Unless you garden and grow broccoli yourself, you may not know that this popular vegetable grows amid plentiful leaves. Yup, the stuff you see in markets is just the florets, or crown, of the broccoli plant. So what happens to the leaves? Depending on the farmer, they get tossed or composted—but eaten, not so often. One company though is working to change that, and BroccoLeaf is turning the maligned broccoli leaf into a culinary superstar.
It all began when the produce company Foxy was doing a juicing demo and an employee brought in some broccoli leaves. The team tested the leaves and the result was delicious—and nutritious. They decided to bring the leaves to market under the name BroccoLeaf. The dark green leaves of the broccoli plant have all the major health benefits of broccoli; a serving delivers an adult dose of vitamin C and it’s packed with folate and calcium.
Celebrity registered dietitian Ashley Koff is very excited about Foxy bringing its BroccoLeaf product to market. “OK, so I am a broccoli addict—just the florets until now—so I may be biased. But I love the taste of the leaves. I love that it’s organic and non-GMO, and I loved learning that farmers rely on the leaves to detox [cleanse and nourish] the soil after growing lettuces. What it does in nature it does within us. I love that it is super versatile too,” she says.
Koff suggests using the leaves in juice, smoothies, sautéing them and adding them to eggs, pasta sauce or as a burger topping. “A serving contains a day’s dose of vitamin C, plant compounds called glucosinolates that aid in detoxification and cancer prevention, and a nice dose of calcium as well.”
BroccoLeaf is hitting stores this month, so get your forks ready.