At 49 mg per ½ cup serving, broccoli is a great source of vitamin C. That is, unless you destroy it while cooking. As a water soluble vitamin, the more contact vitamin C has with high temperatures and boiling water, the greater the chance you will lose its health benefits during the cooking process. Blanching is a way to partially cook broccoli, while preserving both its flavor and health benefits. Blanching is essential when you plan on freezing fresh broccoli.
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Cut off the thick, woody stem of each broccoli bunch with a sharp kitchen knife. Separate each stalk into individual florets, and slice large florets in half lengthwise so no floret is more than 1 1/2 inches wide.
Wash the florets in a colander under cold running water.
Fill an 8- to 10-qt. pot 2/3 full with water and bring the water to a full boil on your stove top. Add the broccoli florets, cover the pot and set a kitchen timer for four minutes.
Remove the broccoli florets from the pot with a large slotted spoon if you will be reusing the water or empty the broccoli into a colander to drain. Serve hot or cool to continue to process for storage.