Broccoli is low in calories and widely regarded as highly nutritious, making a regular appearance in many of the super-food listings. It’s also, somewhat surprisingly, rather delicate. Once you’ve harvested it or returned from the store. it’s important to think about how you’re going to keep your broccoli fresh and at its best…
Freshly harvested broccoli has a very high respiration rate. It tends to quickly lose cell water and spoil if stored at too warm a temperature. Any of the following are an indication that your broccoli has not been stored correctly:
- Buds turning yellow and dying off
- Inflorescences drying out and wilting
- Spotting and signs of decay
Good-quality broccoli has a dark green to bluish color, and its buds are firmly closed. If broccoli is a yellowish-green colour – most likely as a result of unsuitable storage – it will already have lost many of its vitamins, and be past its best. If you store broccoli under the right conditions you can significantly delay any loss of quality. Quickly transfer your freshly harvested or newly purchased broccoli to somewhere cool – ideally refrigerate it at just above 32°F and at a high humidity level. Liebherr’s BioFresh HydroSafe offers thes ideal storage conditions. Broccoli stored at the right humidity and temperature in a BioFresh HydroSafe will keep fresh for up to 13 days!
Broccoli can be enjoyed raw or cooked by boiling, steaming, stir-frying or microwaving. Scientific studies have shown that its water-soluble nutrients, such as its vitamin C and mineral content, are largely preserved by steaming, but are lost if it is boiled in water. If you are boiling broccoli, halve the larger stalks and allow the heads to stick out of the water. Cook them in a pan, without a lid, until tender (the cooking time will depend upon the size of the florets). Be attentive though: it’s easy to overcook broccoli so that it ends up over-soft or even mushy. If you’re harvesting fresh, you can remove any insects that might be hidden in amongst the florets by soaking the broccoli in salted water for 10 minutes before cooking.