Who Knew?!

This Viral Broccoli-Cooking Hack Is Being Hailed As Genius

TikTok is teaching us how to cook our broccoli. Or did you already know the upside-down tree trick?

Boil broccoli the easy way, upside-down!
Sergio Amiti/Moment/Getty Images

There are not a lot of veggies that kids are excited to eat, and broccoli gets an especially bad rap. But my kids were OK with it, especially if it was cooked enough to go down fast. I generally bake it in our toaster oven, which requires chopping and adding olive oil, and half the time I accidentally brown the broccoli crowns. (I am no chef.)

Over the years I’ve collected tips for flavoring it, like Kristen Bell’s crushed-pretzel broccoli (which also calls for Parmesan, which makes everything better). Some parents swear by pairing raw broccoli with dip or hummus, which I respect, but I think that older kids get more into crudités.

Which is all to say that this new TikTok life hack for cooking broccoli stopped me in my tracks. Genius!

#showmethelifehack for cooking broccoli

Steph2302, answering the call to #showmethelifehack, turns an entire head of broccoli upside down in boiling water. If you think of broccoli as a tree, she puts the top with the branches into the water but leaves the trunk sticking out like a handle. She boils the top, pulls it out by the not-hot trunk, and then easily cuts off the cooked broccoli crowns like she’s using a hot knife through butter.

This method is so perfect for softening broccoli for baby-led weaning that I wish I had a baby in my life that I could try it with. But it also makes the vegetable nice and soft in case you want to mix it into mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, or just stir into rice, to sort of “hide” it among other flavors. Or it’s great for kids to just munch on its own, though I would still add a dash of salt.