Keene State College Dietetic Intern
Broccoli is a cool season crop that is part of the Cruciferous vegetable family, along with
kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, arugula, collards, watercress and radishes.
The term Cruciferous comes from the Latin word cruciferae meaning “cross bearing” because
the four petals of these plants resemble a cross (Larson, 2014). Cool right?! Well broccoli is
pretty cool as it is considered a cool season crop meaning that it can be grown in the spring or
Broccoli requires full sun and moist, fertile soil in order to grow properly. If you plan on
planting seeds in the spring, it is best to plant seeds 2-3 weeks before the last spring frost but if
you plan on planting in the fall, plant seeds about 12-14 weeks before the first fall frost
(Stillman, 2016). It is important water the plant on a daily basis in order for it to grow to its full
You’ll know that your broccoli is ready for harvest when the buds of the head of broccoli
are firm and tight, before the heads flower. If you see yellow petals, harvest immediately as the
broccoli is slightly passed due. After harvesting, broccoli can be stored in the refrigerator for up
to 5 days or frozen for about 1 year so you can have broccoli all year round!
Broccoli is rich in folate, vitamin K and phytonutrients and a good source of vitamins C
and A, and fiber (Larson, 2014).
for a healthy liver, skin, hair, eyes and brain function. It can also be essential in reducing
your risk of heart disease..
ensures that if you get a minor cut or scrape, you won’t bleed more than you should.
as heart disease, certain cancers, etc. (Larson, 2014).
needed for healthy hair, skin and nails (Marcason, 2014).
Broccoli sometimes gets a bad rap, especially amongst kids, but broccoli is not only nutritious, it
is also delicious! You can find several recipes listed below to incorporate broccoli into your diet
in unique ways.
Adapted from: http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/planning-and-prep/recipes/broccoli-nuggets-recipe
Makes 24 nuggets
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place finely chopped broccoli plus 1 cup of water in a microwave safe bowl.
Microwave for 2½ minutes or until tender but not mushy.
3. After broccoli is cooked, remove and drain well. Place chopped broccoli in a
large bowl and add in the whisked eggs, cheese, breadcrumbs, oregano,
garlic powder and salt. Use a wooden spoon or your hands to combine well.
Mixture should stick together without much effort.
4. Shape into nuggets and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. If you are
having a hard time forming into nuggets, add in more breadcrumbs a
tablespoon at a time.
5. Place formed nuggets on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip once and
bake for an additional 10 minutes.
6. Serve as is or with your favorite dip.
** If you choose to substitute frozen broccoli for fresh be sure to thaw and drain
excess water. Nuggets should be crunchy, not soggy.
Broccoli Cheddar Quiche
Adapted from: http://cleaneatsfastfeets.com/2013/02/26/broccoli-cheddar-quiche/
Makes 8 servings
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In medium saucepan, heat olive oil on medium heat and add diced onions. Cook until
translucent (about 6 min.). Add minced garlic and cook for 1min more Add diced broccoli and
pepper and cook 6 min. more. Remove from heat and let rest.
3. While the above is resting, whisk together eggs, milk and spices: 1/2 tsp. pepper, garlic
powder, dry mustard, paprika, and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.
4. Add the broccoli, onion and garlic mixture to the prepared quiche crust. Top with 3/4 a
cup of sharp cheddar cheese.
5. Pour egg and milk mixture over top.
6. Bake about 40 minutes
Roasted Garlic Lemon Broccoli
Makes 6 servings
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, toss broccoli florets with olive oil, sea salt, pepper and garlic. Spread the
broccoli out in an even layer on a baking sheet.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until florets are tender enough to pierce the stems with a fork,
15 to 20 minutes. Remove and transfer to a serving platter.
4. Squeeze lemon juice liberally over the broccoli before serving for a refreshing, tangy
1. Ehrlich, S. D. (2013, July 16). Vitamin K. Retrieved May 15, 2017, from
University of Maryland Medical Center website: http://www.umm.edu/
2. Larson, H. (2014, November 4). The beginner's guide to cruciferous vegetables.
Retrieved May 15, 2017, from EatRight website:
3. Marcason, W. (2014, December 22). Antioxidants - protecting healthy cells.
Retrieved May 15, 2017, from EatRight website: http://www.eatright.org/
4. Stillman, J., Hale, J. D., Burnett, J., Stonehill, H., Perreault, S., &
Boeckmann, C. (Eds.). (n.d.). Broccoli: Planting, growing and harvesting.
Retrieved May 15, 2017, from The Old Farmers Almanac website: