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How to Cook Fresh Broccoli to Keep Its Nutrients

author image Kristie Brown
Kristie Brown is a publisher, writer and editor. She has contributed to magazines, textbooks and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.
How to Cook Fresh Broccoli to Keep Its Nutrients
Just 1/2 cup of broccoli contains less than 25 calories. Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

If cruciferous vegetables held a popularity contest, broccoli would be in with the in-crowd -- with cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and the various cabbages trying desperately to fit in. Many ways are available to cook broccoli, but none of them should involve cooking the vegetable until it becomes a mushy, Army-green replica of its former self. Cooked broccoli should remain bright green and yield to the bite. In that form it retains vital nutrients, including iron, calcium, folic acid, vitamin C and beta carotene, which are necessary antioxidants -- and which help this veggie stay popular with parents and healthy eaters.


Step 1

Cut and peel the woody broccoli stems and trim the florets into uniform pieces.

Step 2

Fill a pot 1-inch full of water and fit the steamer basket inside. Bring the water to a boil.

Step 3

Place broccoli evenly around the basket once the water reaches a rolling boil.

Step 4

Fit the lid onto the pot and steam broccoli for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and replace it so it partially covers the pot. Cook for an additional 7 to 10 minutes or until the broccoli is crisp-tender.

Step 5

Lift the cooked florets out of the pot with tongs and place on a plate. Season with salt and pepper, and generously squeeze fresh lemon juice over the dish.


Step 1

Pour the oil into a wok and heat on medium-high.

Step 2

Combine preferred seasonings, such as soy sauce, ginger or garlic, and whisk vigorously until blended. You can forgo additional protein, vegetables and seasonings, and simply stir-fry broccoli in a light oil.

Step 3

Add broccoli and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Then add any additional ingredients or vegetables that don't require as much cooking time as the woody broccoli.

Step 4

Pour seasonings into the stir-fry mix for 1 to 2 more minutes until the sauce is reduced.

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