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Broccoli (500g) (United Kingdom)
There are two types of this hardy winter-spring vegetable, green or purple sprouting broccoli, and large-headed white kind, which is treated in the same way as cauliflower.
As sprouting broccoli reaches maturity, watch it carefully so that you can harvest the heads at their best. At this stage, they are firm buds, dark green or purplish in colour. If you do not pick them in time, the tiny green budys open up into bright yellow flowers and the broccoli is no longer edible. A few blooms don't matter, but the stems start to become tough and stringy when the blossoms appear.
Always cut off the heads of sprouting broccoli with a fairly long portion of stem attached. The tougher lower parts of the stalk are nutritious, and make a good soup or puree.
Broccoli must be refridgerated as soon as it is picked, or it will begin to lose its crispness. It can be refridgerated for up to a week in an upright container or vegetable crisper without serious loss of quality. For longer-term storage, blanch and freeze it.
How to Prepare
To prepare sprouting broccoli for cooking, cut off the leaves and tough stem ends to use in soup. If the stems are thick, you can slit them up the middle to reduce cooking time. Although not ideal from the nutritional standpoint, soak the heads for not more than 10 minutes in cold, salted watere to get rid of any insects. Do not let them soak for long than 30 minutes, because the broccoli will behin to ferment and its flavour will be ruined.
Treat large-headed broccoli like a whole small cauliflower. Cut the stem off short and steam the head while, stem down.
Broccoli contains large amounts of calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C. It also contains several of the B complex vitamins. You should allow 175-225g (6-8 oz) per serving.
|Nutrition (Per 100g)|
|Energy||160KJ / 38kcal||160KJ / 38kcal|
|of which saturates||0.2g||0.2g|
|of which polyunsaturated||0.5g||0.5g|
|of which sugars||1.5g||2.5g|
|Salt Quivalent||trace||not applicable|