Broccoli is a flowering plant belonging to the cabbage family. The plant is related to kale, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
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Broccoli is one of the most popular plants in gardens and a favorite vegetable in the U.S. The plant is said to have originated from a variant of wild mustard that has been modified over time. During the artificial selection process, the stem or stalk and flower buds of the mustard plant were modified, resulting in the present-day broccoli.
Broccoli is said to have been first cultivated in Italy but was introduced to the world as a vegetable in the course of colonization. It is easy to propagate via seeds or seedlings. The plant loves growing in cool but sunny spots with well-drained soil. It is therefore ideal for planting in the fall or spring.
Broccoli is an ideal source of vitamins including vitamin C, antioxidants and minerals. It is rich in calcium, iron, and folate and a good source of protein as well as fiber.
The vegetable is known to help in combating many types of cancer especially the intestinal and stomach variants. It is also good for enhancing digestion because it contains fiber. Broccoli is used to reduce cholesterol and promote good eyesight due to the presence of vitamin A.
Traditionally, the most popular part of broccoli is the green head and stalk. The head is made up of unopened florets. Broccoli’s flowerhead is surrounded by leaves and closely resembles its cousin, cauliflower. The most notable difference between the two flowerheads is that broccoli’s flowerhead is green while cauliflower is white.
Naturally, the edible green heads are harvested and eaten before the flower buds open. But occasionally, broccoli rushes to flower especially due to excess heat or drought. Additionally, if the flower buds are not harvested in time, they open up resulting in bright yellow blossoms. Most people usually give up, cut off the flowers and dispose them off believing they are not edible. But in the real sense, these flowers are as edible as the unopened flower buds.
Broccoli flowers are highly delicious and can be cooked or eaten raw. The flowers are delicate and tend to wilt when cooked, so they are better off eaten raw or lightly steamed.
The flowers have a pleasant, mild peppery flora flavor with subtle honey notes. They go well with smoked meats, red pepper, onion, ham, potatoes, and cheese.
Now, if you were like most people who thought flowering broccoli is not edible, you now know better. So its time to start eating broccoli flowers.