So, you have harvested all your broccoli along with the sprouts from the sides, but you still have a beautiful plant left standing. Before you plunk it in the compost pile, remove those broccoli leaves, chop them up, and put them in the freezer for later. Sure the compost would appreciate the greens, but that’s what weeds are for. This is nutrition for your body, and money savings for your food budget. Besides, you put a lot of work into growing that broccoli.
If you have a lot of broccoli, definitely dehydrate some leaves for green powder, but make sure you have a freezer full of chopped broccoli leaves first. You can use them the rest of the year in soups, quiches, pasta dishes, stir fry… anything that requires cooked chopped greens. And if you chop and freeze them the same day you get maximum nutrition as opposed to leaving them in your fridge for a week.
Chop and Freeze those Broccoli Leaves
- First you want to remove the stems because they are pretty tough. They are edible, but you’ll need to cook them differently.
- Next, roll the leaves up and slice into 1/4 – 1/2 inch strips like you are making cinnamon rolls.
- Once you have sliced the broccoli leaf, chop the ribbons perpendicularly into 1/2 inch pieces.
Chopping Broccoli… Leaves
- Use ziplock or vacuum-sealed bags to store in the freezer. One advantage to freezing is that it ruptures the cell walls, making the leaves more tender when you cook it. If you usually buy boxes or bags of frozen spinach you are going to love this.
Unlike frozen spinach, the broccoli leaves remain separate when frozen, so it’s easy to pour out just as much as you want to use. I still use it in almost any recipe that calls for frozen spinach. Just sauté or steam as you would spinach. I think it would be great in spanikopita. I guess it would be called broccolopita! I know it is good in stuffed pasta shells with cheese. Try it out. It would be a shame to throw away all that green goodness. Here is another recipe I think you’ll like.
Broccoli Leaf Dip
I love the Knorr Spinach Dip recipe! Here is a homemade version using my own powdered vegetable broth in place of the Knorr mix. Go ahead and give it a try using frozen broccoli leaves instead of spinach.
- 1 sandwich bag of frozen broccoli leaf
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp veggie broth powder (recipe here)
- 1 tbs nutritional yeast (optional, but great flavor enhancer)
- 1/2 can chopped water chestnuts
- 1 i’itoi onion or green onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- Steam or boil broccoli leaf for 2 minutes, drain and cool
- Squeeze any water from the cooked broccoli leaf and place in a small mixing bowl
- Add remaining ingredients and mix
- refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend
This is so great with crusty bread, crackers, or fresh veggies.
For more about using broccoli leaves visit this post.