How much broccoli is in the head?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “How much broccoli in the head?” and will discuss what broccoli is and how to use it.

How much broccoli is in the head?

For a medium-sized head of broccoli, the yield is roughly 3 1/2 cups of florets and 2 cups of stems with a weight of about 9 ounces on average.

What is broccoli?

Broccoli belongs to the Cruciferous (Brassicaceae) family of vegetables (1). All parts of the broccoli plant are edible: the blooming head, stem, and leaves. Cabbage, cauliflower, kale, Romanesco, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, arugula, and kohlrabi are all members of this family. All Cruciferous contain a significant quantity of isothiocyanates, which  possess anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties (1).

Is Broccoli a Fruit or a Vegetable?

In the cabbage family, Broccoli is a member of the family. kohlrabi is closely related to cabbages, kale, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, bok-choy, and arugula, as well as cabbage. Wild mustard plants have been developed to promote diverse characteristics, and they all derive from the Brassica oleracea species (6).

While other cultivars were developed for more and larger leaf buds (cabbage and Brussels sprouts) and leaves (kale and collard greens), or other traits, the focus was on longer stems and blooms for broccoli plants.

It is the blooming section of the plant that is taken before the flower buds open. If left to mature, the heads turn yellow and produce seeds, which may be used to create more broccoli if they are sown in the garden.

What are the types of broccoli?

Calabrian broccoli is the most popular form of broccoli. The sprouting variety, as well as the Chinese variety, are further varieties of broccoli. Known as Chinese broccoli, kai-lan, or Chinese broccoli, broccolini is a hybrid of the two. Unlike broccoli, rabe is not linked to turnips.

What Is Broccoli’s Appearance and Flavor?

With its strong stem, Broccoli seems like it’s growing out of the ground. Flower buds that have yet to open appear near the top of broccoli. When purchasing, it should be dark green and have densely packed buds, and it should be weighty to the touch.

Broccoli that is beyond its prime will have a paler green or even yellow hue and will be lighter in texture than broccoli that is still young. To consume a head that has gotten slimy is an indication that it is too old.

The flavor of broccoli is earthy, with a hint of bitterness. This aroma comes from the glucosinolates content and their degradation products: isothiocyanates, which contain sulfur (4). 

 Because of our genetic differences, some individuals find it exceedingly bitter, while others are unable to taste it at all. If eaten raw, most of the vitamins and chlorophyll is preserved, while by traditional cooking of green vegetables, bright green colours turn olive green due to the degradation of chlorophyll (2).

For What Purposes Is Broccoli Useful?

Broccoli may be used in a variety of ways! Blue cheese and ranch dips, as well as salads, are common accompaniments to fresh asparagus. Raw broccoli is an excellent, healthful, and convenient snack. Finely slicing it (or putting the steel blade in a food processor bowl) and seasoning it turns it into a slaw.

Broccoli may be steamed, boiled, baked, grilled, roasted, pureed, etc.  It can also be pureed. Raw or barely cooked broccoli is preferred by some, whereas softer cooked broccoli is preferred by others. Some recipes ask for it to be pureed, while others call for it to be left in chunks in stir-fries, soups, and casseroles. The cooking method and temperature is crucial to determine the final texture, nutritional aspects and color of the vegetables. Temperatures under 100°C are recommended in order to maintain the vitamins and therefore the antioxidant properties of the vegetable (2).

It may be served as a side dish, on pizza, in salads, stir-fries, gratins, pasta dishes, soups, and casseroles, and it can also be used in a variety of other meals. It’s even possible to create pesto with it! All of these foods go nicely with it.

Broccoli Substitutes: What Other Vegetables Work Well?

Brassica family members such as kale, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower may all be replaced for broccoli in the same way that collard greens can be used in place of spinach. People who are allergic to broccoli may also be allergic to its cousins. Broccoli may be substituted with green beans, zucchini, spinach, or asparagus if you choose to stay away from Brassicas.

Does Broccoli Qualify as a Pet Food?

Raw or cooked broccoli is popular with dogs, but if it is prepared with a lot of oil or spices, it may irritate their stomachs. Just as in humans, broccoli may induce flatulence in dogs. Broccoli isn’t a favorite of cats, but they won’t be harmed if you feed them any. A study shows that broccoli fed to dogs can be beneficial to their health, because anticancer substances present in broccoli are absorbed by dogs as well (3).

Raw broccoli may be fed to omnivorous lizards once a month as a treat, but since it contains more phosphorus than calcium, too much might cause calcium to be leached from the bones, increasing the risk of fractures. Lizards may become sick from eating cooked broccoli.

It is okay for parrots to eat raw or cooked broccoli. In addition to providing more nutrients than cooked broccoli, parrots like chewing on the stalks and florets, which may be hanging from the top of the cage or inserted through the cage bars for additional stimulation.

Is Broccoli a Gas-Generating Food?

Yes! You can’t digest raffinose, a sugar found in broccoli, which ferments in your intestines and causes diarrhea. Fermentation and gas might also occur as a result of the high fiber content. Raffinose is a trisaccharide composed of D-galactose, D-glucose and D-fructose and naturally occurs in vegetables. In humans, raffinose  passes undigested through the stomach and small intestine due to the lack of α-galactosidase in humans and it is fermented by the bacteria in the large intestine (5). 

A tiny bit of aid may be had by sautéing, baking, or boiling it; microwaving, on the other hand, does not do much good. Consuming too much food might cause gas to build up in your body.

How to Keep Broccoli Fresher for Longer?

It’s best to store broccoli in the fridge. If you want to consume it the same day you purchase it, you may store it in the vegetable drawer in an unopened plastic or silicon bag. The shelf life of fresh broccoli is suggested to be 2-3 days in 20°C air, but can be extended by refrigeration (7).

Just like you would with fresh flowers, you may prolong their life by storing them in water until you’re ready to utilize them. To keep it from drying out, wrap it in a slightly moist paper towel. Once or twice a day, dampen the paper towel with water to keep it clean.

Unsealed plastic bags may be used if you don’t have a place for them in your fridge. If the bag is not sealed, moisture will build-up, which might result in slime and decay. Controlling the respiration of broccoli is very important for delaying senescence as indicated by, for example, the softening and yellowing of the florets and leaves (7).

How long does fresh broccoli last at room temperature?

Broccoli may keep for up to two days at room temperature, depending on how fresh it is initially purchased. Meat, on the other hand, is more likely to be infested with hazardous germs than vegetables are. The bitterness of yellowed broccoli is well-known. During storage, broccoli loses vitamin C, chlorophyll and sugars (7).

How to Keep Cut Broccoli Fresh?

A moist paper towel should be used to cover a dish of freshly cut broccoli. It goes bad faster if it is kept in an airtight container. Don’t cut it until you’re ready to use it; it has to be utilized within two days. To effectively increase the shelf life of broccoli, it must be rapidly cooled after harvest and vacuum packed, thus this will reduce its respiration rate (7).

Without chopping, it will keep for up to a week, but the sooner you use it, the better. Broccoli that has turned yellow may be bitter and unappetizing.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the query, “How much broccoli in the head?” and discussed what is broccoli and how to use it.

References

  1. Bessler, Hanna, and Meir Djaldetti. Broccoli and human health: immunomodulatory effect of sulforaphane in a model of colon cancer. Int J food sci nut, 2018, 69, 946-953.
  2. Guillén, Sofía, et al. Influence of cooking conditions on organoleptic and health-related properties of artichokes, green beans, broccoli and carrots. Food chem, 2017, 217, 209-216.
  3. Curran, Kaitlin M., et al. Sulforaphane absorption and histone deacetylase activity following single dosing of broccoli sprout supplement in normal dogs. Vet med sci, 2018, 4, 357-363.
  4. Wieczorek, Martyna N., et al. Bitter taste of Brassica vegetables: The role of genetic factors, receptors, isothiocyanates, glucosinolates, and flavor context. Crit rev food sci nutr, 2018, 58, 3130-3140.
  5. Mao, Bingyong, et al. In vitro fermentation of raffinose by the human gut bacteria. Food func, 2018, 9, 5824-5831.
  6. Carlson, Diana G., et al. Glucosinolates in crucifer vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collards, kale, mustard greens, and kohlrabi. 1987.  
  7. Tian, Ding, et al. Comparison of different cooling methods for extending shelf life of postharvest broccoli. Int J Agric Biol Eng, 2016, 9, 178-185.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.