Branching broccoli goes on bearing for a month or two. The florets have even more sulforaphane, the active ingredient that helps prevent disease and promote vitality, than the main head.
Broccoli pills are expensive but researchers have shown that, as with most of these vitamins and phytochemicals, it is far more beneficial to get them directly from your food.
Always looking for short-cuts, the inhabitants of our brave new world seems obsessed with purchasing their well-being from a bottle rather than taking the sage's advice.
"Let thy food be thy medicine."
Hippocrates (460 - 370 BC)
Notice in the photograph above that we harvested the main head from our branching broccoli a week ago, and then it started sending up these side shoots; they apparently have even more sulforaphane.
In any event, you get far more food from the branching type which goes on bearing for a few months, though the florets get smaller.
Eventually it flowers and then the bees go crazy, for both nectar and one can see them carrying full pollen baskets.
The sulforaphane would also be carried back to the hive in the nectar and pollen, I would presume.
That is the reason we only do a very coarse filtering of our raw honey to allow all the pollen through, also carrying its benefits for our well-being.
Researchers have found that bruising and chopping the broccoli florets, followed by very light cooking as in a stir fry is best.
An important step in the process is an enzyme in the plant called myrosinase; it is denatured by prolonged cooking reducing the production of sulforaphane.
It is one of the good reasons to pop the bright yellow flowers onto any green salad making it more attractive and wholesome.
Branching broccoli is the best source of an amazing phytochemical called sulforaphane that gives the vegetable its widely known properties of preventing serious disease.
Sulforaphane helps stabilise the blood sugar after a starchy meal and there are indications that it helps prevent prostate problems, the most common malignant affliction of men.
We have three ways that we commonly use these broccoli florets in our cooking.
The first is our variation of eggs Florentine. Broccoli, tomato and avocado all have proven benefits for the prostate gland.
After the large florets, gradually they get smaller and then we like to make them into a soup; only lightly cooked so the sulforaphane does not deteriorate.
In many ways it is not that different to eggs broccoli but you might use a stock.
We are not vegetarians so we would use a chicken bones bouillon or a stock made from the bones after we have enjoyed this eisbein recipe.
I am utterly against the stock-cubes that are loaded with chemicals; make your own bouillon and freeze it.
You will notice that I enjoy my branching broccoli with an egg wet and sloshy; the good wife likes it dry.
If you enjoy these kinds of home-grown foods cooked in your own kitchen then have not the slightest guilt about adding a good dollop of cream to your broccoli soup.
In Holland, we would say eet smakelijk. Enjoy this wonderful nutritious branching broccoli soup.
I think we have been seduced by these food programs on TV; everything must be exotic and inflame the taste buds. Is there anything wrong with steamed broccoli and cauliflower, perhaps with a little butter to increase the absorption of the phytochemicals?
After you have enjoyed this eisbein recipe, boil or better still pressure cook the bones for a wonderful nutritious meaty stock.
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