The Secret to Brilliant Broccoli

Brilliant Broccoli

October 13, 2015   12 Comments

This recipe is one of the top on Snack Girl and I couldn’t be prouder.

I have convinced broccoli haters to come to over to the other side. Here is a comment from Magen:

you've successfully converted me!! making this for the second time this week tonight!

and I will convert you into someone who loves broccoli as much as a bacon cheeseburger (or almost as much as a bacon cheeseburger).

I came up with a broccoli recipe that includes a SECRET ingredient that I will now share with you.


Mind blowing, no?

Have I made broccoli unhealthy by adding some sugar? Well, if you believe that one teaspoon of sugar - a mere 15 empty calories - is going to ruin your 2 pounds of broccoli - then I feel for you.

The idea is pretty simple. You add sugar to the broccoli so that when it roasts you get a sweet flavor (and it caramelizes a bit). And, yes, add some olive oil too!

Also, you need to cut the broccoli lengthwise (like in the photo) and cook it a very high heat. This way, you seal in the lovely flavors and the result is unlike any broccoli you have ever tasted.

Sweet, crunchy, aaaah.

Be sure to follow the exact directions below. My husband neglected to preheat the baking sheet (and he used a glass casserole dish) and the broccoli didn't get soft enough for the kids to eat.

I guess he doesn't trust me :)

Make a whole bunch of this broccoli and keep it in your fridge for snacking. You can add this to your favorite salad as a welcome change or just create an entire salad of this recipe.

It can be served cold, room temperature, or hot and would make a great party snack.

This recipe boasts 337% of your daily value of Vitamin C and 9% of your daily value of Iron. Broccoli is just a fantastic source of nutrients!

Have you tried adding sugar to broccoli?"

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Roasted Broccoli Recipe

(makes 4 servings)
2 pounds broccoli crowns
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
ground black pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 500F. Cover the bottom of a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil (not necessary but aids in clean-up). Place sheet on the lowest rack of the oven while oven heats up.

Cut crowns into 4 wedges LENGTHWISE (see photo above). Place broccoli in bowl and add olive oil, salt, sugar, and pepper to taste (optional). Toss to combine. When oven is heated, place broccoli on baking sheet and roast for 11 minutes (until slightly browned). Serve and enjoy!

Per serving: 141 calories, 7.6g fat, 16.1 g carbohydrates, 6.4 g protein, 5.9 g fiber, 366 mg sodium, 2 SmartPts

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only.
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I love broccoli any way I can get it..Never thought to add a little sugar.. I usually just do a little olive oil along with some salt n pepper n garlic powder and roast it up.. makes a good snack also..

on October 13, 2015

I can't wait to try this. Love broccoli any which way but this sounds amazing especially for snacking.

on October 13, 2015

Wonder if it wouldn't work just as well for cauliflower or brussel sprouts? :-)

on October 13, 2015

I think broccoli is the BEST! I'm trying to convince my friend to try different ways to eat cauliflower and for my husband asparagus.

on October 13, 2015

I've made broccoli this way but also add a splash of balsamic vinegar. My kids love it!

on October 13, 2015

Looks yummy! I love broccoli fixed any way as long as it isn't overcooked or completely raw. I'm going to try this recipe for something different and eat it cold for snacks. Try roasting brussel sprouts with a spritz of vegetable oil and a pinch of sea salt. Roast at 450 until it starts to brown. The roasting brings out the sweetness. Good cold for snacks. Bet you can't eat just one, but then again, you don't have to stop there!!!

on October 13, 2015

Hi! So, if we are being exact, I have two questions - are we baking or broiling, and when you say to use the lowest rack to preheat the pan, dowe then also cook on the lowest rack - which to me is the ones closest to the baking heating element. Thanks for clarification!

on October 13, 2015

My mom sautées asparagus this way (olive oil and a tsp of sugar, plus salt) and it is delicious. Now I will have to try it with broccoli! Thanks, SG!

on October 13, 2015

I know that this will not win me any friends here :) but I used to roast a toaster-over-tray of broccoli to eat with lunch almost every day. One day, I mused about possible carcinogens created during the roasting process (since eating little burned bits seemed kind of unhealthy) and wondered if there was a healthier way to prepare the broccoli.

So I asked Google if broccoli is healthier raw or cooked and found this:

Apparently, the "superfood" feature of broccoli is due to a compound called "sulforaphane" (which is believed to provide its tremendous antioxidant value). Raw broccoli provides lots more of that compound than does cooked broccoli. (It looks like cooking broccoli locks the compound in, so your body can't access it.

They added that if you must cook broccoli, steam it until it's cooked, but is still crunchy, because that may keep some of the sulforaphane available to the body.

So every day, I dump about 3 cups of florets into a big bowl and eat that as my pre-lunch snack. Yes, it took some getting used to, but I think all healthy eating (aka, dumping the salt/sugar/fat) just takes a few weeks of getting used to. :)

on October 14, 2015

I can certainly appreciate your information, however, there a many foods that are not really good to eat, and I am feeling that roasted broccoli, isn't top on the list.If I had to ear steamed broccoli I would gag. Raw, however I do love, but I don't see any harm in a meal including roasted broccoli once in awhile.
Thanks Andy for the info,and thanks S.G. for the recipe!!

on October 14, 2015

"there a many foods that are not really good to eat, and I am feeling that roasted broccoli, isn't top on the list."

Good point!

on October 14, 2015

Did I do something wrong? Was I supposed to keep the oven at 500 even after adding the broccoli? I did that and the result was my oven and kitchen were smoking like crazy! Perhaps canola oil which tolerates high heat would be a better choice if it has to stay at 500 to finish the cooking process. Please let me know as it was very tasty and my son loved it, too. (he is picky)

on November 18, 2015

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