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Winter is the season of green vegetables and the best time to fuel your body with the right nutrients for building immunity against infections. Broccoli, an edible green plant in the cabbage family, is a storehouse of all wonderful nutrients like iron, protein, potassium, vitamins, antioxidants and fibre. This cruciferous vegetable can be used to prepare many healthy preparations in winter that will not only fill your tummy but also improve your overall well-being. Broccoli can be consumed raw or cooked. You can steam it, include in soups, stir-fry and even use it in your homemade pizza base. (Also read: Stomach cancer: Foods you must eat to lower risk of gastric cancer)
“Broccoli is an edible vegetable belonging to a cruciferous family. It is enriched with many nutrients; such as fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, iron, protein and potassium. This vegetable can be consumed in raw or cooked form and many research state that steamed broccoli has more benefits,” says Shivani Bavalekar, Senior Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, Vashi.
Health benefits of broccoli
Bavalekar says broccoli helps to reduce cardiovascular health problems as it contains fibre and antioxidants.
Here are other benefits of broccoli:
– Broccoli contain antioxidants which helps to reduce inflammation.
– Broccoli contains Vitamin K which helps to tackle blood clotting and strengthening of bones too.
– Good amount of folate in broccoli is beneficial for pregnant women and in the pre conception stage.
– The presence of vitamin C helps to boost the immunity.
Healthy broccoli recipes to try this winter season suggested by Bavalekar.
1. Broccoli pizza
Broccoli floret coarsely chopped – 1/2 cup
Cheese shredded – ½ cup
Egg – 1 no
Garlic chopped – 1 tablespoon
Salt and black pepper to taste
– Chop the broccoli finely.
– Place the broccoli in the steamer and steam until tender for about 15 minutes. Transfer the broccoli to a large bowl stirring occasionally, until cooled, about 15 minutes and later refrigerate it.
– The oven to be preheated to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
– Grate the cheese and mix it with egg, garlic, salt, and pepper into broccoli until evenly incorporated. Pour mixture onto the baking tray, press and shape into a pizza crust.
– Bake in pizza for 15 minutes, till it is slightly brown.
– Once the broccoli pizza crust is ready you can add topping of vegetables or chicken of your choice with cheese.
Health benefits of broccoli pizza
– This recipe is gluten free.
– This recipe is rich in fibre, Vitamin C and Vitamin K.
2. Broccoli hummus with khakra
Broccoli (only the top part/floret) – 1 cup (finely chopped)
Chickpeas – 1 cup (soaked and washed thoroughly)
Cumin powder – ½ tsp
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
Garlic – 4-5 pcs
Salt – as per the taste.
– Steam the broccoli till it becomes tender and then dry it.
– Grind the broccoli with rest of the ingredients, to make it smooth in texture
– Add salt, spices as per your taste.
– Take a khakra, spread broccoli hummus with some grated vegetables and cheese on it
Health benefits of broccoli hummus with khakra
– This recipe is enriched with good amount of protein
– It contains good amount of fibre
– This recipe is good for pregnant women as they can consume this hummus as spread on sandwich by replacing mayonnaise.