There's this article that I enjoyed reading and I must admit I wouldn't have a clue what it was going on about if I'd read it 4 months earlier. After my son's delivery, the confinement lady (CL) prepared all our meals. We purposely went and bought a rice cooker (yes we didn't have one before that) that allowed for steaming. CL would cook the rice and to save time, (and tend to the baby and other chores) she set the rice to cook with the vegetables in the above compartment to steam. Many things have been said about not overcooking vegetables and the decreasing nutrient contents with prolonged cooking, but I guess that was the last thing on CL's mind.
The results were surprising. The vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, snow peas) became soft, sweet and pleasantly disintegrated without much chewing. Broccoli? Sweet? You'd better believe it. So what happened here?
"It's true that when vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables, are cooked, the damage to the plant's tissue brings about reactions between compounds that are usually kept separate," he said—hence the sulfuric aroma. But, he emphasized, if you continue to cook these foods, "at a certain point the aroma will dissipate, and you'll end up with the flavor compounds left in the plant, including its sugars—especially if it's cooked and served in a way that the sugars aren't poured out with the cooking water." -from 'The Soft Approach' article
So here's a tip when cooking for picky eaters who hate greens, overcook it! It is a fact that the anti-cancer properties of broccoli is highest when raw (yucks!) or lightly cooked, but I think it's a better compromise this way, eating diminished nutrients vs none at all.