Branching broccoli

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 nutrients directly from your food.

Always looking for short-cuts, the inhabitants of our brave new world seems obsessed with purchasing their wellbeing from a bottle rather than taking the sage's advice.

"Let thy food be thy medicine."

Hippocrates (460 - 370 BC)

Notice in the photograph below 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.

Branching broccoli

Eventually it flowers and then the bees go crazy, for both nectar and one can see them carrying baskets full of pollen back to the hive.

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

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; there are indications that it helps prevent prostate problems, the most common malignant affliction of men.

Sulforaphane for diabetics will give you more on the subject[1]. There are thousands of important phytochemicals in coloured foods; far too many to count. We can only benefit from them once we have eschewed the black and white diet; meat and potatoes. 

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.

Let's call it Eggs Prostate

Branching broccoli florets.
  1. A large handful of branching broccoli florets.
  2. Other greens such as a cup of spinach or kale.
  3. Quarter of an onion.
  4. One peppadew or half a jalapeno.
  5. Half a tomato.
  6. Herbs such as parsley, cilantro and garlic.
  7. Optional is a small handful of green legumes such as fresh peas, favas or lima beans that require little cooking.
Makings of eggs broccoli.
  • Fry the onion, tomato and peppadew in a little butter; add the legumes.
  • Meanwhile wash and chop the broccoli florets.
  • Likewise the rest of the greens.
Eggs branching broccoli.
  • Add the greens first, then the broccoli, a little water and finally the garlic.
  • Plop in a couple eggs to poach in the greens.
  • Enjoy on half a slice of wholemeal bread smeared with avocado instead of butter.

After the head the florets gradually 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 often use a chicken bones broth; or a stock made from the hock 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.


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Poaching eggs branching broccoli.

You will notice that I enjoy my branching broccoli with an egg, wet and slushy. The good wife likes it dry.

Broccoli soup

  1. 3 cups of broccoli florets.
  2. Half an onion or a leek.
  3. Two small new potatoes.
  4. Herbs and spices of your choice. We would use peppadews that grow in abundance in our garden, a bay-leaf and black peppercorns.
  • Gently fry the onion in a dab of butter.
  • Add the sliced new potatoes, herbs and spices.
  • After perhaps five minutes on low heat, add two cups of the stock that you have prepared.
  • After ten minutes add the branching broccoli florets and cook them until tender; for as short a time as possible.

If you enjoy these 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.

Broccoli and cauliflower

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?

Branching broccoli and cauliflower mix.

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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56 Groenekloof Rd,

Hilton, KZN

South Africa