Steamed broccoli and cauliflower have never been easier to make than in my Instant Pot. What is so great about this pressure cooker? Well, the biggest thing is that you don’t overcook steamed vegetables. Eating soggy broccoli was pretty common in my kitchen before this bad boy entered my world.
I love that you can throw in your veggies, set the timer and continue with other things. The beeper will sound when it is done and you can have perfectly steamed broccoli and cauliflower in less than 10 minutes total cooking time. There is no excuse for not having time to fix a delicious, healthy side dish for any meal.
When cooking vegetables, fresh or frozen, it’s recommended to use steaming to preserve vitamins and minerals to the maximum. So, what are the benefits of this beautiful green vegetable anyway? Here are a few reasons why we should eat broccoli.
9 Health Benefits of eating broccoli
1. Cancer Prevention
Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which the body processes into the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane. This compound rids the body of H. pylori, a bacterium found to highly increase the risk of gastric cancer. Broccoli contains indole-3-carbinol, a powerful antioxidant compound and anti-carcinogen found to not only hinder the growth of breast, cervical and prostate cancer, but also boosts liver function.
Broccoli shares these cancer fighting, immune boosting properties with other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.
2. Cholesterol Reduction
Like many whole foods, broccoli is packed with soluble fiber that draws cholesterol out of your body.
3. Reducing Allergy Reaction and Inflammation
Broccoli is a particularly rich source of kaempferol and isothiocyanates, both anti-inflammatory phyto nutrients. Research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our body. Broccoli even has significant amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which are well known as an anti-inflammatory.
4. Powerful Antioxidant
Of all the cruciferous vegetables, broccoli stands out as the most concentrated source of vitamin C, plus the flavonoids necessary for vitamin C to recycle effectively. Also concentrated in broccoli are the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, other powerful antioxidants.
5. Bone Health
It contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis.
6. Heart Health
The anti-inflammatory properties of sulforaphane, one of the isothiocyanates (ITCs) in broccoli, may be able to prevent (or even reverse) some of the damage to blood vessel linings that can be caused by inflammation due to chronic blood sugar problems.
Glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin and glucobrassicin are special phytonutrients that support all steps in the body’s detox process, including activation, neutralization and elimination of unwanted contaminants. It also contains isothiocyanates which help control the detox process at a genetic level.
8. Diet Aid
It is high in fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating. A cup of broccoli has as much protein as a cup of rice or corn with half the calories.
9. Alkalizes Your Body
Like many vegetables, broccoli helps keep your whole body less acidic, which has a host of health benefits.
Are you ready to start implementing this power food into your menu, if you haven’t already?
How to steam broccoli and or cauliflower using the Instant Pot:
I like to use the organic frozen broccoli from Costco.
FROZEN set to 3-4 minutes,
UNFROZEN 2-3 minutes
Depending on how you like the broccoli, you may need to adjust the time. I like mine a little more tender, so I opt for the 4 minute. If you want it a little crisp, 2-3 minutes is good.
Total cook time will be around 8-10 minutes which includes time to build up pressure.
This time will give you veggies that are tender, but still bright in color. After your first batch you will know if you need to adjust time a little to steam to your liking.
Flip the pressure switch and keep hands and face away from the hot steam.
Once the pressure has come down, the pressure valve will drop and you can open the lid
One more tip! I know this will sound crazy, but I like to save the water from the pan to drink later. Cooled in the fridge it is quite tasty and chuck FULL OF NUTRIENTS.
There you have it, a quick healthy side dish to any meal.