Broccoli’s Protein Punch

I am often asked to pick my favorite vegetable.  Just one?  My “favorite” vegetable changes with the season, or my inspiration, and sometimes, it’s not even a vegetable (like heirloom tomatoes in the peak of summer).  But the tried and true, my best friend whenever I am in need, a real superstar of the cold-case, is broccoli.

When I picture broccoli, I see a caped super hero performing impossible feats in the name of truth, justice, and the complex-nutrient-density-way.

Broccoli is rich in vitamins A, C, K, E, B6, riboflavin, and niacin, to name a few.  This leafy green is also a great way to get your calcium and iron, as well as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.  But wait!  There’s more.  You can always count on broccoli as a power-packed source for dietary fiber, as well as anti-oxidants.  That’s right, those same anti-oxidants that help to fight cancer and boost the immune system.

But what about protein?  Where am I supposed to get my protein?  I can’t live without protein?

So true.  As it turns out, animal products like steak are pretty inefficient at delivering these essential nutrients.  Broccoli contains 11 grams of protein per 100 calories.  If that same 100 calories was steak, you would get just over 6 grams of protein.  That’s 11.1 g from broccoli, and 6.4 g from steak.  The steak is also delivering a big dose of cholesterol, lots of fat, especially saturated fat, zero dietary fiber, and no where near the vitamins and minerals found in broccoli.

Whether you eat it steamed, sauteed, or even raw, broccoli lends itself to a wide variety of stylings and flavor combinations.  Is there anything this vegetable can’t do?  So next time you’re out at the grocery store, pick up some broccoli and fly it around in the air with some “swoosh” noises before it lands gracefully in your cart.  What super hero doesn’t like a dramatic entrance?

-Chef Craig-

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