When purchasing broccoli, select ones where the stalks are tight and firm. Be sure that the salts are not tough. The buds should be tightly closed and the leaves are crisp and very green. The florets should be dark green. Old broccoli will have a very strong smell and the leaves will have a slightly yellow color.
- Broccoli is full of nutrients including vitamin C and vitamin A(mostly as beta-carotene)- linked to a reduced risk of cataracts, heart disease and several cancers.
- Broccoli contains folic acid.
- Broccoli contains high amounts of calcium- may play a role in the control of high blood pressure and preventing colon cancer.
- Broccoli contains high amounts of fiber, which which helps lower cholesterol and maintain heart health.
~Broccoli and Cheese Soup Recipe~
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) package broccoli florets
2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces light processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta Light)
Heat a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and broccoli. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes.
Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.
Place one-third of the soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed soup mixture to pan.