber: Need more fiber in your diet? Look no further as broccoli is high in fiber. The fiber in broccoli can help support heart health, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and helps support healthy weight management because it is filling and low in calories.

How to Prepare Broccoli

Meat and Broccoli Stir-FryBroccoli can be steamed, boiled, microwaved, stir-fried, or eaten raw.

However, over cooking or boiling broccoli has been proven to reduce levels of anti-carcinogenic compounds present in the food. It is therefore best to steam it until it reaches a bright green color, but no longer.

Adding Broccoli to Your Diet

broccoli at the farmers marketAdding broccoli to your regular daily diet can help increase your overall health.

Have broccoli as a side dish at dinner, add broccoli to a salad for lunch, chopped broccoli with eggs or in an omelet for breakfast, and even eaten raw as a healthy snack is a great way to include this essence of real food to your diet (recommended not to eat raw if you have a low thyroid problem).

All parts of the broccoli can be juiced, as it makes a great addition to any green juice. Juice it along with kale, spinach, green apples, celery, cucumber, ginger and lemon.

You’re not a kid anymore, so enjoy the essence of real food. Enjoy eating broccoli.

Enjoy our recipe using broccoli: Chopped Broccoli Tomato and Bacon Salad (includes a video).

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Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Olive Dressing

Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Olive Dressing

Over the last three decades or so, Americans have learned to reduce fat in their diet. Some are still struggling, but many have made good head way to eating a whole food clean diet, for better health.

Even though fat has been reduced, we are still not eating enough of the healthy fats, which include omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA and EPA or both known as “docosahexaenoic acid” and “eicosapentaenoic acid.” Both are found in fatty fish, like tuna or salmon.

The recommendation of consuming omega-3 fatty acids, is 250 milligrams of DHA and EPA, at least 2 times per week, and 3 ounces at each setting.

Our featured recipe fits the bill, so to speak. The recipe is, Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Olive Dressing, and here is what you will need.

Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Olive Dressing

1 pound tiny new potatoes, halved if large

1 pound French green beans, stem ends trimmed

1/2 cup mixed Mediterranean olives, pitted

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon horseradish mustard

Preparing to bake Salmon - Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Olive Dressing1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon coconut sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons lemon pepper

12 ounce fresh baked salmon, broken into chunks

Lemon wedges

Turn broiler up, sprinkle lemon pepper onto flesh side of salmon.

Place on a foil lined baking sheet. Place fish under broiler and broil for about 8 to 10 minutes or until fish is done, about 160 degrees. Let cool, chunk and set aside.

Place potatoes in a 4-quart pan and add water to cover. Bring to boiling, and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Next add beans and return to boiling.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer another 5 minutes or until potatoes and beans are just tender. Drain well, and set aside.

pitted mixed Mediterranean olives - Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Olive DressingMeanwhile, place 1/2 cup olives, oil, mustard, lemon juice, sugar, and pepper in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth.

To serve, plate potato and beans mixture and top with salmon chunks. Drizzle with olive dressing. Garnish with a lemon wedge, if desired.

If the dressing is to thick after blending the ingredients together, you can thin it a bit by adding a little more oil, or a little of the brine from the jar of mixed olives.

 

 

 

 

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