November 13, 2015 6 Comments
The past few years have taught us what Earthlings really want to know, and we are pleased to be spreading the word that cauliflower leaves are edible! In that spirit, we’d like to tell you that broccoli leaves are edible, too, and explain a slightly easier method of preparation.
Our local organic CSA farm has had a good crop of broccoli this year, and they give it to us with leaves intact. Fresh broccoli sold in supermarkets often has had its leaves trimmed, at least the larger ones. What do you suppose happens to them? I hope they don’t just get thrown away, because broccoli leaves are highly nutritious, with a slightly different nutrient profile than broccoli florets or stalks. They’re particularly high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that our bodies convert into Vitamin A. I wasn’t able to find a nutrient analysis for cooked broccoli leaves, but a one-ounce serving of raw leaves contains 43% of the Daily Value of Vitamin C, 5% of folate, 3% of potassium and manganese, and some Omega-3 fatty acids–and less than 8 calories!
Broccoli leaves could be substituted for spinach or kale in many raw or cooked recipes. When we cut up broccoli from our farm to steam as a side dish or use in High-Protein Pasta Salad or Broccoli Casserole, we typically include the leaves, but we think they don’t taste as good in those contexts as the other parts of the broccoli do. Roasted leaves, though, are an addictive snack food or yummy side dish! They have the crispy crunch of thin potato chips and a tasty, toasty flavor that is quite different from the flavor of steamed broccoli. Read more of this post