Fresh Tastes from the Garden- Broccoli

Eat Broccoli and Detox Your Bod

Broccoli has a strong, positive impact on our body's detoxification system, and researchers have recently identified one of the key reasons for this detox benefit. Glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin are 3 glucosinolate phytonutrients found in a special combination in broccoli. This dynamic trio is able to support all steps in body's detox process, including activation, neutralization, and elimination of unwanted contaminants.

Broccoli may help us solve our vitamin D deficiency epidemic as well. When large supplemental doses of vitamin D are needed to offset deficiency, ample supplies of vitamin K and vitamin A help keep our vitamin D metabolism in balance. Broccoli has an unusually strong combination of both vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and vitamin K. For people faced with the need to rebuild vitamin D stores through vitamin D supplements, broccoli may be an ideal food to include in the diet.

Broccoli is also a particularly rich source of a flavonoid called kaempferol. Recent research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our bod!


Broccoli Growing Tips

WHEN TO GROW:  Broccoli grows best in the cooler season and prefers temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees F.  So it is a good rule of thumb, when trying to figure out when to plant broccoli, to grow mostly during these temperatures. When planting broccoli in the spring, you want to make sure to allow plenty of time to harvest the broccoli before the weather becomes too hot.

SOIL:  Growing broccoli is done best in soils that are well-drained with a texture between sandy and clay loam. The pH of the soil is also very important. You should make sure the pH is between 5.8 and 6.5. This ensures best growth.

WATERING:  One of the best broccoli growing tips is to provide a uniform water supply to your plants. You should water the garden in the morning so the foliage is dry before the sun goes down. Make sure you water the broccoli enough to moisten the soil to a depth of six inches at least. 

NUTRIENTS: Broccoli needs lots of nutrients. I like to use Fish emulsion and kelp every 3-4 weeks.

HARVESTING: Broccoli is usually ready to pick 65 to 70 days after planting. You want to pick the broccoli when the heads are three to six inches around. To harvest, just cut the main stem of the broccoli about six inches below the head. Depending on the variety you planted, you may get some secondary smaller heads after you harvest the main head of broccoli.

TIPS:  As far as broccoli growing tips go, when planting broccoli make sure the rows are three feet apart. Plant the plants one and a half to two feet apart.


Roasted Broccoli with Lemon Zest


3 tablespoons olive oil

zest of 1 lemon

salt and black pepper to taste

2 cloves minced garlic

pinch of red pepper flakes

4 cups broccoli, pieced 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put sheet pan in the oven while it's heating

  2. In a large bowl mix 3 Tablespoons of olive oil,  the zest of one lemon,  a pinch of salt and black pepper, 2 cloves of garlic minced , a pinch of red pepper flakes. Add 4 C. of broccoli pieces to the bowl and toss until broccoli is well coated with mixture. Spread the broccoli and any remaining oil mixture in a single layer on athe heated sheet pan.

  3. Bake until florets are tender enough to pierce with a fork and the edges are browning, about 15-20 minutes.