Steamed Broccoli

Delicious steamed broccoli can be a great addition to any dinner.  It is low-carb, takes minimal preparation and 5-10 minutes to make.   Broccoli can be prepared in a variety of ways, but I happen to make steamed the most often because it is filling and delicious. It is full of goodness: vitamin K, vitamin C and folic acid, not to mention several antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.  

I generally use crowns of broccoli, which to me are the most flavorful.  Broccoli is available in many forms at your local grocer’s.  Some are already cut into small pieces which can be quickly steamed.  But I prefer to buy whole broccoli and chop into the desired size.

The trick here is to cut pieces which are similar in size to allow for even cooking.  I like to include some of the stalk with each floret.  Place about 1/4″ of water into a large stockpot with a metal steaming tray at the bottom of the pot.  Water should not come up to the level of the food.  The idea is to steam, not boil.

Lastly, place a snugly -fitting lid on top and boil for 5-10 minutes, depending on the amount of broccoli used.  Remember, DON’T OVERSTEAM!  The broccoli should not be limp or falling apart, it should have intact form and be fork-tender and bright green.  Cooking it properly makes a tremendous difference in taste.  Overcooked broccoli loses a lot of flavor. 

This amount took close to 10 minutes at a rolling boil and tight fitting lid.  Lid tightness, amount of heat, size of the pieces are all factors in determining the proper time for cooking.  You will have to experiment to find what works best.  Also remember, broccoli loses heat quickly, so make it just before you sit down to dinner or keep it warm in the oven on LOW heat.

Properly cooked broccoli doesn’t need any topping except maybe a little salt.  Other options include a little butter or shredded cheese.  I made a mini plate of steamed broccoli, roasted carrots and grilled chicken for my son (on right), and added BBQ sauce and shredded cheese to my plate (on left).  Observe, no starch or sugar here.  This is a filling and yummy low-carb meal!  This turned out so well that tonight I am making sauteed broccoli rabe with garlic and olive oil.   I will let you know how that turns out.  Have a beautiful afternoon!

Laura L. Fitzpatrick, M.D.

Doylestown Weight Loss Center

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