It is no secret that broccoli is one of the best foods you can put into your body. It is one of the few foods which can be enjoyed cooked or raw without a loss of taste and/or deliciousness. Luckily for all of us, it is also a very economic purchase at your market and very easy to grow at home (including on an apartment balcony).
A few historical points for this wonder food. During the reign of the Roman Empire, broccoli was a staple of the warriors. According to lore, broccoli enabled them to gain strength for battles. In other words, before there was Popeye and spinach -- there were Roman fighters and broccoli.
Broccoli, the word, is Latin in nature. The original word was "brachium," which translates to "branch" or "arm," which is essentially what it is when grown fresh -- an extension of the stalk.
One of the most fascinating facts of broccoli is it's vitamin C factor. One cup of broccoli will give you 150% of your daily need of vitamin C. So if you want to load up on C, pass the citrus juice and nibble on some broccoli.
Of course most people know broccoli is a known cancer fighter... but why? Due to broccoli containing a great amount of phytochemicals, it blocks the development of cancer cells. In recent studies it has been proven to prevent the development of prostate cancer. Not too bad for a tasty little green floret!
By-the-way, if you're on a diet or you want to lose weight, eat broccoli. Due to the large amount of fiber found in broccoli, it will make you feel full and not want to eat.
Speaking of food, here are a few dishes to help you appreciate one of nature's true wonder foods: broccoli!
Broccoli Bernaise: This classic French dish is often misrepresented as being "fattening." In reality it really isn't. It is a dish very high in minerals and when properly prepared, is loaded with fresh herbs. Also when properly prepared, you will get all of the nutritional and health benefits of the broccoli!
Szechuan Chicken and Broccoli : Chances are very strong you've dined on this classic Chinese dish at a restaurant. That is truly unfortunate. Most Chinese restaurants will destroy the broccoli due to over-cooking it, not to mention the fact they will load the dish not only with MSG but also a processed gunk they call a sauce. When properly prepared at home, this is an incredibly nutritious meal.
The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."