Saturday, October 1, 2022

Steamed Broccoli and Why I Love It

Broccoli nutrition, prep, cooking, and serving ideas


I must confess. I love to eat lightly steamed broccoli. Only then is this cruciferous veggie at its nutritional and flavor peak. 

Post Updated 3/19/2023

Lightly steamed broccoli looks and tastes delicious, because it's cooked just enough to provide the most nutrients and assure broccoli retains its bright green color.

This post shows you how to cook broccoli to perfection and why steaming broccoli is the healthiest, most colorful, and tastiest way to make it crisp-tender.

Look below to see reasons why research shows broccoli is so healthy:

½ cup of Broccoli contains:


How to Find the Best Broccoli

Buy fresh broccoli at a farmers' market, health food store, market, or pick it fresh from your home garden. 

I buy or grow organic veggies and fruit whenever available, because organic produce tastes better, contains more nutrients, and is safer for the environment than conventionally grown  ones

Select fresh broccoli that has dark green, tight, dense florets (flowers). Leaves and stalk should be firm and fresh-looking too. Store in crisper section of refrigerator and use within three days.

Flash frozen broccoli is a suitable replacement, when the fresh variety is unavailable or looks yellow or is wilted. 

Don't wash this veggie, until ready to use. Store it in the refrigerator, and use within three days.

How to Clean and Prep Broccoli

The easiest way to clean and prep broccoli is to submerge it in a bowl of clean cold water. 

If broccoli seems sandy, soak it long enough to allow sand to sink to the bottom of the bowl. 

Place broccoli on a cutting board. Use a sharp paring knife and cut across the head, below the florets. 

Separate each individual flower into a bite-size piece. Don't discard the stalk and leaves; they are edible. The stalk is rich in fiber and the leaves are rich in nutrients. 

Cut off the tough bottom part of the stalk and the hard outer covering. 

Chop the stalk into pieces that are half the size of florets, so all parts of the broccoli will cook (steam) in the same amount of time.

Best Cooking Technique  to Steam Broccoli

Broccoli nutrition, prep, cooking, and serving ideas

TIP 1: Get the steaming water hot and steamy first, before adding the broccoli to the steamer basket.

TIP 2: Set your timer for only five to six minutes. Smaller florets of young fresh broccoli may only need five minutes to cook, larger florets of more mature broccoli made need six. 

Test broccoli by piercing it with a fork at the 5 minute point. If it is still tough, cook another minute.

TIP 3: A steamer basket lifts the broccoli pieces out of the liquid and off the bottom of the pan, preventing them from becoming soggy. If you don't have a steamer, you can simply put cut up broccoli directly into an inch of boiling water and cover. 

Keep a close eye on the broccoli and remove it from the pot as soon as it's done. This will assure it doesn't get waterlogged.

Broccoli nutrition, prep, cooking, and serving ideas


Important Info: When broccoli is overcooked, it turns olive green, instead of that beautiful vibrant green color you want.

Broccoli releases the most nutrients, when it’s cooked for no more than 5-6 minutes tops. If you accidentally overcook broccoli, it tastes strong and bitter. 

Note: One way to mask the bitter taste is to add an eighth of a teaspoon of salt or low sodium soy sauce to it.

TIP 4: Shut off stove and carefully pour broccoli into a serving dish. 

If you want to embellish the flavor of steamed broccoli add a few drops of olive oil and lemon zest. If you prefer, drizzle on balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, or another type of vinegar you may have on hand. 

Other options include serving steamed broccoli with toasted slivered almonds, toasted sesame seeds, or fresh chopped dill, parsley, or basil. 

Serve broccoli often, because it makes a great addition to any meal. Steamed broccoli can be easily incorporated into a stir fry (tofu scramble), pasta dish, soup, casserole, or stew. 

Broccoli nutrition, prep, cooking, and serving ideas

When broccoli is handled properly and not overcooked, this plant powerhouse will nourish and energize. 

It's so delicious, satisfying, and eye-appealing it makes all those who eat it sing its praises.

Please take a moment to comment below. 

Do you eat broccoli often and how do you like to serve it? 

Did you learn anything new about this superfood? I welcome hearing about your tips and vegan recipes that include broccoli. 

This post is offered for entertainment and education only and is not intended as nutrition or medical advice. Check with you health care provider if you seek that type of advice.

I read and appreciate every comment, but won't be able to publish those that include links. Thanks for understanding.

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  1. I love broccoli, too. It's one of my favorite veggies. It pairs perfectly with so many meals. I didn't realize that steaming it was the best choice. I typically take fresh broccoli and oven roast it. I'll try steaming it soon. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Debbie for your visit and comment. You're so right about broccoli pairing with so many meals. I eat this green veggie at least two or three times a week. Have an awesome day and be well.

  2. We do eat a lot of broccoli, as we know how healthy it is. I'm not excited about it when I steam it and it ends up being soggy. I'll try heating the water up first!

    1. It's so healthy to eat a lot of broccoli and I think if you time it to cook for not more than 5 min. you'll enjoy eating it so much more. Wishing you a beautiful Oct. day.

  3. Well, I know it is not as healthy but I love my broccoli roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper and basil. I finished off a small head today and saved the other one I roasted for tomorrow.

    1. That way of cooking broccoli is delicious too. Have a great day!

  4. Replies
    1. A thumbs up to that. Have a beautiful day Carol and Happy Oct.

  5. I love how healthy broccoli's are! I'm always making sure these are served in ways that my nephews will eat. Love it steamed and added as side dish!

    1. Thanks DJ. Appreciate the visit and comment. Wishing you beautiful day.

  6. I do love broccoli but I hardly ever purchase fresh broccoli. I like to buy organic and it is easier to find frozen than fresh- but I do prefer the taste of fresh steamed broccoli than frozen steamed broccoli.

    1. Hear you Judee. Lately the organic fresh broccoli I've been seeing in the market looks terrible and I've been buying organic red cabbage and organic bok choy instead. We're so fortunate here in Tucson. Plenty of organic options. Have a beautiful day and great week.

  7. I agree. Steamed broccoli is quick to fix, delicious to eat, and very healthy. I buy the fresh broccoli, but for me, it doesn't need to be organic.
    Thank you for sharing this post at Talent-Sharing Tuesdays Link-Up 37.

    1. Thanks so much Carol for your visit and comment. Yes, broccoli is quick to fix, delicious to eat, and very healthy. I wish you a beautiful Sunday.

  8. I adore broccoli, Nancy, and you are right, it is so good for us! I really enjoyed this post - and I'm inspired to try serving broccoli with balsamic vinegar. I often add a squeeze of lemon, but I like the idea of the balsamic. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Thanks so much April. Wishing you many delicious opportunities to eat broccoli.

  9. Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party. Hope your week is great!