In the category of Science You Can Use: do not boil your broccoli.
Boiling appeared to have a serious impact on the retention of those important glucosinolate within the vegetables. The loss of total glucosinolate content after boiling for 30 minutes was: broccoli 77%, Brussel sprouts 58%, cauliflower 75% and green cabbage 65%.
The effects of other cooking methods were investigated: steaming for 0–20 min, microwave cooking for 0–3 min and stir-fry cooking for 0–5 min. All three methods gave no significant loss of total glucosinolate analyte contents over these cooking periods.
Why should you care about the amount of glucosinolate within your veggies?
Past studies have shown that consumption of Brassica vegetables decreases the risk of cancer. This is because of the high concentration in Brassicas of substances known as glucosinolates which are metabolized to cancer preventive substances known as isothiocyanates.
In honor of broccoli, hated vegetable of George Herbert Walker Bush, I send you to A Veggie Venture for a plethora of broccoli recipes. My favorite so far is the stir-fried broccoli. I could eat an entire pound of that dish. Honest.