Broccoli

Broccoli means 'little sprouts' in Italian and it is a member of the brassica family.

Broccoli is popular and widely eaten. It has a distinctive ‘mustardy’ taste and well known health benefits. The stalks, buds and most of the leaves of broccoli are edible.

Watch the video on growing broccoli in New Zealand here, or click on the image below.

Growing broc

Varieties of broccoli

Sprouting broccoli (or calabrese)

This is the most popular variety and known just as broccoli. It has dark bluish-green heads with firm stalks that snap easily. Avoid using broccoli with yellowed leaves or yellow flowers through the buds.
- Romanesco broccoli is a variety that has light green clusters of heads that are pointed and look a bit like coral. Supply is limited.

Chinese broccoli – also known as Chinese sprouting broccoli, Chinese kale (gaai laan)

Chinese broccoli has long green stems (about 2 cm in diameter and 20 cm long), white flowers and green leaves that have a white haze on them. The flowers should be in bud rather than in full bloom. To prepare, chop the leaves roughly. Peel the stem to get rid of the fibrous layer and cut it into evenly sized pieces.

Broccolini

This is a natural cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli (gaai lan). It has a long slender stem topped with small flowering buds that are a cross between broccoli florets and an asparagus tip.

What to look for

Choose compact bud clusters with no yellow colouring or large open buds. Heads should be dark green or have a purple tinge (except for Romanesco, orange broccoli and broccoflower – they are a lighter, brighter green).

Availability

All Year.

Store

Refrigerate in plastic bags. Use promptly.

How to prepare

Trim stalks and divide heads into even sized portions. The stalks can be left attached to the florets. Alternatively, stalks can be removed, sliced finely and used in stir fries and soups; or julienned and used in coleslaw. Broccoli is usually eaten cooked – however, cook only until tender and still slightly crisp. Cook using methods such as steaming, microwaving and stir frying. To blanch, simply place portions in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, drain and cool under cold running water. Blanching improves taste, colour and texture.

Ways to eat

Broccoli is one of the most versatile vegetables. It can be served raw or lightly blanched and used in salads, pasta dishes, omelettes, quiches, soups and as a side dish.

Cooking methods

Boil, steam, microwave, roast, stir fry.

Nutrition

Broccoli is a good source of vitamin C, and one serving [1 cup] easily provides an adult's vitamin C requirements for a day. It is also a source of dietary fibre, folate, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin A, vitamin B6, and contains a dietary significant amount of potassium. Phytonutrients, including glucosinolates, phenolic compounds and carotenoids, are abundant in broccoli.

Broccolini is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C.

Nutrition tables

BROCCOLI Raw      
Nutrition Information        
Serving size: 1 cup = 91g       
  Average Quantity % Daily Intake per serve Average Quantity  
per serving per 100g  
Energy (kJ/Cal) 127/30 1% 140/33  
Protein (g) 3.4 7% 3.8  
Fat, total (g) 0.5 1% 0.5  
 - saturated (g) 0.04 0% 0.04  
Available carbohydrate (g) 1.6 1% 1.8  
 - sugars (g) 1.6 2% 1.8  
Dietary Fibre (g) 3.1   3.4 A source of dietary fibre
Sodium (mg) 7 0% 7.4  
Vitamin C (mg) 90 225% RDI* 99 A good source of vitamin C
Folate (µg) 45 22% RDI* 49 A source of folate
Niacin (mg) 1.1 11% RDI* 1.2 A source of niacin
Riboflavin (mg) 0.17 10% RDI* 0.19 A source of riboflavin
Vitamin A Equiv. (µg) 96 13% RDI* 105 A source of vitamin A
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.3 19% RDI* 0.33 A source of vitamin B6
Potassium (mg) 319   350 Contains potassium
Thiamin (mg) 0.07 7% RDI* 0.08  
Vitamin E (mg) 0.89 9% RDI* 0.98  
Iron (mg) 0.5 5% RDI* 0.6  
Zinc (mg) 0.4 4% RDI* 0.5  
Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ  
Your daily Intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs. 
 *Recommended Dietary Intake (Average Adult)  
Source: FOODfiles 2018        
         
BROCCOLINI Cooked      
Nutrition Information        
Serving size: 8 stalks = 85g       
  Average Quantity % Daily Intake per serve Average Quantity  
per serving per 100g  
Energy (kJ/Cal) 146/35 2% 168/40  
Protein (g) 3.0 6% 3.5  
Fat, total (g) 0.0 0% 0.0  
 - saturated (g) 0.0 0% 0.0  
Available carbohydrate (g) 6.0 2% 6.9  
 - sugars (g) 2.0 2% 2.3  
Dietary Fibre (g) 1.0   1.2  
Sodium (mg) 25 1% 29  
Vitamin A Eqiuv. (µg) 225 30% RDI* 259 A good source of vitamin A
Vitamin C (mg) 52  130% RDI* 60 A good source of vitamin C
Calcium (mg) 48 6% RDI* 55  
Iron (mg) 0.48  4% RDI* 0.55  
Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ  
Your daily Intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs. 
 *Recommended Dietary Intake (Average Adult)  
Source: Information courtesy of Fruits & Veggies More Matters   
Data not available for Broccolini in New Zealand Food Compositon Tables 

Retailing

Because broccoli is highly perishable, it is preferable to purchase broccoli that has been put through an ice water bath and transported and marketed under refrigeration. Display on refrigerated shelving on a bed of ice. Buy small quantities regularly to guarantee freshness. Display beside cauliflower. Sprinkle with water before returning to the chiller at night. Use QR code on labels.

Store at 0ºC with a relative humidity of 90-100%. Broccoli is very ethylene sensitive so store separately from ethylene producing fruits and vegetables.

Purchase broccoli with the New Zealand GAP logo.

Recipes

Balti vegetables
Balti vegetables

Make in advance and take to a pot luck dinner or to serve at the barbecue. View Recipe

Broccoli and chicken stir fry
Broccoli and chicken stir fry

Broccoli is available all year round and is the vegetable ingredient in this yummy stir fry. Instructions how to poach chicken are included at the end... View Recipe

Pizza with courgette base
Pizza with courgette base

Be creative with vegetable combinations on the top of this courgette pizza dough. Watch the video on how to make it. View Recipe

View more Recipes

Images

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