Snack time this afternoon ended up being a heaping plate of roasted broccoli. I am pretty thrilled that my kids enjoy broccoli so much. I make a point of mixing the seasoning up and ensuring it is not over cooked (aka mushy) for maximum enjoyment all around. This recipe can be prepared in a sauté pan as well, however I like having the inactive roasting time and free burner if I happen to be preparing this dish as a side with dinner.
Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, Brussel sprouts and kale have huge nutritional benefits, which is why I love eating them so much (in addition to the fact that they taste great!) Unfortunately they also contain oxalates, which can inhibit iron and calcium absorption. Thankfully cooking them and/or serving them with some kind of citrus helps to offset the oxalates and maximize absorption of these important minerals. I love the tangy combination of lemon and garlic, although I suspect other kinds of citrus would be lovely too.
I purposely let the mixture sit for 10 minutes before putting it in the oven. If you do this with crushed garlic before heating it, you will still fully benefit from its allicin, the cancer fighting compound that is optimized with raw consumption. As much as I love garlic I am not a fan of eating huge quantities of it raw (nor is my husband!) and I love that letting it sit for 10 minutes after cutting and pre cooking produces the same beneficial effect.
I added the lemon and hemp seeds after removing the broccoli from the oven as this optimizes the vitamin C in the citrus and the essential fatty acids in the hemp seeds, both of which degrade when exposed to heat.
This recipe works great with lots of different vegetables. I sometimes do a mixed pan of broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts. It works well with kale as well, although I would prepare this in a sauté pan when using leafy greens as your vegetable base.
Cheesy Roasted Broccoli
Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut broccoli stalks and stems into equal sized pieces. In a large mixing bowl, coat broccoli with enough avocado oil to lightly coat (the amount will vary with the size of your broccoli). Add crushed garlic, sea salt and nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. Spread the broccoli mixture on baking sheets and roast in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the broccoli is lightly browned and still a bit firm when pierced with a fork. Remove the broccoli from the oven and toss with hemp seeds, lemon, and chili flakes (if desired) and serve immediately.