TikTok user Stephanie, who goes by the username Steph2302, posted a video of herself cooking the nutrition-packed green vegetable in a rather unorthodox way.
Instead of cutting off the broccoli florets to separate them from the thick fibrous stem, Stephanie shows how she puts the entire head of broccoli into a pot of boiling water, with the stem sticking out.
Once the top half of the vegetable is cooked, she removes it from the water by holding onto the stem, which remains uncooked, and uses a knife to easily chop off the softened florets.
Over the video, a woman narrates: “Show me the life hack that you randomly saw one day that is now an unconscious standard practice in your life.”
While the hack appears to make light work of chopping up broccoli, some people have protested against not cooking and eating the stem as well.
Several people said the stem of the broccoli “is the best bit” and were concerned that leaving it uncooked meant it would go towards food waste.
“Don’t waste the stem girl,” one person wrote, while another added: “You wasted so much.”
But others thought it was a clever tip, with one person commenting: “I think this is a brilliant idea, less mess! I’m going to try it next time.”
However, a number of TikTok users lamented that boiling broccoli cooks out many nutrients contained within the vegetable.
“When you boil it all the goodness goes into the water, it’s best to steam it,” a commenter wrote. “Or if you boil it, use the water for something so you get the vitamins.”
Apart from steaming, many suggested roasting the broccoli instead or pickling the stems to retain flavour and nutrients.
Australian nutritionist Lyndi Cohen also agrees that boiling broccoli gets rid of many vitamins that it holds.
She told Kidspot that when broccoli is boiled until it’s soft enough “that you can cut it with a fork, you have certainly boiled out a bunch of nutrients”.
These include vitamins E and K, as well as calcium and polyphenols, which are micronutrients that naturally occur in plants and contain antioxidants.
Cohen added that much of the nutrients end up in the water used to boil the vegetable, which “most people throw away”.
According to Cohen, the stem is not necessarily more nutritious than the florets, but it does have more fibre.
She recommended blanching, stir frying, grilling or baking broccoli instead of boiling.