Raw broccoli from your home garden is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B-1 (thiamin), calcium, and potassium. Since Vitamin C and B-1 are water-soluble vitamins, it is beneficial that broccoli be cooked in steam to save these nutritious vitamins. Broccoli is also low in calories, fat, and sodium.
Planting and Harvesting Broccoli
The best time to plant broccoli in Central Texas is January to February and August to October. These planting times will give harvest times of May to June and October to December.
|Plant Broccoli||Harvest Broccoli|
|January to February||May to June|
|August to October||October to December|
Storing Harvested Broccoli
Broccoli should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag, and is best used within 3-5 days. If for any reason the broccoli starts to have a “rotten egg” smell or to look water-soaked or slimy, it needs to be thrown out.
Choosing Broccoli for Freezing
Choose compact, firm clusters of flower buds that are dark green. Do not choose flower buds that are yellowish in color and look as though they are flowering.
To prepare broccoli for freezing, wash the stalks thoroughly and remove the tough outer layer on the stems. The stems can be used after trimming in soups or cut into circles and eaten as an appetizer with dip. Cut the heads of the broccoli into smaller florets, or “trees”, so that it can be prepared for blanching.
Blanching the prepared vegetable is done to slow down enzymes present in plant material. Blanching is done by placing the prepared vegetable in boiling water, or steaming, for the time indicated below. Immediately after blanching, cool the vegetable in ice cold water.
|Boiling Water:||3 minutes|
After blanching and placing in ice cold water, place in a plastic freezer bag with 1 inch of headspace. Place in the freezer.
The following recipe is given for you to enjoy your frozen broccoli.
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 portion of frozen broccoli (10 ounces), partially thawed
- 1 can creamed corn
- 1 tbsp. grated onion
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Dash of pepper
- Pimentos, if desired
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- Combine egg, broccoli, corn, onion, salt and pepper.
- Add pimentos if desired. Melt butter and toss with bread crumbs.
- Stir 3/4 of bread crumb mixture into vegetables.
- Put into a greased 1 1/2-2 qt. casserole dish.
- Sprinkle with remaining stuffing crumbs. Bake at 350° F for 35-40 minutes.
Nutritional Analysis (per serving):
Calories: 186; Protein: 6.4 gm; Carbohydrate: 25.3 gm; Total Fat: 7.9 gm; Cholesterol: 62.3 mg; Dietary Fiber: 3.5 gm; Vitamin A: 224 RE; Vitamin C: 36 mg; Iron: 1.7 mg; Potassium: 269 mg; Sodium: 519 mg;
Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Bread, 1/4 Lean Meat, 1 Vegetable, 1 1/4 Fat.
The information given herein is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service is implied.
Educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.
Publication Revised January 2009