Saturday, November 27, 2021

Broccoli Coffee Is Now a Thing

There have been quite a few coffee trends over the last few years. From the keto-friendly butter coffee to the immune-boosting mushroom coffee and the anti-inflammatory turmeric latte, there seems to be no end to the things people will add to a cup of joe. Want to know the latest and greatest morning beverage? It’s broccoli coffee.

Broccoli coffee

We have Australia to thank for this new broccoli coffee trend. Scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Hort Innovation developed a dried powder from “ugly” broccoli that isn’t likely to sell if it shows up in grocery stores. The scientists wanted to tackle the problem of food waste while helping people increase their daily intake of veggies at the same time.

Hort Innovation’s chief executive John Lloyd said: “With a rising trend in healthy eating across the board, Australian growers are always looking at ways to diversify their products and cut waste while meeting consumer demand. Research shows the average Australian is still not eating the recommended daily intake of vegetables a day, and options such as broccoli powder will help address this.” (CSIRO)

A tablespoon full of green powder sits on a white surface with a crown of broccoli.
Australian scientists developed the broccoli powder in part to help eliminate food waste. (Image: Yauheni Labanau via Dreamstime)

The whole broccoli, stem and all, is subjected to a careful drying process that retains the color, flavor, and nutrients of the fresh vegetable. Once that’s done, it is crushed into a fine powder. Two tablespoons of the powder are the equivalent of one serving of broccoli.

Mixed reviews

Broccoli coffee is not yet widely available, but it fetched mixed reviews when tested at a Melbourne café named Commonfolk Coffee. The café served what they call the “broccolatte” as part of an experiment that was conducted by CSIRO scientists. Some of the customers said they found the idea of mixing veggies with cappuccino weird while a few said they like their coffee to be nutrient-rich.

However, health and nutrition experts think it is a practical idea. Cynthia Sass, Health’s contributing nutrition editor said: “I like the idea of a product like this being used to reduce food waste and provide a simple way to add a serving of veggies, especially a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli, which is among the most protective against both heart disease and cancer, our two leading causes of death. Attempting to add it to coffee makes sense, because it’s something most people already drink daily, and one of the best ways to create healthy change is to piggyback onto an existing habit.”

Three women stand in a break room holding mugs and chatting.
Adding broccoli to coffee may be a good way for you to create a healthy change. (Image: Shannon Fagan via Dreamstime)

Make your own broccolatte

If you want to try it out, the recipe itself is pretty simple, but it does require an espresso maker and some way to steam the milk. You’ll need to look online or in health food stores for a powder that is 100 percent broccoli with no added ingredients. Now, just make yourself a shot of espresso and add two tablespoons of broccoli powder. Once that’s stirred together, add in your steamed milk and top it off with a final sprinkle of broccoli powder. Simple!

Other uses for the powder

If the idea of using broccoli powder in your coffee is not appealing, there are other options suggested by CSIRO. For example, try adding it to an omelet. The powder can be mixed into a wide range of dips, soups, or smoothies. You might even try baking it into muffins. The researchers actually made some cheese puff snacks with it that turned out to be a hit with kids.

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Emma Lu
Emma Lu is an author who specializes in Cultural and Historical myths and stories.
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