The cruciferous vegetable broccoli is high in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. However, like all vegetables it is perishable and will deteriorate over time. Fortunately, it is fairly easy to tell when your broccoli has gone bad. The key indicators are a change in color, smell, and texture.
If the florets of your broccoli start to turn yellow it is a sign that the vegetable is beginning to spoil. The color change is caused by the breakdown of chlorophyll, which gives broccoli its green pigment. Although this is a natural process, it does diminish the nutritional value of the vegetable and also makes it less appealing to eat.
You may be able to use broccoli that has some small areas of yellowing on a large head, but if the entire head is beginning to yellow it’s time to throw it away. Moreover, you should avoid using broccoli that has spots of mold growing on it. Mold is a serious indicator that the broccoli has spoiled and should not be consumed.
Broccoli that is beginning to rot will usually have a distinct bitter scent. It is best to use your nose as a guide; an unpleasant or bitter odor is a strong indication that the vegetable has gone bad and should not be eaten.
In addition to smelling, you should also feel the texture of the broccoli. It should be firm to the touch and not mushy or slimy. A mushy texture is a sign that the vegetable has lost its moisture and has begun to decompose.