Everyone cooks broccoli florets and throws out the stalks of the vegetable. There might be several reasons for this. One is that not many people know that broccoli stems should not be thrown away. A 100gm of chopped broccoli stem serving contains 2.98gm of protein, 48mg calcium, 325mg potassium, as well as a significant amount of vitamin A. This is almost the exact same amount present in broccoli florets as well. In fact, broccoli stems contain slightly more calcium, iron and Vitamin C per gram, as compared to the florets!Also Read: Healthy Diet: 4 Broccoli Salad Recipes That You'll Want To Make Tonight
Another reason why broccoli stalks often get thrown out is because they are tough to cook. Broccoli stalks may take much longer to become tender and soft than the florets. However, you'd be adding much more nutrition to your meals by including broccoli stems in your meals, rather than throwing them out.
Here are some ingenious ways to add broccoli stalks to your diet:
1. Vegetable Stock
The vegetable stock is where storing all your vegetable reject comes in handy. We tend to throw out a number of parts of various vegetables including leaves, stems and roots, which can all be stored instead and used to make a vegetable stock. This stock can be added to soups and noodles to increase the nutrition in these dishes. Add whole broccoli stalks to boiling water, along with stalks and leaves of other vegetables like spring onions, red and white onions, cabbages and cauliflowers and simmer it on low heat to let all the nutrients seep into the water. Filter this water and store it to be used as stock for a number of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.
2. Vegetable Stir Fry
Broccoli stalks can be simply stir-fried along with other vegetable like bell peppers, capsicum and broccoli and cauliflower florets. You can add these stir-fired vegetables to your bowl of cooked quinoa, daliya, khichdi, noodles, etc, or simply eat them along with roasted chicken breast. The options are just endless.
3. Toss Them In Soups
Broccoli stalks can be added to clear soups as well, just like you add carrots, peas, sweet corn and other vegetables. Take a good, sharp knife and remove all the little outgrowths of the stem and chop them into little pieces. Simply toss them in to cook them along with your vegetables.
4. Add Them To Salads
Raw food trend is on the rise and if salads are your thing, you can add some extra nutrition to your coleslaw salad by tossing some chopped broccoli stalk to it. Broccoli stalks can be added to both cold and hot salads. This is especially healthy for those who have a taste for raw vegetables.
5. Cook Them With The Florets
Broccoli stalks can be cooked with the florets either while you're steaming the veggie, making soup out of it or adding it to a mixed vegetable sabzi. While making broccoli soup, simply puree the stalks and add it in the soup for an extra health kick.
6. Eat Them Raw
Broccoli stalks can be cleaned and cut lengthwise and eaten raw with any dip of your choice, much like carrots sticks. You can even grind the stalks and add them to your vegetable dip or curd raita.
7. Ferment Them
Broccoli stalks can be fermented to make pickles. All you have to do is cut the broccoli stems lengthwise and place them in a jar. Add some salt to the jar and give it a good shake so that the stalks are coated properly. Refrigerate this jar for several hours, then take it out and drain the water that has collected at the bottom of the jar. Add some garlic, vinegar and olive oil to it and toss it all together. Refrigerate this for several more hours and the fermented broccoli stems are ready to be eaten!
Utilising every part of any given vegetable isn't just good for your health but it is also environment-friendly. Adding broccoli stems to your meals is a step that will help you get more nutrition out of your vegetable, help you economise your meals and also reduce waste generation at home. We call this a total win-win!
About Sakshita KhoslaSakshita loves the finer things in life including food, books and coffee, and is motivated by self-indulgence and her love for words. When not writing, she can be found huddled in the corner of a cosy cafe with a good book, caffeine and her own thoughts for company.