Kitchener Market 2017
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SJMarketMay2017

Broccoli

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Preview of Broccoli

Available

September 15 - December 31

Harvest Period

September 15 - October 31

Broccoli is one of the nutritional powerhouses of the brassica fam­ily, vegetables that originated from the wild cabbages of the Mediterranean coasts. The early progenitor, which more closely re­sembled a leafy green, was eventually bred into a hundreds of species that include cau­liflower, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, and even nasturtiums.

What to Look For

Look for bright green stems and tightly budded flowers. If the flowers have begun to open into small yellow pet­als, or if the stems are thick and split open, the broccoli is past its prime.

Cleaning and Preparation

Rinse broccoli and cut into florets.  The main stem can be peeled, sliced and added to the florets to be eaten raw or cooked.

Storage

Broccoli can be stored in the vegetable crisper for up to 5 days.

To freeze, split stalks lengthwise, leaving heads about 1-2 inches in diameter.  Blanch for 3 minutes, plunge into cold water, drain, and pack into freezer bags or containers.

Nutritional Information

Ounce for ounce, broccoli has more vitamin C than an orange and as much cal­cium as a glass of milk. It is also one of the richest sources of vitamins A, K and folate in the produce section.  Broccoli is also rich in phytochemicals such as indole carbinol, sulforaphane and kaempferol.

One cup (91g) of chopped, raw broccoli provides 30 calories, 0g fat, 6g carbohydrate, 2g fibre, and 3g protein.

How to Use

Both cooked and raw, broccoli makes excel­lent additions to your meal plan. To maintain as much of the healthful properties of broccoli as possible, the florets and stems should be lightly steamed or sautéed and not boiled for long periods of time as folate levels decrease rapidly.

Broccoli pairs well with cheese sauces, beef and chicken stir frys, and egg dishes like quiche.  Shredded or chopped, broccoli can be used like cabbage in salads, or sautéed with garlic and lemon for a quick side dish.

Varieties

Paragon, Cruiser and Premium Crop are the most popular varieties in Ontario