If Broccoli Turns Yellow, Is It Still Edible?

You can look forward to delicious vegetables. And when you look in the fridge, you discover that the broccoli is yellow. Can you still eat it then?

Broccoli is one of the most popular vegetables in Germany. Juicy green, crunchy, aromatic: that’s how we love it on the plate. But what if the broccoli turns yellow? Is that toxic? No, yellow broccoli – also broccoli, Italian for “cabbage sprouts” – is not poisonous, you can eat it without hesitation.

Why does broccoli turn yellow?

The perfect time to harvest broccoli is before it blooms. The cabbage is therefore still immature, the inflorescences are not yet fully developed and fully grown. At this stage, the flower buds of the plant are well developed but still closed and of deep green color.

But that changes quickly: After three to four days, the broccoli shoots and turns slightly yellow – this also happens if you don’t harvest it in time. That means the flower buds open and the juicy green slowly disappears: the broccoli is yellow.

Can you still eat yellow broccoli?

If the broccoli has already turned yellow, you can still eat it without hesitation. However, it tastes less aromatic and not as good, and bitter substances can also develop. If the broccoli is already yellow, it also loses the nutrients that make it so healthy – vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.

The question “Can you still eat broccoli when it’s yellow?” can still be answered with a clear “Yes”, because it is not harmful or poisonous. It is still wonderful, for example, for oven vegetables, broccoli soup, or as an ingredient in a casserole.

How does broccoli stay fresh?

It is best to eat vegetables quickly. To keep it fresh for as long as possible, you should pay attention to a few points:

  • Short distances: If possible, use regional broccoli because the transport distance is shorter. Harvest time in Germany is between June and November.
  • Buy fresh: only buy vegetables with deep green florets, closed flower buds, and crisp stems.
  • Store in a cool place: It is best to wrap it in cling film after purchase and store it in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator, so it will keep for two to three days.
  • Place in water: Alternatively, place the broccoli in water like flowers and store it in the refrigerator. If the water is changed daily, the shelf life can be extended to up to seven days.
  • Freeze: Blanch the small broccoli florets, rinse in cold water, drain well and freeze. But even if the vegetable color despite all these measures: If broccoli turns yellow, it is still perfectly edible.

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