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Broccoli: Nature’s Superfood

September 5th, 2019

More Herbs, Less Salt Day.. who knew?

When I was scrolling [https://www.cute- calendar.com/calendar/]cute calendar the other day looking for inspiration for my newsletters, I came across another unusual day… More Herbs, Less Salt. Yip… you read right… and it’s celebrated on the 29th of August. This day should then inspire us to use more herbs and less salt – obvious from the title, isn’t it?

Personally, I love using herbs, especially fresh herbs 🌿. It’s so easy to pop some fresh thyme, oregano, marjoram or sage into your dish to make your meal taste and smell delicious – even with a simple dish like cooked broccoli. I LOVE broccoli, and so do my dogs (even, most recently, John). I used to steam it until the broccoli florets were al-dente, which was ok but a bit boring. I’d remind myself of all the benefits of eating broccoli and would try to ignore the bitter taste. I also thought of it only as a side dish so was happy that the flavours on my plate wouldn’t clash.

So, what are the benefits of broccoli? There are so many of them, but here are few that impressed me:

🥦 Broccoli is rich in dietary fibre, amino acids, vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamins B1, B6, B9, C, E, K and important minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium and phosphorus – impressive, isn’t it?

🥦 A 100 gm serving of broccoli has approximately 34 calories (YAY!)

🥦 Broccoli florets have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects

🥦 Broccoli combats the ageing process with the help of a compound called nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) present in it. NMN promotes the production of a compound which triggers metabolism and hence prevents genetic changes that lead to premature ageing. Antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C, and collagen also play a key role in delaying ageing (BRING ON THE BROCCOLI)

🥦 Broccoli derives its purple and green colour from antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, selenium, copper, choline zinc, and phosphorus. These compounds present are really great immune system boosters and they can protect you from numerous infections

Organic Facts is a great website to read all about this and more! It’s taught me so much. 

A few weeks ago I decided to ditch the boring steamed broccoli when I found this sautéed alternative
(Glow15 by Naomi Whittel)❤️
🥑 3 tablespoons of avocado oil (or olive oil, or coconut oil…
🧄3 garlic cloves,
🥦Chopped 1 head broccoli, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
🥕125ml vegetable stock (sometimes I replace it with a teaspoon of vegan bouillon & hot water – if I use this I don’t add more salt)
🧂 ½ teaspoon of sea salt
🍋 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
🌿 Fresh herbs – depending on what I fancy that day
🥘 In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally for about 30 seconds then stir in the broccoli and cook until bright green.  This should take about 3 minutes.
Add the stock, season with salt and herbs, add lemon juice. Cook the broccoli until it’s tender, for about 3-5 minutes.
Serve on its own or as a side dish… but for me, this can be a complete meal! I sometimes sprinkle a bit of nutritional yeast over or even grated vegan cheese.

My mom likes it with canned tuna and John enjoys it as a side dish (even though the broccoli is taking a bigger part of his plate now). Sneaky, I know 😂.
 
I don’t use much salt in this recipe and the herbs I use are beneficial for my dogs as well. Go have a look at my previous blogs – What herbs and spices can you share with your dog Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 to read up more about it.
 
If there’s ever any leftover broccoli in my house, my dogs are happy to help. They LOVE broccoli in any shape and form! It’s not a surprise as they’d eat pretty much anything I give them or anything they can find 🤣. Broccoli has a special place in Richard’s life especially. As a fussy eater, at one stage of his life, he would eat anything if I added broccoli to it and it was also his favourite treat for some time. Sometimes I even give them a few florets of steamed broccoli or I cut the leftover stalks for them to munch. It’s a fabulous quick teeth clean 😉.

As it goes though… everything in moderation. Broccoli may cause an upset stomach in dogs so don’t give it to them too frequently. The reason why there’s a high risk when overfeeding broccoli to your dog is because of the substance called Isothiocyanate. This substance, found in broccoli, can lead to gastrointestinal irritation, or in other words, severe upset stomach and let’s be honest… nobody enjoys that!

Do you have any other ideas on how and where and when to use broccoli in your house? Please share!

Jitka xx
 

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