Although broccoli is available year-round, it is at its best in fall and winter.
Broccoli is one of America's favorite everyday vegetables: affordable, always available and densely packed with the plant nutrients essential to healthful, Mediterranean-style eating.
Known as calabrese to the Italian immigrants who brought it to the New World, broccoli delivers bright flavors and an array of vitamins and minerals—a consequence of eating hundreds of tiny, tightly furled miniature flower buds in every bite. The florets of broccoli (derived from the Italian word brocco, for “shoot” or “stalk”) provide rich doses of vitamins A and C, along with some easy-to-absorb calcium.
Broccoli also packs a dense dose of phytonutrients into every bite, with the most interesting of the bunch being sulforaphane, found in all cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, mustard greens and other plants in the mustard family). Sulforaphane gives these vegetables their characteristic odor, but also protects the body against cancers of the lungs, colon and stomach, and in addition kills the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, the major cause of stomach ulcers.
Try some of our healthy broccoli recipes for dinner tonight.