Counting Our Veggies

Please join us as we focus on learning about and trying one vegetable each week.

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Week Seven: Broccoli

My kids love broccoli. It was the first vegetable we could manage to get Lucie to eat when she was just a little toddler. (She is about one year old in this picture.)

Lucie One Year Old

At first, she refused to try it. She finally tried it when we told her she could pretend to be a giraffe and eat the leaves off the broccoli “trees”. (I think we had just returned from a trip to the zoo and she was very excited about having seen the giraffes.) She did just that, leaving all sorts of broccoli “tree stumps” on her plate. Dave and I thought we were parenting geniuses when we got her to eat it. Somehow, possibly as a result of Lucie’s broccoli-loving example, Josie and Theo have always liked broccoli too. (Remember last week when Theo ate the big broccoli stem for no reason at all.)

Since the kids already like broccoli, you probably think choosing it seems like a lazy vegetable choice for this week. You are right! We are feeling lazy. I think we have chosen to go out of our comfort zone in the veggie department quite a bit lately and we just need something comfortable this week. Even so, I’m hoping we will learn more about broccoli and even discover a new recipe or two that we can enjoy.

We will begin with learning this week. I’m trying to come up with a list of twenty things you didn’t know about broccoli. (I just love that 20 Things You Didn’t Know About… department of Discover magazine.) Hmm. . .

20 10 (See LAZY!) Things You Didn’t Know About Broccoli

1. Broccoli is a member of the Brassica oleracea species, which includes cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kohlrabi, collard greens and kale as cultivars. Each of these varieties has been selected over time to produce larger leaves, stems, buds or flowers, giving us the veggies we know today. (Click on this link and read it! Very interesting!)

2. Per person consumption of fresh broccoli in the United States increased from 1.5 pounds per year in 1980 to 5.6 pounds per year in 2010. Americans are eating their broccoli!

3. One cup of chopped broccoli has only 31 calories. It also contains 135% of your recommended vitamin C intake.

4. The word broccoli has its origin in the Latin word broccus, meaning projected or pointed.  The word brocade and broach are also derived from this same Latin word.

5. The most common type of broccoli is called Calabrese because it was first grown in the Italian region of Calabria. (Calabria is the “toe” of the “boot”.)

6. California produces 90 percent of the fresh broccoli in the United States.

7. It is nearly impossible to can broccoli with acceptable results. It would turn to mush and smell bad if you tried. Yuck!

8. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush banned broccoli from Air Force One because he didn’t like it. The United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association responded by delivering two truckloads of broccoli to the White House, along with a sheet of recipe suggestions.

9. The children’s cartoon Veggie Tales has no broccoli character. The one I thought was a broccoli is actually an asparagus.

10. Sulphoraphane, a chemical that occurs naturally in broccoli, has been studied as a sunscreen.

We are having broccoli for lunch today and and the kids are excited!

Thanks for visiting,



A few words from Lucie:

I am really excited about broccoli! I remember always liking broccoli. I only ate the “leaf parts” when I was little, but now I eat the stems too. I think it is really funny that a president banned broccoli from his plane, because broccoli is so good.