7 Ways to Use Broccoli Stalks

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Apparently many people just throw away the broccoli stalks, but there are so many good uses for them! I’ve come up with at least 7 ways to use broccoli stalks and there’s probably more than that. Be sure to share any uses for broccoli stalks that you’ve thought of in the comments section!

First, let me clarify what I mean by “broccoli stalks”:

  • There is the the whole bottom part or “trunk” of the broccoli “tree” so to speak.
  • Then, there’s the tough outer layer of that “trunk” that you can slice off with a peeler or paring knife to reveal the tender inner section.

When I cook broccoli, I always include that tender inner section so as to not waste it (it’s perfectly good broccoli!). But then there’s still that rough outer layer left over.

This list will include uses for both the whole stalk (the trunk of the broccoli tree) and the tough outer layer of the stalk.

1. Cut off tough outer layer and cook the inner section

broccoli stalk

I mentioned this in the intro. I always do this when cooking broccoli so as to not waste any of it.

Use a paring knife (like this) or a peeler to take off the tough outer layer of the stalk. Chop up the inner part and cook it as you would cook the florets. I usually steam them.

2. Compost

If you have a garden or a farm composting is a great way to turn your food scraps into fertilizer. Use your food to make more food! Now that’s what I call sustainable! Composting can be really easy with products like this compost tumbler.

Some cities like San Francisco have a compost program that goes along with the garbage collection program, so even if you don’t have a garden or farm, you can still put your food scraps into the compost bin and it will be collected and used for a farm.

3. Make broth

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Use the tough outer layer of the stalk for broth. I have a container of veggie scraps that I save in my freezer. Every time I make broccoli, I add the tough parts of the stalk to this container along with other veggie bits like the ends of carrots, kale stalks, cauliflower stalks, etc. When the container is full I use it to make a big batch of vegetable broth. Of course, I only use organic vegetables for broth. I wouldn’t want to create a broth full of pesticide residue!

Check out my recipe for vegetable broth from vegetable scraps!

4. Slice them very thinly and saute or add to casseroles or frittatas

Since the stalk is tough it can be hard to steam large chunks of it, but if you take care to slice or chop it very finely and cook it a little longer, you can saute it with a stir-fry or add it to casseroles or frittatas.

5. Feed them to your Dog (in limited amounts)

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I often give my dog broccoli stalk bits. Since it’s tough, it’s a fun thing for her to chew on…almost like a rawhide bone! I give my dog a little bit of broccoli just about every time I make it and now when I get out the cutting board and start chopping a vegetable, she runs into the kitchen thinking that she’ll get a broccoli stalk.

If you’ve never given your dog raw broccoli before, start out with just a little bit and see how they react. Broccoli should be fine for dogs in small amounts, but it’s always best to see how they do with a little bit first. As with other animals, make sure to not give your dog too much as it could potentially cause digestive upset.

6. Soup

broccoli soup

Use several full broccoli stalks to make a pureed soup. Chop up the stalks and cook it with broth, any other vegetables you want (like onions or garlic) and seasonings, then puree with a hand blender. Add cream if you want cream of broccoli soup. Check out my broccoli soup recipe here!

Want more tasty gluten-free vegetarian recipes? Check out my ebook Gluten-Free Vegetarian here!

7. Chicken or Goat Feed (in limited amounts)

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Many people have backyard chickens or goats for the eggs and goat milk. Broccoli stalks are a great supplement to their diet. Of course, it shouldn’t be the only thing they’re eating, but it’s a good way to make use of it! Make sure to not give them too much as large amounts could potentially cause digestive upset.

How do you use broccoli stalks?

 

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7 Ways To Use Broccoli Stalks

 

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DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: Some of the links in my blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. I only endorse products that align with the ideals of Healy Eats Real and that I believe would be of value to my readers. FDA DISCLOSURE: Information and statements regarding health claims on this blog have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Comments

  1. Amy Allen says

    I save the “tree part” as we call it in our house and I add it to meatloaf, stuffed peppers anywhere I want the family to get extra veggies. If you chop it up very fine they don’t even notice it. I had to hide it as my husband is not a huge veggie fan. :)

    • Priscilla says

      I do this, too — I grate it up with the cheese grater & add it to just about every soup or sauce or casserole or burrito or WHATEVER that I’m feeding my family. Not huge amounts, but it’s great for bulking up gravies or whatever — waste not, want not!

      • jah e says

        I like the idea of using a cheese grater. Once I get it grated the possibilities will be exciting. I’m such a lover of broccoli, I feel shame at all the “stalks” I’ve tossed. :-)

  2. Laura says

    I peel them and slice thin, slice some radishes, and cut up some tomato. I add a bit of Italian dressing and even my grandkids loved it.

  3. teanut says

    I have an old vegetarian times cookbook with a broccomole recipe! it’s a little time intensive, but tastes great and is very low fat.

    • says

      I use the “trunks” sliced and cook a bit longer than the florets, (do not peel) and then I put them together in the broccoli casserole. If you do not add salt, you can use the water where you boiled or steamed the broccoli to water your plants, and it is a fantastic fertilizer!

  4. Marsha says

    I just eat them raw and it is my favorite part, so much less bitter than the florets. Sweet and crunchy!

    • Elizabeth Dietrich says

      Now you’r talking! It’s my favorite part as well. I also like to peel off the tough skin, cut into 3-4 inch lengths and marinate in your favorite vegetable marinade. It’s great for parties or JUST PLAIN SNACKING! :)

  5. Natalie says

    After I peel the tough outer layer, I use a Julienne peeler to make a broccoli slaw to mix in with lettuce on our salads Or add to chopped cabbage for coleslaw. If I’m lazy that day, I just throw the trees into my freezer baggie for stocks.

  6. Janet says

    They are my absolute favorite parts. I make sure to by broccoli that has a HUGE stalk so that I can have all that delicious sweetness. I cook it the same way with the florets. So much better than the florets too.

  7. Rebecca says

    I haven’t tried this myself but I saw an episode of Rachel Ray where she sliced them longways (like carrot sticks) and roast them with a drizzle of garlic and EVOO.

  8. says

    I also save the (peeled) stalks for munching on — rather like carrot sticks — for myself or for a child who needs a snack before dinner. Also, you can julienne the stalk’s inside and add it to coleslaw.

  9. Travis says

    I just cut the knots off, slice them transversely, and eat them with hummus. Almost nothing goes to waste and it’s a good source of fiber. I call them broccoli stars so people are more intrigued when I share them at lunch.

  10. Michaelann Dahlman says

    I peel the stalks & then shred them with my baby Moulinex. I add a few handfuls of the florets as well. Then I made a basic cream soup base: 1 Tbsp butter, 1 Tbsp. flour. Stir & gradually whisk in 1 C. milk until thick. Add shredded broccoli, stir, cook for about 5 minutes. Add 1 C. florets and cook 5 minutes more. Voila, home-made cream of broccoli coup! My husband loves it!!

  11. Lisa says

    I chop them up in 1cm cubes en cook them 2 minutes longer then the broccoli and just eat them as well. Just as tasty!

  12. mary delong says

    I grind them in the food processor and make brocolli cheese soup. Or just use them in soup. So much is wasted in this world and they are full of flavor and vitamins. I also feed to goats and chickens, when we do not eat them.:)

  13. says

    I love them raw, trim off the outer stalk and munch away. They taste lovely and “apparently” are very good for you raw. Especially if you suffer from mouth ulcers.

    Best bit is, no one else seems to like the heart of the stalk, so i get to eat them all…nom nom!

  14. Heather White says

    I peel them, then chop them finely in the food processor. Then I saute them with the onions, garlic and any other vegetables I am putting in spaghetti sauce. My kids, including the veggie-averse one, never knew it was there!

  15. Amanda says

    I give them and a few carrots a few pulses in the food processor, add a bit of poppyseed salad dressing (Aldi), some dry cranberries and toasted salted sunflower seeds… absolutely delicious side salad. can’t imagine wasting them!

  16. Heather Jacoby says

    I make a vegetarian stir fry with chopped brocolli and cauliflower and peppers. Often I only have the broccoli stalks left to use so I julienne then with some julienned carrots and peppers and it makes an awesome dish.

  17. Dorrit says

    Juicing and cut of the tough outer layer and use them for vegetable mash along with cauliflower, carrots, sellery ect.

  18. LavaExcelsior says

    I throw them in my food processor raw until they’re roughly chopped and throw them in a tortilla with pulsed carrot, pulsed red pepper and chopped lettuce . I wipe the tortilla with a teaspoon of peanut butter and drizzle a little sesame dressing before rolling it up to create a fast and delicious way to get myself to eat my veggies. <3

  19. says

    I cook mine up until they’re tender, add in some rice and cheddar cheese and if i have any left over chicken I add that in and have either Broccoli cheddar rice soup or broccoli cheddar and chicken rice soup. My family loves it. Yum!

  20. Chris says

    I have had the insides of the stalks at a party. They were sliced into flat chips. I didn’t know what they were made from so I asked and was pleasantly surprised. They have a spicy taste and were served with dip. Yum!

  21. Kyle says

    I cut them in to spears and ferment them with a few spices and brine and make broccoli pickles. In fact they are shown to be great cancer fighters.

  22. Patty says

    We use them in our daily green smoothie. You don’t even need to remove the tough outer layer. Our smoothie consists of spinach, kale, broccoli stalks (when we have them), 1/2 avocado, lemon wedge, any fruit combo that can include berries, apple, pears, mango, kiwi, pineapple, etc. flax seeds. Let your imagination be your guide. We fill the Vitamix container first with the greens, lemon, flax, avocado and some water, blend, then add the fruit (can be frozen) then blend again. Really good! Probably TMI , but we’re hooked on the smoothie.

  23. Bill Boswell says

    I peel off the outer “bark” on the broccoli “tree” and dip them into ranch or other salad dressings and eat them like eating a banana, dipping again after every bite.

  24. Sandy Schultz says

    After removing tough outer layer with a knife, I slice broccoli chips and add to my tossed salad, to soups and/or to the rest of the broccoli florets. They’re perfectly fine and taste yummy. They’re also great in stir fries, etc.

  25. Tina Mintz says

    I julienne them with carrots and blanch them and make eggs rolls out of them instead of using cabbage.. They make terrific egg rolls… :)

  26. dadsfavor8 says

    I actually like them BETTER than the florets! I eat them raw all the time, and also juice them. If making a stir fry, I add both the florets and the whole trunk…sliced up. I add it to stews, and also raw in salads.

  27. Brian says

    Use a bullet blender, a full stalk in half or quarters, half frozen banana, Whey protein (I use Whey Factors vanilla) – blend and what a great drink.

  28. Marjorie Tweed-Brown says

    I peel them, dice largish, and saute with my onions and celery when making fried rice. They taste similar to artichoke bottoms to me.

Trackbacks

  1. […] The other day, I was planning to steam some organic broccoli to accompany our dinner, and, as usual, I washed the broccoli and cut off the big woody stems. But I couldn’t bring myself to toss them. I left them on the counter while I cooked dinner. And there they remained while we ate. And still they sat while we washed the dishes and wiped down the counters. So I did the obvious thing and hopped online to look for a few suggestions and found many, many creative ideas on the web including several here and here. […]

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