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. Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable and provides a range of vitamins (including A, C, E, K and some of the B vitamins e.g. folic acid) and minerals (including iron, potassium, calcium, selenium and magnesium. Studies have linked the consumption of cruciferous vegetables to heart health and due to its vitamin K and fibre content, broccoli also supports bone health and immune health. To cook: simply cut 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. To store: broccoli loves water - keep in the fridge for a day or 2, or keep it fresh for up to a week by placing stems in a jar of water and covering the tops with a plastic bag (or simply spray with water and wrap in kitchen roll in a bag). 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, cooling 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. To prep: slice a head of broccoli in half through the crown, then cut out the stem and the florets should fall apart - any still stuck together can be cut or pulled apart. And don't waste those stems! They are "grate" shredded into coleslaw or chopped and roasted or stuck in soup.
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