Have you ever had broccoli leaves? I don’t mean the tiny little one-inch leaves that are typically on the broccoli stems you get at the average grocery. I’m talking about a full, big leaf – the leaves that surround the broccoli plant. Up until recently, I’d never given a thought to whether these leaves were edible, nor had I the opportunity to find out. Like I mentioned, they’re not found at the grocery, and I’ve only tried to grow broccoli once, and it didn’t turn out so well. (I am trying again – we’ll see how it goes!)
But as I saw in my weekly local box from Greenling, I was to receive broccoli leaves. Hmm, I thought. What will I do with those? I imagined they would be similar to collard greens, and when they arrived, I wasn’t far off. They are hardy and have a similar texture. But I didn’t quite receive enough to make a pot of greens. What to do, what to do?
Then I started looking into the nutritional punch these greens could provide. Turns out, broccoli leaves provide protein, thiamin, pantothenic acid, niacin, calcium, selenium, iron, vitamins A, B6 and C, riboflavin, manganese, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. The leaves, it turns out, are a richer source of beta-carotene than the stalks or florets. I figured that the best way to enjoy these was to take them for all their nutritional worth and juice them!
I love to juice. I have a green juice almost every morning, often consisting of some leafy green, some cucumber, celery, ginger, lemon, and often parsley. I actually make little packs for the week so I can quickly throw my juice concoctions into the juicer before I head off to work. My fresh green juice gives me a burst of energy and really revitalizes. I think I’m addicted, truth be told.
This time around, I opted to utilize those broccoli leaves for a change of pace.
A few minutes later, I had a refreshing, energizing juice. The broccoli leaves were mild – even milder than my typical kale that I most frequently use in my juice. I opted for some apple for a change of pace, but just a tad – I don’t like my juices too sweet. The result was a clean, green juice that I adored. So if you’re at a farmer’s market, see if you can seek out broccoli leaves, or ask your farmer to bring them. Or grow your own!
While juicing doesn’t really need a “recipe” per se, here’s what I used:
Broccoli Leaf Green Juice (gluten-free, raw, vegan)
5 large broccoli leaves
2-3 stalks celery
1/2 inch knob of ginger
1/3 of a green apple
large handful of parsley
Wash and cut all produce to fit into your juicer. Following your juicer instructions, juice all produce. Enjoy juice as soon as possible for maximum benefit!
Makes 1 serving.
Do you juice? Share your thoughts and recipes about juicing at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!