Broccoli is perhaps one of the unsung heroes of the superfood realm. Most of us will have heard of broccoli and even eaten this superfood unlike others, such as kale, quinoa, chia and macca (more about these little gems in future posts). Broccoli is readily available year round, super nutritious and is packed full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable and contains substantial amounts of the nutrients vitamin A, C, K, B6 as well as folate, manganese, folic acid and fibre just to name a few.
In addition to the above, Broccoli contains large amount of potassium, which is important for a healthy nervous system, optimal brain function and regular muscle growth. Broccoli is also rich in glucoraphanin and indole-3-carbinol making broccoli a very powerful antioxidant, anti-carcinogen as well as great at boosting liver function (Patten, 2014). The high fibre content of broccoli combined with it’s calcium and magnesium levels are said to regulate blood pressure and regulate cholesterol. It also has a number of properties that have been shown to prevent or slow down the thickening of arteries, thereby reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke, as well maintaining bone health which may prevent osteoporosis (Patten, 2014).
Broccoli really is a SUPER food and a very powerful antioxidant, it can be eaten raw, steamed, stir fried or boiled (for a very short time). Below is a super tasty stir fry recipe for you to enjoy, from Rena Patten’s book, Superfoods – 7 ingredients for living well. I highly recommend including broccoli regularly in your diet. It tastes great and provides SUPER health benefits.
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Note: that some of broccoli’s components may interfere with blood thinning medication, and therefore consumption of excessive amounts of broccoli be avoided. Consult your physician for advice.
Chicken, Cashew and Broccoli Stir-Fry
650g chicken breast fillets, trimmed and sliced thinly
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1.5 tablespoons kecap manis
1-2 tablespoons oil
.5 teaspoon sesame oil
1 green chilli, sliced
500g broccoli, cut into florets
1 red capsicum, diced
6 spring onions sliced thickly diagonally
125g raw cashews
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons shao-xing wine (or dry sherry)
2 tablespoons of water
1 heaped teaspoon cornflour
Place the chicken in a bowl with the garlic and kecap-manis. Mix well and leave to marinate for 10-15 minutes.
Heat oils in a wok or deep sided frying pan until hot, add the chicken in two batches and stir-fry over high heat for 3-4 minutes until golden. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add a little more oil to the wok if necessary then add the chilli, broccoli and capsicum and stir-fry for about 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender but still crisp.
Add the shallots and cashews and stir-fry for about 2 minutes until they take on some colour.
Mix together the soy sauce, shao-xing wine and the cornflour, add to the vegetables and stir-fry until the sauce thickens.
Return the chicken to the pan and stir-fry until wel combined and the chicken has heated through.
Patten, R. 2014. Superfoods, 7 essential ingredients for living well, New Holland Publishers Pty Ltd, London