Some of us never outgrow our distaste for all things vegetables. Perhaps even more of us, myself included, are totally cool with vegetables as adult…but often forget to eat as many as our bodies would like. For those of us who have an easier time reaching for a latte than a leafy green, have no fear: broccoli coffee is here. Well…kind of. The results are mixed as far as taste goes.
Researchers at Australia’s CSIRO organization, in partnership with Hort Innovation, have created a powder made from whole broccoli. The powder is produced through a “combination of selected pre-treatment and drying processes” which help maintain many of the nutritional benefits as eating whole broccoli. In fact, two tablespoons of the broccoli powder is equivalent to one serving of veggies. So, in theory, you could mix a few tablespoons in with the two cups of coffee you drink a day (if you keep up with the national average of coffee consumption) and get your caffeine fix and two servings of vegetables at the same time.
Unfortunately, if CSIRO’s video of someone taste testing the broccoli latte (AKA the “broccolatte”) is any indication, the powder doesn’t taste too great mixed into a coffee drink.
While maybe not ideal for your morning latte, the broccoli powder would likely pair well in your morning smoothie, added to soup, or mixed in with a veggie dip. Perhaps you’re a fan of a sour cream and onion dip with some potato chips. (I mean, of course you are. Who among us isn’t?) In addition to subbing out some of your salty chips for a handful of carrots, you can mix a couple tablespoons of the broccoli powder into your dip to help sneak an extra serving of vegetables into your snack. You can even close your eyes when you do it and you’ll be like, wow amazing how did more vegetables get in here?
Do you ever find yourself at the end of the day wondering, “Did I even eat a single vegetable today? I think I saw a carrot at some point…does that count?” Perhaps this broccoli powder is for you. Mix a few spoonfuls into your pre-jarred marinara sauce before adding it to your pasta. Scoop a tablespoon or two into your soup.
If the idea preparing vegetables is daunting to you or you have to Google “how do you even properly cut up a cauliflower?” every time you want to cauliflower, maybe the broccoli powder will save a bit of cooking time on your behalf.
In addition to being good for our bodies, this new broccoli powder is hoping to be good for the environment as well. “Over one-third of all food produced globally is lost or wasted,” a CSIRO blog post on the broccoli powder notes, adding that over four million tons of food goes wasted every year in Australia alone. In the U.S., we are the unfortunate world leaders in created food waste. According to The Atlantic, over 60 million tons of food waste is produced every year in the U.S. That works out to be $160 billion worth of food. One third of all food produce goes to waste in the U.S.
Developers of the broccoli powder are specifically hoping to eliminate food waste creating in the process of farming produce. You may have heard how some grocery stores are working to encourage people to buy ugly food (e.g. vegetables shaped funny, fruit with light bruising). This new broccoli powder is made from produce deemed “too ugly” to sell, cutting down on overall wasted produce.
“The broccoli powder is being developed as part of a larger research and development project,” the blog posts states, “which aims to reduce vegetable loss by creating healthy food products from ‘ugly’ produce or produce or produce that otherwise doesn’t make it to the market.”
Next steps for the broccoli powder involve more testing in hopes that consumers can soon see it on shelves at the grocery store.
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