A popular way to cook broccoli removes potentially cancer-fighting compounds from it - here's what you should do instead



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How should you prepare this yummy fresh broccoli?


If you're like me, you're used to popping some broccoli into a boiling pot of water until it's cooked.

Unfortunately, that method removes a lot of the essential nutrients that make broccoli worth eating in the first place, including loads of B vitamins and vitamin C.

Even the potentially cancer-fighting proteins called glucosinolates break down when they're overcooked by being boiled.

To figure out a better, simpler way, we chatted with Dan Souza, the executive editor of "Cook's Science" at America's Test Kitchen and one of the authors of "The Science of Good Cooking."


His solution? Put your broccoli in the microwave. That doesn't mean just plopping it on a plate and throwing it in there, though.

Here's what you're going to do:

  1. Fill a large glass bowl with broccoli.
  2. Add a tablespoon or so of water to the bowl.
  3. Cover the bowl with a plate.
  4. Microwave your setup on high for a few minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

"You're essentially steaming it inside there," Souza told Business Insider. "There's really no place for nutrients to go. it stays in the vegetable."

Steaming is a great alternative to boiling broccoli. A November 2015 study evaluated different cooking methods for vegetables, including broccoli, and came to the conclusion that steaming is the best way to preserve and enhance the nutrition in fresh broccoli.

Souza said that his microwave method is even better than steaming the veggies over boiling water, when it's still possible for some of the nutrients to leach into the water.

Plus, there's the ease of just popping it in the microwave as opposed to taking the time to wait for water to heat up on the stove.


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