YES YOU CAN EAT BROCCOLI LEAVES!! AS A MATTER OF FACT BROCCOLI LEAVES ARE RICHER IN BETA-CAROTENE THAN THE FLORETS, AND CONTAIN OTHER HEALTHFUL PHYTONUTRIENTS THAT AREN’T FOUND IN THE STEMS AND FLORETS!
THE BROCCOLI FLOWERS OR FLORETS ARE MOST COMMONLY CONSUMED BECAUSE THE BROCCOLI LEAVES AREN’T TYPICALLY SOLD IN STORES. WHY!? FARMERS ARE WASTING THIS VALUABLE LEAF! SO YOU WILL HAVE TO GROW BROCCOLI YOURSELF TO HAVE ACCESS TO THE LEAVES.
TRY GROWING THEM LIKE BABY SALAD GREENS. SPRINKLE A HANDFUL OF SEEDS INTO YOUR GARDEN AND LET THEM GROW TO BABY LEAF SIZE TO 4-6 INCHES BEFORE HARVESTING. A PLANT PRODUCES ONE MAIN HEAD OF BROCCOLI AS IT’S FLOWER AND OCCASIONALLY A FEW SMALLER HEADS LATER. THEN YOU CAN HARVEST THE WHOLE PLANT! EVEN THE STEMS CAN BE SHREDDED FOR BROCCOLI SLAW!
THE BROCCOLI LEAVES ARE SIMILAR TO COLLARD GREENS IN TASTE AND TEXTURE – WITH A SLIGHT BROCCOLI FLAVOR. YOU CAN ADD THEM DIRECTLY TO A LEAFY FRESH SALAD (MY FAVORITE) OR SAUTE THEM IN GARLIC AND BUTTER. MY NEXT ENDEAVOR IS TO TRY THE LEAVES AS “CHIPS” LIKE KALE CHIPS. THE LARGER LEAVES ARE PERFECT FOR STUFFING AS YOU WOULD A CABBAGE LEAF!
BROCCOLI LEAVES ARE VERY VERSATILE: MAIN DISH, SALAD GREEN, SIDE DISH OR SNACK – TRY THEM ALL WAYS!!
BROCCOLI LEAF CHIPS
- 4 cups BROCCOLI LEAVES, rinsed and chopped if they are large
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- Cayenne pepper
- Chili powder
- Sea salt
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.
- Add completely dried, broccoli leaves to a large mixing bowl and drizzle olive oil over the top.
- Toss kale with two forks until all pieces are coated in olive oil. Start with 2 tbsp, and if it seems too dry use another tbsp olive oil.
- Sprinkle cayenne pepper, chili powder, and sea salt over the top and continue to toss. Repeat once or twice more, but be careful with the cayenne pepper, if you’re serving this to kids!
- Lay out piece by piece on an ungreased baking sheet. Make sure each piece is not touching another and has enough room to bake properly. You will need 2 large baking sheets.
- Sprinkle more seasonings on top if needed.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes. You can check by trying one chip and if it is very crispy they are done!
- For best results, enjoy immediately after removing from the oven.
OTHER GARDEN VEGETABLE LEAVES ARE EDIBLE AS WELL! SWEET AND HOT PEPPER LEAVES CAN BE USED IN A SALAD AND THE HOT PEPPER LEAVES WILL ADD A LITTLE SPICE!
GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR GARDEN! ENJOY THE GREENS AS MUCH AS THE VEGGIES!