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Food & Recipes

Why Is My Broccoli Turning Yellow?


If you’ve ever noticed broccoli turning yellow in your fridge, you’ve probably thought twice before eating it. After all, the cruciferous vegetable is well known for boasting a bright green shade, especially when fresh. So, what’s the deal with yellow broccoli — and is your healthy veggie still safe to eat?

According to food experts, broccoli that has turned yellow is usually not rotting but instead simply wilting and deteriorating. As you may know, broccoli — like many other vegetables — tends to age pretty quickly after harvest. So don’t be shocked if you notice some yellowing on broccoli in a matter of just a few days. While broccoli that has yellowed due to maturity is typically safe to eat, you probably won’t want to eat much of it after taking one bite.

The Produce for Better Health Foundation explains that yellowed broccoli is past its prime of peak freshness. Ideally, you want to eat this veggie while it’s still crisp and un-wilted. If you decide to try it anyway, you may observe a strong and bitter flavor that you’re not used to getting from broccoli. On top of not tasting so great, yellowed broccoli has also lost a lot of its nutritional value — especially some important vitamins that were once present. 

That said, everyone has different tastes and palates when it comes to produce. Plus, the fiber will still be present in the vegetable, and fiber is usually a great addition to any healthy diet. Just be ready to toss your broccoli in the trash if it’s unpalatable for you. Although it may bum you out to waste healthy food, it’s not worth eating something that is no longer delicious or nutritious. Here’s the good news: It’s possible to stop this pesky problem before it starts in the first place.

To maintain the freshness, refrigerate it in a plastic bag and aim to use it in three to five days. Not sure whether you’ll use the produce that soon? You also have the option of freezing it instead. If you wash it, blanch it, cool it, and then bag it in an airtight container, it’ll remain in good quality for up to a year.

If you’re going to eat broccoli, it might as well be the best kind!

This story originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.

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