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Culture Your Broccoli – It’s Better

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broccoliWhen I was growing up, my mom had a huge garden. She grew lots of broccoli and we would pick it for her. Even though broccoli is one of the plants least affected by pests, it is not uncommon to find worms on broccoli heads. Without a doubt, I was always the one to find those worms on my broccoli and often it was right before I put it in my mouth so I declared broccoli my least favorite vegetable. Many years later broccoli has redeemed itself and now is one of my favorites and my daughter Holli’s as well. I have two recipes made with broccoli that I absolutely love. One is a cultured Broccoli Salad in a Jar that is heavenly. The grapes and raisins give it a sweetness that counters the tartness of culturing and I take the juice and place it in salad dressing to give it a zing!

My daughter Maci just gave me another recipe that you can make in a snap. It doesn’t require that you ferment it first, but rather this recipe has a cultured topping to mix it all together. Here is why you should eat your broccoli.

brocolli saladCulture your Broccoli – It’s Better

When you eat cultured broccoli, it’s predigested and allows your body to receive more nutrients from your food. It also helps you digest the things you eat along with it. So, say you consume some proteins and some fats in your meal. Adding  a spoonful of cultured veggies will help you digest those foods easier in addition to receiving more nutrients. The good bacteria does this as they help break down the food into nutrients you can use. Broccoli has twice the vitamin C of an orange and more calcium than milk. It has anti-cancer properties, is anti-inflammatory, and has detoxifying qualities as well. It can even help you detox from airborne carcinogens thanks to the phytonutrient sulforaphane. There are dozens of reasons to eat broccoli and I can think of no better way than in these two recipes, but just watch out for the worms!

Check out the two broccoli recipes below.

Double Probiotic Broccoli Salad
You can also add dried cranberries to this dish. Make a double batch because it goes really fast and your gonna want seconds.~Donna
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Ingredients
Dressing
Salad
Servings: servings
Units:
Instructions
Dressing
  1. Combine kefir, kombucha, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and coconut sugar in a small bowl. Mix till well combined.
  2. Serve immediately.
Salad
  1. Add broccoli, raisins, and garbanzo beans to a large bowl. Pour your dressing over top and stir till well combined.
  2. This tastes best if served immediately.
Recipe Notes

I used a flavored kombucha for extra sweetness but plain kombucha works great.

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Cultured Broccoli Salad in a Jar
This is a fun way to culture your broccoli. If you like broccoli salad made with raisins and carrots, you will love this. Just take it out of the jar and mix with some of my kombucha mayo (recipe in my book). You can also just use it as a topping for your salad. Add a head of fresh lettuce to a bowl, scoop out these veggies, and serve with your favorite dressing.~Donna
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Ingredients
  • 1/4teaspoon Cutting Edge Culturesor 1/2 cup kefir whey
  • 1head broccolichopped (florets only)
  • 2medium carrotsshredded
  • 1small red onionthinly sliced
  • 1/2cup raisins
  • 1/2cup grapes
  • 2teaspoons lemon juicefreshly squeezed
  • 1/2tablespoon Celtic Sea Salt
Servings: Gallon
Units:
Instructions
  1. If using the starter culture, stir together the culture and water. Let the mixture sit while you prepare the ingredients—around 10 minutes. If using kefir whey, add it when the recipe calls for culture.
  2. Add the broccoli florets, carrots, red onion, raisins, grapes, lemon juice, and salt to a ½ gallon canning jar or vessel.
  3. Add the lemon juice, Cutting Edge Culture or kefir whey and cover with water, leaving an inch or two at the top.
  4. Seal the container and let it sit on your kitchen counter, out of direct sunlight, for 3 days, then place in the fridge.
  5. Check the vegetables every day to make sure they are fully submerged in the water. If they have risen above the water, simply push them down so they are fully covered by the water. If any white spots formed because the veggies rose above the water, do not worry. Remember, this isn’t harmful. Just scoop out the vegetables that have the white spots on them and push the rest back under the water.
Recipe Notes

Storage note: This can be kept in a covered airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to nine months.

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20 Responses to "Culture Your Broccoli – It’s Better"
  1. Hi Donna, I was wondering if this is okay? I made the cultured broccoli salad in a jar and left it on the counter for 3 days (out of sunshine) then put it in quart jars in the refrig. That was a couple days ago. Today I opened the jars and they are bubbling and the juice is carbonated. It tastes good…but just wondering???
    Thank you

  2. Donna, you just have to soak the fresh broccoli in salt water and all those worms float to the top ?

  3. I was under the impression that an airlock would remove the need to weight the vegetables down. I really don’t like the idea of having to remove moldy produce from the jar and toss it. 🙁 I do have a couple of lids with airlocks. Haven’t done any vegetable culturing yet; getting close to dipping my toes in that water.

    Have finally started making kombucha…..mmmmm, love it.

  4. Would the same process be used for plain broccoli no sweet additives? Are the raisins and grapes necessary ? I cannot eat these. Do you have a recipe for curries cultured curried cauliflower as well?

  5. Hello Donna-

    Would you recommend a substitute for the kefir. I can’t do any dairy.

    Thanks.

  6. Great idea using the grapes to top the fermenting salad! Question: I just bought some river rocks to use as weights to keep the veggies submerged under the brine. They will be washed & rinsed w/boiling water to sterilize them, but do you think they will give off too many minerals in the lactic acid brine? Will they be safe to use, and possibly even beneficial?

  7. These are all the vegetables that I find inedible when they are raw. For a salad bar, I can eat them only if they are blanched. Would blanching work in these fermentations? Or would the fermenting tenderize them as if blanched? Thank you. They look great.

  8. I find that for whatever reason, all brassicas would well with fermenting.

    Of course the all time favorite has to be cabbage and sauerkraut. And broccoli is also a great one to ferment.

    However all of them are great:
    cauliflower, (Try some curried cauliflower, wow is it good)
    brussel sprouts,
    kohlrabi,
    rutabaga,
    turnips,
    mustard and collard greens,
    they are all brassicas, and all healthy for you, and all work out well with pickling and fermenting.

  9. Hi Donna,

    Can you make the cultured broccoli salad with frozen broccoli, or does it have to be fresh broccoli?

    Thanks,
    Deb

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