Did you know that about 40 percent of food in the United States goes uneaten? If you measure that amount of food waste by individual, it comes out to more than 20 pounds per person each month. With awareness comes action, and new odds and ends from healthy ingredients are making their way into our stores and onto our plates.
It’s no secret to farmers that broccoli produces edible, super nutritious leaves but they usually get chopped off and thrown into the compost pile. And even when broccoli heads make it to the market with their leaves attached, most cooks tend to discard them—until now.
Broccoli leaves can now be found as featured ingredient—sold in bags like other organic greens under the Broccoleaf brand—at grocery stores in New York and California.
Mature broccoli leaves can grow to up to two feet long, so if you can’t find the bagged version, talk to your local farmers about saving them. Eating this super green not only reduces food waste, but it also gives you access to more nutrients. One serving of leaves provides 100 percent of your daily dose of vitamin C and crazy good amounts (340 percent) of vitamin K, a rising vitamin star for bone density. And they beat their kale counterpart in the vitamin A department, which is great news for your eyes and skin.
As with most greens, you don’t want to overcook them or you’ll lose all those valuable nutrients. Try a light steam or sauté, or toss them into a soup or salad. If you’re into juicing greens, you’ll love their flavor (slightly sweeter than kale) and higher water content.
To get started, try one of these fall-appropriate recipes featuring broccoli leaves: