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Broccoli and cauliflower

broccoli and cauliflower heads

Produce Spotlight on Broccoli and Cauliflower

Broccoli and Cauliflower, members of the cabbage family, are excellent sources of vitamin C and folate. Broccoli is also full of calcium, which helps strengthen bones. In Massachusetts, peak season for cauliflower is June through September and for broccoli is July to early November.


Shopping for Broccoli and Cauliflower

Look for large, bright green broccoli or creamy white cauliflower floret heads with firm and sturdy stalks. Cauliflower leaves should be bright green and firmly attached. Select broccoli and cauliflower with tightly closed and solid floret clusters. Avoid broccoli with yellowish floret heads and cauliflower with browned floret heads.


Common Types

Broccoli – big, round, deep green heads (florets); thick stems; slightly bitter taste; eaten cooked or raw.

Broccolini – long, thin stems with small heads; mild and slightly sweet taste; usually cooked.

Multicolored Cauliflower – yellow, purple, orange, or green instead of the common white; mild, sometimes a sweet, nutty flavor.


Storage and Preparation

  • Store unwashed broccoli and cauliflower in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. They taste best if eaten shortly after buying. Use within 5 days.
  • Before use, wash in cool water and dry thoroughly. For broccoli, make sure to cut off and discard the end of the stem.
  • Fresh broccoli and cauliflower can be frozen for up to 6 months. To prepare, cut into florets and blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes, cool quickly in ice water, and drain. Freeze separated florets on a cookie sheet first and then place in labeled containers or freezer bags and freeze.


Serving Ideas

  • Serve raw in a salad.
  • Add to a veggie tray and serve with hummus or a low-fat dip.
  • Steam or microwave in a small amount of water. Add spices and serve as a side dish.
  • Add to a pasta, stir-fry, or noodle dish.
  • Roast or sauté with olive oil, garlic, and lemon.


Broccoli and Cauliflower Math

1 medium head =

about 5 cups chopped


Using Locally Grown Produce

For recipes featuring fruits and vegetables, visit our website To locate places to buy local produce, visit


Nutrition Facts (Broccoli)

Serving size: 1 medium stalk; Calories: 45; Carbohydrates: 8 g; Fiber: 3 g; Fat: 0.5 g; Saturated fat: 0.1 g; Sodium: 80 mg

Nutrition Facts (Cauliflower)

Serving size: 1/6 medium head; Calories: 25; Carbohydrates: 5 g; Fiber: 2 g; Fat: 0 g; Saturated fat: 0 g; Sodium: 30 mg