The Everyday Superfood

As March brings the best in-season broccoli, nutritionist Keri Glassman reinvents the veggie basic.

I'm usually not one to go matchy-matchy, but when you get decked out in green for Saint Patrick’s Day this weekend, don’t forget to color-coordinate your plate. Anything but mundane, broccoli is one of the most versatile vegetables, popularly used to add texture and bulk to salads (or perhaps your mother got you to eat it by smothering it in cheese). Regardless of how you were introduced to it, it's one of nature's mean, green, toxin-fighting machines.

This superfood powerhouse is an excellent source of antioxidants and phytochemicals, including kaempferol, which helps to lower cholesterol and rid your body of toxins by binding to acids in your digestive tract. The cruciferous "trees" are packed with vitamins and minerals, including A, B, C, E and K, along with calcium and fiber — which promote immune function, protection from disease and healthy digestion.

Throwing broccoli in the steamer will certainly get the job done, but try something a little more out of the ordinary this month. Here, two of my favorite recipes: 

1. Broccoli Hummus
(Makes 1½ - 2 cups)

Ingredients:

2 garlic cloves
1½ c. broccoli, chopped
1 c. zucchini, chopped
½ c. chickpeas
1/3 c. tahini 
1 tbsp. mustard (optional)
½ tsp. sea salt
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. ground pepper

Directions:

1. Roast garlic in oven at 400° for 30 minutes.  
2. Chop broccoli and zucchini and blend in food processor along with chickpeas, tahini, mustard, salt, lemon juice and pepper.  
3. If hummus is too thick, add steamed water or lemon juice by tablespoon until consistency is right. 


2. Broccoli Salad

(Makes 2 servings)

Ingredients:

1 c. small broccoli florets 
¼ c. chopped red onions
½ c. seedless red grapes, halved 
1/3 c. chopped celery 
½ c. raisins 
¼ c. cashews, chopped
¼ c. greek fat-free yogurt 
1 shallot chopped
½ clove garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. agave
1 tbsp. white vinegar
2 tbsp. water

Directions:

1. Combine broccoli, onions, red grapes, celery, raisins and cashews in a large bowl.
2. In a small bowl, mix yogurt, shallots, garlic, agave, white vinegar and water to create the salad dressing.
3. Top the salad with the dressing and serve.

Nationally recognized nutrition expert and author Keri Glassman (@KeriGlassman) is the founder and president of Nutritious Life, a nutrition practice based in New York City, and Nutritious Life Meals, a meal-delivery service.