Broccoli-The Super Food!

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By Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Mama was right. Everyone knows vegetables are good for you, and broccoli is one of the most nutritious in all the vegetable kingdom. This tasty green vitamin machine is a member of the cruciferous, or cabbage family, where leaves or flowers of the plant grow in the shape of a cross or crucifix. Not only is broccoli loaded with vitamins and minerals, it also contains high levels of antioxidants known to counteract harmful toxins in our bodies.

Broccoli’s origin began in southern Italy in the province of Calabria.  Its name comes from the Latin word, brachium, meaning “branch” or “arm.” Although there are many varieties, the most common type of broccoli is the Italian green, also known as sprouting broccoli. Other family members are broccoflower – a cross between broccoli and cauliflower with a bright, light green color, or broccolini, a slimmer version of broccoli, with tender stems and a milder, more delicate flavor.

To select the pick of the bunch, look for tightly closed, dark green clusters, and firm, crisp stalks. Pass up any yellowing buds, mushy spots, and limp stalks, which indicate the broccoli is past its prime. Look on the bottom of the stalks to make sure they are closed. Stalks with hollow cores on the bottom tend to be older, woodier, and tougher. Store broccoli, unwashed, in a food storage bag and refrigerate up to 5 days. Just remember, broccoli loses its nutritional value the longer you store it – so try to use it within a day or two.

One of the easiest and most versatile uses for broccoli is the casserole. And it would be somewhat unusual to attend a Southern pot luck, church supper, or picnic and not come across some type of broccoli casserole; a pet recipe in almost every Southern cook’s kitchen! Paula’s Cheesy Broccoli Bake is chock full of broccoli, sharp Cheddar, crunchy water chestnuts, and sautéed mushrooms.  If it’s soup that fits your mood, try velvety Broccoli Soup – a quick and easy blender soup that takes just minutes to make. If the heat is on, no-cook Broccoli-Almond Salad, or Broccoli Cole Slaw are two salads sure to keep you cool. They’re all good, and a good way to eat your broccoli!

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Reader Comments:

54321

eat salads for lunch nearly everyday always include broccoli.watch paula every chane we get.good luck with your lawsuit love you paula.

By Douglas@Shirley Hartman on March 08, 2012

54321

HEY PAULA. I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOUR RECIPE FOR COLE SLAW.I LOVE KFC COLE SLAW. I DONT NO HOW TO MAKE IT.DO YOU HAVE A RECIPE I COULD HAVE? I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE A GOOD RECIPES FOR BROCCOLI CASSEROLE. MY FAMILY LOVES BOTH OF THESE. THANKS CAROL

By carol wigginton on March 08, 2012

54321

We love broccoli. AS a Yankee from NY I was so amazed that we could grow winter veggies in our garden in Va. Our broccoli grew beautiful and it was bright green and tasted almost sweet. I am such a fan of Paula Deen.

By Lila Selter on March 08, 2012

54321

Well Broccoli as a supper food! that explains why my 14 years old is over 6 ft and has a 15 men's shoe! as a wee little boy he would eat broccoli instead of candy,his choice! My Momma would fix the dish I was craving when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter and it was broccoli soup we got a healthy baby that time too!! and my youngest well she likes candy, and Paula Deen... she calls Paula "y'all"

By Amy Moko on March 08, 2012

54321

My husband and I love broccoli !! Usually my huusband just steams it ..not to much we both like with a little body to it. LOVE YA PAULA

By Nancy Mansell on March 08, 2012

54321

I love broccoli, cheese and rice casserole. Also love to add broccoli to my potato soup, along with cheese. Love it just plain or raw dipped in ranch dressing. Another great way to eat broccoli is in stuffed pastas' or in some kind of cheese and broccoli hot pocket type thing. Love it! Thanks for the info and recipes.

By Lori Brown on March 08, 2012

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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm