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TEXARKANA, Ark. –
“I do not like broccoli. I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother
made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any
more broccoli.” That statement was made by President George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States. I must admit that I have not always been a fan of
broccoli either. It is such an odd looking vegetable but one that I have learned to
Broccoli has been around for more than 2,000 years. The first commercially grown broccoli
was grown and harvested in New York, then planted in California in the 1920’s. A few
crates were sent back East and by 1925 the broccoli market was up and running.
Broccoli is bursting with nutrients, including carotenoids and fiber. It is known
for its cancer-fighting properties and its nutrients which include vitamins A and
C, fiber, folic acid, calcium, and potassium.
It is a nutrient-dense food. One half cup of cooked broccoli provides 80% of the recommended
daily allowances (RDA) for vitamin C, almost 15% of the allowance for folate, 30%
for vitamin A, and 2% for iron. It is also a good source of several B vitamins, other
minerals and dietary fiber. All of this for only 25 calories per half cup serving!
Broccoli can be found year round in supermarkets. Soon it will be harvested in our
area by local gardeners and should start showing up at the Gateway Farmers Market.
Selecting the best broccoli is easy. Choose bunches that are dark green, an indication
of high nutrient value. Florets should range from dark green to bluish green. If the
florets are open or discolored, or the stems look wilted, bent or seem rubbery, avoid
those. These are signs of poor quality.
With its tight, compact head, it is subject to insect infestation. To clean, soak
for 30 minutes in 1 quart of cold water with 1 tablespoon salt just before cooking.
Rinse well to remove any residual salt.
It is just as important to store it properly once you have purchased it. Store in
the refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag for 2 to 3 days. Due to ethylene, which
speeds the yellowing of broccoli, store it away from apples and pears.
Whether you are eating it raw, grilling, using in a stir-fry, or steaming it, first
you must prepare it. Peel the stems to remove the woody layer and cut it into the
desired size pieces. If you’ll be cooking the stem, it will need to cook slightly
longer than the florets. Avoid overcooking because discoloration will occur. For best
flavor, cooked broccoli should be crisp.
For more information or for a copy of Arkansas Fresh Broccoli, contact the Miller County Extension Office, 870-779-3609 or visit us in room 215
at the Miller County Courthouse. We're online at email@example.com, on Facebook at
UAEXMillerCountyFCS, on Twitter @MillerCountyFCS or on the web at uaex.uada.edu/Miller.
Spicy Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry is one of my favorite ways to eat broccoli. Don’t
let the long list of ingredients scare you. It really comes together fast.
Spicy Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 2-inch pieces
1 ounce unsalted peanuts or almond slivers
2 teaspoons oil, divided
1 medium onion, cut into ½ inch wedges
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
2 cups broccoli florets (about 1 inch pieces)
1 1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
Prepare marinade by combining garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.
Place chicken in another bowl, sprinkle marinade over it; toss, cover & refrigerate
for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
Heat skillet or wok over medium-high heat until hot. Add nuts and cook 2 minutes or
until beginning to lightly brown, stirring frequently. Remove from skillet and set
Add 1-teaspoon oil to skillet, tilting to coat lightly. Add chicken and cook until
done. Set aside on separate plate.
Add remaining teaspoon oil to skillet; cook onions and carrots for 2 minutes. Add
broccoli and one fourth cup broth; bring to boil over medium high heat. Cover and
cook 2 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender.
Meanwhile, combine remaining 1-cup broth with cornstarch in a small jar; seal lid
tightly and shake vigorously until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Add cornstarch
mixture with chicken, garlic and salt to broccoli mixture. Cook 1 minute or until
thickened. Remove from heat, sprinkle with soy sauce and nuts. Serve over brown rice.
Makes 4 (1 1/4 cup) servings.
Calories, 210; Total fat 7 g; Saturated fat 1 g; Protein 25g; Carbohydrate 12 g; Cholesterol
49 mg; Dietary Fiber 3 g; Sodium 570 mg (this does not include the brown rice)
By Carla Due County Extension Agent - FCSThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Due County Extension Agent - FCSU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854 (870) 779-3609 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.