Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, calcium, iron, fiber, and many more. However, broccoli has some downsides: it doesn’t taste very delicious without salt or other additives. And if you don’t season it right, broccoli turns out to be bland. So what should you do? Choose the best seasoning for broccoli. Here is how to season this healthy veggie:
Best Seasoning for Broccoli
How to Season Broccoli
How you season broccoli depends mainly on what kind of meal you plan to serve it with. Some people prefer their broccoli plain; others enjoy sprinkling Parmesan cheese on top. But whatever way you decide to go, here’s how to properly season broccoli:
Seasoning Method 1 – Salt & Pepper
Salt and black pepper work very well on broccoli. They balance the bitter taste from raw broccoli and bring out its nutty flavor. However, they do have certain drawbacks. First, they both contain sodium. Since broccoli contains only 20 milligrams per cup, consuming excess amounts of salt could increase blood pressure. Second, salt and pepper tend to draw moisture out of foods, causing dryness and dulling of flavors. Therefore, if you choose this method, make sure that your seasoning has no added sugar. Sugar draws water out of food so it can quickly get soggy and less flavorful.
Seasoning Method 2 – Garlic Butter
This recipe calls for garlic butter rather than regular butter. Simply place one clove of peeled garlic alongside some softened butter. Mash them together using either a fork or potato masher. Add half teaspoon lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Drizzle the garlic butter mixture evenly across broccoli pieces before adding back to heat.
Seasoning Method 3 – Cheese
This method involves topping broccoli with grated parmesan cheese. Grating parmesan gives broccoli a beautiful shine while providing a nice crunch. Place broccoli pieces on paper towels and pat lightly. Sprinkle on a pinch of sea salt and lemon juice, then grate cheese directly on top. If desired, garnish with additional parmesan cheese. If you want to use shredded mozzarella instead, simply omit the step where you squeeze lemons. Instead, sprinkle shredded mozzarella over broccoli just before cooking.
Important to Note
1. Use fresh garlic instead of dried garlic powder: Fresh garlic adds flavor without adding calories. You’ll also get better results if you use whole cloves rather than powdered garlic. If you don’t want too strong an aroma, try chopping up the clove first before adding it to the recipe.
2. Add lemon juice when cooking broccoli: Lemon juice gives broccoli its bright green color and additional nutrients like Vitamin A. The acidity from lemons helps break down cell walls which makes them easier to digest. Adding lemon juice will help keep broccoli crisp while keeping it tender at the same time.
3. Don’t overcook broccoli: Overcooked loses most of its nutritional value. To test whether broccoli is cooked enough, take a bite out of it. If there’s still a crunch left after biting into it, then it needs another minute or two.
4. Make sure not to over-season broccoli: Too much salt or other spices may cause broccoli to lose its natural sweetness. Instead, add just a little bit of spice to give it a kick. For example, sprinkle chopped red pepper flakes onto steamed broccoli. Or stir 1/4 teaspoon each of ground cumin and turmeric into sautéed broccoli florets.
Best Seasoning for Steamed Broccoli
Steaming allows broccoli to retain more nutrients since steam retains more vitamins and minerals compared to boiling. When choosing seasonings for steamed broccoli, consider these tips:
- Use milder spices. Most people think that more pungent spices are necessary to complement the bitterness found in broccoli, but light spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, etc., work best.
- Also, keep it simple because excessive amounts of spices can make your food taste overwhelming. Try starting by sprinkling two teaspoons of cinnamon powder, ½ tablespoon of crushed black peppercorns, 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg, ¼teaspoon of allspice, and a dash of ground cloves on cooked broccoli. Once you’ve tried this, feel free to experiment further, depending on what kind of flavors you enjoy.
Seasoning frozen Broccoli
Here is how to season frozen broccoli:
1. Remove broccoli stem from the package. Thaw broccoli before preparing. Cut up broccoli pieces into smaller bits and steam until completely soft. Sprinkle it with salt and toss with oil. Toss again to coat evenly. Additionally, you can season frozen broccoli by tossing with olive oil first then drizzling with balsamic vinegar after cooking.
2. Add flavor using herbs and spices. The easiest way is to mix dried basil leaves, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and garlic powder. Then, toss them into the pot along with fresh diced tomatoes. Cook for another 5 minutes. After removing the cover, let sit for 10 minutes before stirring and draining excess liquid.
How to make broccoli taste good without adding Calories
Though broccolis are highly nutritious, one serving size of cooked broccoli includes around 35 calories. This is why many people believe that eating broccoli leads to weight gain.
To limit the amount of calories intake in broccoli, eat it raw rather than boiled or steamed. Raw broccoli has been shown to have higher levels of fiber and protein compared to cooked ones. Try making your salad dressing by whisking together two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, one tablespoon apple cider vinegar, ½ teaspoon Mustard, ¼teaspoon salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle over your raw broccoli.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What seasoning to put on broccoli to make it taste better?
The best seasonings to make broccoli taste better are butter, lemon juice, and garlic powder. Many restaurants use crushed red pepper flakes or chili powder to give broccoli an authentic touch. If you’re not fond of spicy food, try sprinkling them with nutmeg instead.
For all types of recipes where broccoli needs to stay crunchy, sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar. Then toss with any desired seasoning before roasting or sautéing. If you want to add flavor but don’t want to take away from the texture, consider using a combination of dry spices, fresh herbs, or citrus juices. Simply mix into the cooking water when boiling. Or stir into pasta sauce while simmering.
What seasoning to put on boiled broccoli?
The best way of seasoning boiled broccoli is to cook it as usual, then drain and serve straightaway. You can top up with cheese if you wish. For added flavor, choose either grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled feta cheese. A dash of dried mint would go well too. Also, boiled broccoli can be seasoned with turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, basil leaves, etc. Add them along with the onion/garlic paste /chicken stock/curry gravy or tomato ketchup.
While it may seem like one of the most boring vegetables, well-seasoned broccoli makes eating it more fun. Try experimenting with different combinations of spice powders and sauces to create a dish that suits your tastes. Add some creativity to your meal plan today.
Read Also: Best Seasoning for Hamburgers.
You may also check how to cook broccoli in this YouTube video by Clean & Delicious: