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Veg-Names-English-Broccoli

Broccoli

Broccoli is sometimes held up as the ultimate example of a veg kids hate. But broccoli is actually a very popular veg in the UK, and can be a cheap and delicious one for children! The key with broccoli is often finding the right way to prep it – if your kids turn their nose up at boiled broccoli, why not try replacing cauliflower in a cauliflower cheese with it, or keeping it even simpler and tossing the florets with oil and salt and just roasting to bring out sweetness and caramelisation? And don’t throw the stalks away – those are the sweetest bits! Slice, cook and add to pasta dishes or grate raw stalks with grated apple, mayonnaise and lemon juice for a broccoli slaw!
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Understanding Veg

Do you know which vegetable was voted the most loved vegetable in the UK last year? You’re thinking peas, or maybe carrots – everyone loves carrots. The answer, of course, is broccoli. Us Brits love these little miniature trees.

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Nutrition

Broccoli is a great source of a range of micronutrients including vitamins A, C, E and K, some of the B vitamins such as folic acid and minerals like iron, potassium, calcium, selenium and magnesium. These vitamins and minerals are brilliant for supporting our immune system and bone health. Studies have linked the consumption of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli to heart health and due to its vitamin K and fibre content. 

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Shopping Guide

When shopping for broccoli look out for dark green or slightly purple florets, these are richer in nutrients like vit C and beta carotene. If buying early season broccoli, make sure to use it up quickly as it doesn’t last as long!

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Storage

Broccoli keeps fresher for longer when stored in the fridge and loves water. Storing your broccoli stems in a jar of water and covering the tops with a plastic bag will help your veg to stay fresh and crunchy. You could try spraying your florets with water and wrapping them in a damp cloth or tea towel, this will help them stay fresh for up to a week. If it’s there beyond that, turn it into soup by boiling in stock and a dry herb of choice, perhaps even with some creamy Stilton stirred through. You can freeze broccoli by blanching in boiling water for just 2-3 mins, letting it cool and then freezing laid out on a tray in the freezer for a couple of hours before storing in a freezer bag or airtight container for up to 6 months.

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Serving suggestions

Simply cut or tear the florets from the trunk and then steam or boil them until soft, but not soggy. If you really want to rock the broc – steam or boil for only 3 mins then toss the florets into a frying pan on a medium heat with chopped garlic and olive oil, sauté for 3-5 mins then sprinkle with lemon juice, salt and pepper, and devour them. The stem of broccoli is rich in the good stuff like vitamin C. Rather than throwing it away try grating it into soups, stews or coleslaw. 

WATCH: Tom Hunt’s guide to preparing broccoli.

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June

At Its Best:

July - November

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Engage

Here are some of our favourite ways to engage kids with broccoli:

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Your Food

Find your go-to meals in our family favourites section and see what veggies work best with them.

We’ve gathered together 15 of the nation’s favourite meals and given you step-by-step ways to make small improvements, helping you to make healthier dinners the easy way, and even showing you which veg work best with which recipes.
 
Find out how to add more veg to your suppers here.

Scruffy Veg Lasagne

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Jamie's £1 Wonders

Mac ‘N’ Cheese

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Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Everyday Curry

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Sausage and Mash

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Jacket Potato with Toppings

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Pasta Bake

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Roast

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Stew

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourite

Stir Fry

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

brocolli

If You Like Broccoli…Try

Does your child enjoy peppers? That’s great! Peppers are usually crunchy and fairly sweet, so why not try a similar texture and/or taste…

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Serving

The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it!

The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it!

The first thing to do is remove the pressure. If the veg doesn’t get eaten, it’s not the end of the world. There will be other days, other dinners, other chances. Fun is key here – try not to worry about mess, perfect table manners, or playing with food. Instead, focus on making the process of getting the food to the plates, readying the table, and the actual eating relaxed.

The best principles for success here are the Three Rs (role modelling, rewarding, re-offering) which you can read about here.

But there is one more way you can serve for success, and that is giving your child a role. You don’t have to do this every time, just encourage them in their strengths through it when you can.

Here are some of our favourite ideas:

Design a menu

Come up with a silly name or story for a dish

Help with making a meal plan and choosing veg for dinners or snacks

Help to serve up the meal on dishes, lay the table or create a centrepiece to be involved in the physical ‘serving up’ process.

The Wonderful World of Veg

Check out our vegepedia. When to buy in-season. How to store them to keep for longer. How to engage children with each veg, and simple ideas of how to prepare and cook them for maximum taste and minimum waste. Select a veg…

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