Don’t Throw Out Broccoli Stalks, Use These 7 Kitchen Tips
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Broccoli is a very versatile and healthy vegetable that can be incorporated into several dishes. One can easily sneak this vegetable into dishes like pasta and pizza. Broccoli is a vegetable that belongs to the cabbage family and has a commendable nutritional profile. It gives all the essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to the body and also is great for someone who is trying to cut out on unnecessary calories. 

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The stalk part of broccoli is also highly nutritious. Most people only cook the florets of broccoli and throw away the rest of the part. This is underutilisation of broccoli and one can also cook its stalks. In this article, one can find some creative ways to cook broccoli stalks in different ways that make them edible and extremely delicious.

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* Stir-Fry

Stir-frying broccoli stalks is probably the easiest way to cook them. The stalks can be combined with some complementary vegetables like onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers. One can also use broccoli florets. All these vegetables must be sautéed in light oil. These sautéed vegetables can be eaten as a complimentary dish with some roasted chicken or grilled fish. To make this vegetable mixture a meal in itself, one can add some quinoa or Dalia. This way, the broccoli stalk will get cooked properly and also absorb flavours from other ingredients used in the process of cooking.

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* Boiling

Boiling broccoli stalks is not an option for people who like their food to be flavourful and tantalising. It is for people who like eating simple and boiled food and especially for the ones who are trying to adopt healthy eating patterns. One can simply boil broccoli stalks in some water until they become soft. The softness of the broccoli stalks can be checked with the help of a fork. If the fork passes through the stalks comfortably, then it means that the stalks have been cooked properly. Just sprinkle some herbs on the top and enjoy it as a delicious and nutritious salad.

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* Cooking With Florets Directly

Cooking the broccoli stalks with florets directly, without cutting them is probably the most efficacious way of eating broccoli. Most people cut the stems of the broccoli and only cook the flower part. This step can be avoided and the whole broccoli can be cooked as it is. By not removing the broccoli stalks, one ensures minimum kitchen waste, and also the full utilisation of the broccoli. Upon cooking, the stalks also get perfectly soft and absorb the flavours of the spices used to cook the dish.

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* Fermentation 

Fermenting broccoli stalks is another way of eating them. In India, different types of vegetables are fermented to make pickles. Fermentation helps not only in enhancing the flavour of a particular dish but also increases its nutritional value. To make a broccoli stalk aachar at home, one has to simply take the broccoli stems and place them in a glass jar. Now in the jar, some salt must be added along with a bit of mustard oil. One can also add a bit of red chilli powder. This mixture must be refrigerated for 2 to 3 hours. Now take the jar out of the fridge and dispose of any extra oil or water that might be present. Add some garlic, vinegar and oil to the mixture and toss it well. This mixture must be refrigerated for some more hours before being eaten.

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* Eating Them Raw

Eating the stems of the broccoli raw is also not a bad idea. People are comfortable with the idea of eating raw onions and tomatoes because it has been the norm for many years. Similarly, one gets acclimated to the taste of raw broccoli after eating it for some days continuously. The stems of the broccoli must be cut into some small pieces and mixed with other conventional vegetables that are a part of the salad family. The stems of the broccoli will enhance the nutritional value of the salad and fulfil the regular requirement of antioxidants and vitamins for the body.

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* Soups

Broccoli stalks can also be added directly to soups. The stalks must be simply cut and small pieces just like one cuts carrots or capsicums to add to soup. Any outgrowth that is present on the stem of the broccoli must be removed with the help of a knife. It should be cleaned properly before being added to the soup. One doesn't have to do any extra steps to cook the broccoli stems as they will get soft and dissolve in the soup on their own. 

* Vegetable Stock

Vegetable stock is a great way of using all the leftover vegetables at home and making something very healthy and digestive. A lot of times, people end up throwing the leftover vegetables at home and just replacing them with the newer ones. All of this can be avoided by simply making vegetable stock which is a mixture of a variety of vegetables. Broccoli stem can be a great addition to the vegetable stock. To make the stock less boring, one can add some noodles and a source of protein like chicken or Paneer. The stock must be lightly seasoned with spices and herbs. Don't forget to add some spring onions and cabbages to make the stock crunchy.