Broccoli salad, cream of broccoli soup, oven-baked broccoli… any way you cook it, broccoli is delicious! In fact, some people love it so much that they incorporate it in all their dishes! Besides, did you know broccolis are often compared to small trees? Indeed, their name comes from a latin word meaning “branch”. Broccoli was however first harvested in the Mediterranean, but its origin is often confused with that of cauliflower.

Broccoli is super versatile. It can be eaten raw, cooked, hot, cold, in salads or as bites. Plus, this vegetable is often associated with Italian cuisine because of the popular tomato-broccoli combo. Whether for its benefits, texture, or taste, every reason is good to incorporate it into your diet!

GOOD TO KNOW: Don’t really know this vegetable? Discover how to increase your vegetable consumption and 10 tips to eat more vegetables!

BPT loves broccoli since it provides a significant amount of fiber and potassium. Plus, broccoli has a low energy density!

  • What Are the Health Benefits of Broccoli?

    Broccoli = vitamin C!

    Broccoli is one of the richest vegetable in vitamin C. Not only is it low in calories, but a cup of raw or cooked broccoli fulfills almost 100% of your daily vitamin C needs! Plus, vitamin C has antioxidant properties. It protects against infections and promotes healing of injuries. It also helps absorbing the iron from plants.

    … And vitamin K!

    Broccoli is also a great source of vitamin K! Indeed, a one cup portion of this vegetable fulfills your daily vitamin K needs. Besides, vitamin K is essential to blood clotting and helps maintain good bone health. If you want to get a good dose of this vitamin, broccoli is one of the best food options!

    Broccoli contributes to a high folate intake

    No surprise there, broccoli is a good source of folate. Indeed, most green vegetables provide folate! Besides, those who are pregnant or are planning to be, should consider incorporating broccoli in their meals since folate helps making new cells. It is therefore essential to fetal development and growth.

  • How to Pick the Best Broccoli

    When in the vegetable section, choose a broccoli with bright colours and compact florets. Don’t even consider those who are yellow, stained, or withered. The latter are most likely not fresh. Also, if the broccoli still has its leaves, they must be greens and have firm stems. Now you’re ready to pick the best broccoli!

    Availability of broccoli

    You can always find broccolis in supermarkets. Plus, you can choose between regular broccolis and crowns. A crown is simply a broccoli without the stalk. Choose whichever product your prefer to use in recipes, but keep in mind that broccoli stems add fiber to a cream of broccoli soup and can even be added to a salad when grated. During summer, you can buy fresh locally grown broccoli. And of course, you can also find frozen broccoli florets in grocery stores.

    How to store broccoli

    Broccoli is a vegetable that tends to go bad quickly, which is why it is better to store it in the refrigerator. It can be kept a few days in a sealed container. Beyond that, its florets will start to blossom, yellow, or fall, and the broccoli will get flaccid. So, if you’re not going to use it soon, blanch your broccoli and freeze it. It can be kept many months in the freezer.

    Broccoli Q&A

  • Can you eat broccoli stalks?

    Of course, broccoli stalks are edible! In fact, it’s perfect for many recipes that use green vegetables. Just made a dish with broccoli? Don’t throw away the stalk! Not only does it reduce waste, but it’s also a great way to save money. You can grind the stalk and incorporate it into a soup, sauce, or dressing. You can also grate it and add it to different salads. Be creative!

  • How should I prepare broccoli?

    The easiest and most efficient way to wash your broccoli is to let it soak several minutes in cold water. Make sure to plunge the head in the water and let it soak 5 to 10 minutes. Then, rinse well under cold water. You can also rub it gently with your hands to get rid of excess dirt. Voilà, your broccoli is ready to use!

  • How should I cook broccoli?

    There are many ways to cook broccoli. You can steam it, cook it in a pan, in the oven, in boiling water, on the grill… Try out different options and discover your favourite method!

  • Is broccoli a kind of cabbage?

    Yes, broccoli is a cabbage! More precisely, it is a cruciferous vegetable. This big family includes broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and many other vegetables! Besides, broccoli was bred out of wild cabbage by the Romans.

  • What's the difference between broccoli and cauliflower?

    Even though the nutritional composition of broccoli and cauliflower is similar, they are two very distinct vegetables. First of all, cauliflower is white, while broccoli is bright green. Broccolis get their colour from chlorophyll, which has antioxidant properties. There is also much more magnesium in broccolis than in cauliflowers. They are however both part of the Brassica oleracea family.

Did you know that…

broccolis are not necessarily green? Indeed, their florets can also be purple. It’s beautiful and just as delicious!

Broccoli Uses

  • Cream of broccoli soup: Is there anything more comforting than a delicious bowl of cream of broccoli soup? With pureed onions, minced leeks, cubed potatoes, pieces of broccoli, cooking cream, and vegetable broth, you can easily make a cream of broccoli soup.
  • Broccoli soup: Similar to cream of broccoli, this soup is made from broccoli and broth. And it’s just as comforting!
  • Broccoli salad: A broccoli salad is so refreshing! It’s a great way to eat raw broccolis other than as crudités.
  • Oven-baked broccoli: Roasted in the oven, broccoli florets seasoned with vegetable oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, parmesan, salt, and pepper make delicious side dishes!
  • Broccoli beef: Broccoli, beef, and an Asian-style sauce are all you need for a tasty dinner!
  • Broccoli sautée: With just a few ingredients such as tofu, bell peppers, carrots, broccolis, and a sauce, you can make a quick and tasty broccoli sauté. Super practical for weekday dinners! 
  • Broccoli stuffed chicken: Once again, use your creativity to stuff your chicken breasts! Try a mix of ground beef, chopped broccolis, cream cheese, fresh herbs, and tomato sauce. This meal would be delicious with a green salad side! 
  • Sausage and broccoli pastas: Choose your favourite kind of pastas and add grilled Italian sausages, broccoli florets, cherry tomatoes, and a pesto sauce.
  • Tempura broccoli: What’s better than a warm and cripsy vegetable dipped in spicy mayonaise? Try fried broccoli with panko breadcrumbs or tempura for a real treat!
  • Broccoli gratin: Another great comforting classic… gratin! With just butter, flour, broth, milk, and cheese, you can make a decadent broccoli gratin!
  • Broccoli and feta omelette: Want a change from your morning routine? Try a broccoli and feta omelette! It’s a real treat and broccoli’s fiber makes it a filling breakfast. 
  • Broccoli nuggets : Want to surprise your coworkers at the next social gathering? Make broccoli nuggets with chopped florets, eggs, grated cheese, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. You can serve them with marinara or yogurt sauce. Caution! Your guests might get addicted!
  • Broccoli pizza: Broccoli is a versatile vegetable that’s perfect as a pizza topping. With other vegetables and cheese, broccoli adds a crispy and colourful touch to a veggie pizza.

Nutritional Values of Broccoli

Whether raw or cooked, broccoli is a great source of vitamin K and vitamin C. It also provides manganese and folate. Plus, broccoli contains carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

PortionUnits125 ml of raw broccoli (46 g)125 ml of cooked broccoli (82 g)125 ml of frozen broccoli (98 g)250 ml of cream of broccoli soup (261 g)
  Omega 3gNDNDND0.668
  Omega 6gNDNDND3.817
Vitamin Aµg14.463.555.668.1
Thiamin (B1)mg0.
Riboflavin (B2)mg0.
Niacin (B3)NE0.550.920.971.73
Pantothenic acid (B5)mg0.270.510.240.29
Pyridoxine (B6)mg0.
Biotin (B8)µgNDNDNDND
Folic acid (B9)µg29.38991.736.6
Cobalamin (B12)µg0000
Vitamin Cmg41.553.566.60
Vitamin Dµg0000
Vitamin E (Tocopherol, alpha)mg0.
Vitamin Kµg47.2116.398.957.6
Source : Canadian Nutrient Files (CNF)Canadian Nutrient Files, Nutrient profile, broccoli, raw, Food code: 2374.Canadian Nutrient Files, Nutrient profile, broccoli, boiled, drained, Food code: 2375.Canadian Nutrient Files, Nutrient profile, broccoli, frozen, spears, unprepared, Food code: 2025.Canadian Nutrient Files, Nutrient profile, soup, cream, broccoli, canned, condensed, Food code: 7383.