Colchester Neighborhood Farm has selected broccoli as its star organic vegetable of the week. While former President George H.W. Bush made it clear that this vegetable was not one of his favorites….for many people it is a staple of the dinner table. And for good reason. After all, this cousin to kale and brussel sprouts is packed with vitamins and it’s a great item to include on your grocery list if you are trying to drop a few pounds. So without any further ado, I give you some fascinating and fun facts about broccoli.
- Broccoli hails from the town Calabria in Italy.
- Its name comes from the Italian word, braccio, which means arm.
- If you prefer your broccoli shaken and not stirred, it may be because of the key role it played in the James Bond films…well, sort of. Italian-American Albert R. Broccoli is credited with bringing Ian Fleming’s suave and famous secret agent James Bond to the big screen. Broccoli produced all of the Bond films made during his life.
- Thomas Jefferson imported broccoli seeds from Italy and planted the vegetable at Monticello.
- The average American eats over 4 pounds of the cruciferous vegetable per year. California produces 90 percent of the nation’s broccoli.China, however, is the leading producer of the vegetable, over 8 million tons per year.
- Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family.
- According to the website mindbodygreen.com, broccoli is a powerhouse of vitamins, packed with Vitamins C and A. One cup of the chopped green vegetable has as much Vitamin C as an orange. The Vitamin A in the vegetable helps fight cancer and keeps eyes healthy.
- Filled with fiber which aids in digestion and helps to keep you feeling full, at just 31 calories in a cup of chopped broccoli, it is at the top of the list of foods to eat if you are dieting.
- According to the website, servingjoy.com, “the head of broccoli is made up of tiny flower buds. If you do not harvest broccoli on time, the head will be full of yellow flowers. Even when harvested, broccoli needs to be kept in a cool temperature to prevent the buds from flowering, which will make the vegetable taste bitter.”
- The best way to store broccoli is unwashed, in a ventilated plastic bag inside the refrigerator. It should be eaten within five days.
- Broccoli can be steamed, boiled, or roasted but to get the maximum nutrition value, the best way to enjoy it is raw.
- This versatile veggie can be prepared in soups, salads or even a pesto.
If you’re curious as to how this veggie can be worked into a pesto, check out Colchester Neighbhorhood Farm’s Facebook page for a broccoli pesto recipe that will add some flavor to your pasta without adding to your waistline.