The Healthy Kitchen-Summer Broccoli
From this weeks Unicity NewsletterThe Healthy Kitchen
Go green this summer if you want to lose weight and eat healthier
* Broccoli helps you lose weight by filling you up with bulky fiber without adding extra calories.
* This vitamin-packed vegetable helps prevent hypertension, diabetes and heart disease, as well as many other diseases that accompany obesity.
* Broccoli helps fight cancer by providing vitamin C, beta carotene and fiber.
Sources: WholeHealthMD Reference Library, American Dietetics Association
Often known as the "Crown Jewel of Nutrition" for its many health benefits, broccoli is a great addition to any summer menu. Boiled, steamed, stir-fried or raw, broccoli is vitamin-rich, high in fiber, low in calories (45 percent of which is protein) and virtually fat-free. It's also a great source of calcium, matching the calcium content of milk gram for gram.
Include broccoli in your meal plans and you'll be well on your way to reducing your risk of certain cancers (particularly colon cancer and lung cancer), diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease. And as if that weren't enough, the American Dietetic Association wants you to know that eating broccoli may help you lose weight: Because it's high in fiber, eating broccoli fills you up without adding extra calories.
Summer is the perfect time to look for fresh, young broccoli in the produce section of your market. Serve it raw as an hors d'oeuvre with dipping sauce (low-cal ranch dressing is a good choice), or add it to green salads for a flavorful crunch.
The following salad recipe is a great summer side dish that won't add inches to your waistline:
1 bunch broccoli (cut into florets)
2 bunches green onions (diced)
1 cup non-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar substitute
1/4 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
8 oz. crumbled Feta cheese
12-15 black olives (cut in half)
Bibb or romaine lettuce
* Wash and prepare broccoli and green onions. Set aside.
* Mix together mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.
* Pour over vegetables.
* Add Feta cheese and olives.
* Toss well and place in refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
* Serve on lettuce leaves on chilled plates.
If you prefer your broccoli cooked, remember that cooked broccoli should be crisp and bright, and just tender enough that you can pierce the stalks with a sharp knife. Steaming and microwaving preserve more nutrients, but you also can cook broccoli in boiling water. The florets tend to cook much faster than the stalks, but it's easy to avoid overcooked broccoli if you cut an "X" in the bottom of each stalk (or split the stalks about halfway
up) before cooking. Another method is to cut off the florets, adding them to the cooking pot after the stalks have cooked for two or three minutes.
As a side-dish vegetable, broccoli is easy to "dress up." Stay away from the traditional (although admittedly yummy) cheese sauce if you're watching your weight. A drizzle of lemon juice and olive oil over cooked broccoli is a tasty way to serve this vegetable without adding extra calories.
The following recipe also is a low-cal way to serve cooked broccoli, and preparation is a snap:
Cooked Broccoli and Garlic
1 bunch of broccoli
6 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon cayenne or chili pepper
* Wash and cut broccoli.
* Steam in a microwave (about 3-5 minutes) or cook in boiling water (about 10 minutes) until barely tender and still bright green.
* Finely chop the garlic.
* Place olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
* Add salt, then garlic to hot oil.
* Sauté, stirring frequently, until garlic starts to soften.
* Add the water, then pepper.
* Lower heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
* Place cooked broccoli in a serving bowl and pour the garlic mixture over it.
* Mix gently to coat.
Calories: 44 per one-cup serving