Broccoli rabe belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables. It is different from Broccoli and its other types but is closely related to turnips. It is used worldwide, but it is an integral part of Italian cuisine. Rapini and Broccoli are synonymously used. The taste of this green vegetable is bitter and pungent. Another fantastic thing is that the whole broccoli rabe plant can be eaten. It is easy to cook and offers many health benefits. However, it is expensive as compared to other vegetables and may not be readily available. For this reason, you might be looking for broccoli rabe substitutes.
The vegetable offers numerous health benefits. If your water intake is below normal, it can be a great way to fill that need. Rapini is full of vitamins like A, C, and K. A cup of this vegetable would fulfill more than your daily recommended need of Vitamin K. It also constitutes a high fiber content, so it keeps you fuller and aids in digestive issues. Antioxidants are loaded in Rapini and help fight cancer and improves skin health. It is a nutrient-rich item which can be incorporated into the daily diet.
Broccoli Rabe Substitute
It is cooked through various methods but blanching it before using it in any dish is of utmost importance. Blanching decreases the bitterness and keeps it balanced. The long, slender broccoli rabe is full of nutrients, yet it may be hard to find it at the local supermarket. So, we have listed down a list of its alternatives.
It is another green vegetable belonging to the chicory family. It can be an excellent substitute since the leaves of escarole taste bitter. Its taste is sharp, and it can be used both raw and cooked. Outer bitter leaves are cooked, while inner leaves are usually used for a salad. Escarole is loaded with vitamins like A and C, fiber, and some minerals. If you can’t get a hand on Rapini, search for this vegetable.
2. Dandelion greens:
Like the broccoli rabe, the whole plant of dandelion greens is edible. The taste is bitter or earthy and can be an appropriate substitute for your need. This flavor adds the required bitterness to your desired recipe. It can be consumed raw and cooked both. The health benefits of this vegetable are countless. It contains antioxidants, helps reduce inflammation and blood pressure, keeps the blood glucose level in the normal range, promotes bone and skin health.
A low-key substitute is this green vegetable. It is famous for its taste, i.e., peppery or bitter, yet fresh. The flavor adds to any dish you want to make. As a substitute for health benefits, Arugula is highly hydrating, keeps the bones strong, fights cancer, and reduces weight.
4. Mustard Greens:
These belong to the cruciferous family like Rapini. It is one of the most versatile green vegetables. They can be used raw or cooked with a flavor that is spicy as well as mustardy. Raw mustard greens are bitter, so if you want to add bitterness like broccoli rabe in the dish, use this vegetable. The health benefits are similar as well.
5. Chinese Broccoli:
A very closely related alternative is Chinese Broccoli. This is because of its slightly bitter taste that can be easily substituted for broccoli rabe. It is a rich source of beta carotene and Vitamin E. Just like Rapini; it has a high fiber amount.
6. Collard Greens:
The cabbage family has a member known as collard greens. It is tough and has a bitter flavor. When cooked well, it gives a pleasant, fresh taste without losing its texture. It provides a perfect blend as collard greens are not strong in flavor. As for health advantages, it helps lower cholesterol levels.
Green leafy vegetables are not famous for nothing. They have such high levels of nutrients that are not found in other types of foods. They should be part of our regular diet and lead a balanced and healthy life. All the broccoli rabe substitutes are closely related to it. These are similar in taste and health benefits. So, choose the one that seems most appropriate for you. You can use all of them on and off to benefit from every item of God’s blessing.