All About Broccoli — A Case For Plant Based

Welcome to the all new First Friday Food Feature! Where we’ll highlight a whole food plant based ingredient on the first Friday of every month! Today, we continue with broccoli! We’ll discuss the health benefits, as well as practical and creative ways to use it in plant based cooking. Plus, enjoy some delicious vegan recipes!

First, what does whole food plant based (WFPB) actually mean? A whole foods plant based diet is a stricter version of the vegan diet. Foods are eaten in their most natural state (or as close to their most natural state as possible), and they are minimally processed. For a list of foods to avoid on a WFPB diet, click here.

The term whole food plant based was coined by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study.

There are many different types of broccoli. Calabrese is the most common. This is the classic type of broccoli. Other common types include:

  • Broccolini
  • Broccoli Rabe (Rapini) -dark, leafy green with small florets
  • Chinese (looks like a cross between swiss chard and kale with broccoli shoots)
  • Purple or Violet Cauliflower
  • Purple or White Sprouting (Santee)
  • Romanesco (that unique and funky green, spiky vegetable.)

Health Benefits

Broccoli is a highly nutritious food that should be included in a healthy, balanced diet.

  • high in fiber, calcium, and iron
  • rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A
  • good source of folate and potassium
  • contain high amounts of antioxidants
  • anti-inflammatory properties
  • promotes healthy digestion (fiber)
  • boosts healthy immune system (vitamin C)
  • supports healthy bones and joints (vitamin K)
  • supports heart health
  • aids in blood sugar control
  • may protect against certain types of cancer
  • helps reduce cholesterol
  • may help support healthy brain function

Fun Facts

  • in the cabbage, kale, and cauliflower family
  • originated in Italy
  • the word comes from the Italian word broccolo which means “the flowering top of a cabbage”
  • in the United States, California produces 90% of the crop
  • crop grows well in cool weather
  • takes 70–140 days to mature after planting
  • must be harvested by hand (usually the stalks are cut with a knife)
  • can be stored for 21–28 days after harvesting
  • steam, stir fry, or boil in small amount of water is best to retain most of the nutrients
  • Tom Landers holds the current record for eating 1 pound of broccoli in 92 seconds
  • according to the Guinness World Records, the heaviest broccoli ever grown weighed 35 pounds

Plant Based Cooking

It can be steamed, sauteed, grilled, roasted, fried, boiled, and even eaten raw.

  • dip raw broccoli in hummus or guacamole
  • toss fresh in a lettuce salad or pasta salad
  • shred or grate into a slaw
  • mix in with a vegan pesto
  • make broccoli rice
  • grill broccoli steaks
  • serve roasted with tofu or tempeh steaks
  • add to stir fry, soups, and fajitas

Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Vegan Beef and Broccoli

Romanesco Steaks with Vegan Tzatziki and smashed air fryer potatoes

For more amazing vegan recipes, be sure to check out my Pinterest board. What are your favorite recipes with broccoli? Let me know in the comments below! And be sure to follow me on social media this week for lots more deliciousness! 😋

Originally published at on November 5, 2021.




Nurse, Blogger, and Vegan advocate.

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A Case For Plant Based

A Case For Plant Based

Nurse, Blogger, and Vegan advocate.

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