So far, I’ve had the most success with green onions, garlic cloves, and herbs. All of the other vegetables I’ve attempted sprout well and then fade/stall at growing their true leaves (most likely because of lack of light, but we’ll get to that in another post).
One plant seems to be doing quite well; it’s color is dark, it’s growing quickly, and it doesn’t seem bothered by the amount of light. What plant is this? Broccoli!
Now, my excitement could be too hasty, as the plants are still quite small.
However, in preparation for the event that this plant does as well for it’s entire life as it has in the last three days, I’ve looked up some facts about broccoli.
Things You Miss By Buying Broccoli at the Grocery Store
- The adult broccoli plant is huge. It can reach about three feet in diameter. Unfortunately, the head, or the actual part that we eat, is quite small compared to the rest of the plant. After discovering just how small the “edible part” was, I started reconsidering taking the time and energy to grow broccoli.
- Then, it occurred to me that perhaps there was another way to approach this plant then I’d learned as a regular, American consumer. Perhaps I was missing out by just eating the head. Perhaps the rest of the plant was edible too. Who knows?
- Turns out I was right! Broccoli leaves are completely edible and there are numerous recipes online regarding their preparation. Here are some of the sources I found:
- Nutrition facts about broccoli leaves: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2815/2
- An online conversation about the preparation and taste of broccoli leaves. Apparently they are quite tasty when picked young and some people grow the plant just for the leaf! They reportedly can be used just like kale! http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/harvest/msg030829449882.html
- Online broccoli leaf recipe resources: https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ix=hea&ie=UTF-8#hl=en&gs_nf=1&gs_mss=broccoli%20leaves%20nutrition&tok=0R9xd17mg5-jITvhYx6ztg&cp=18&gs_id=6&xhr=t&q=broccoli+leaves+recipe&pf=p&sclient=psy-ab&oq=broccoli+leaves+re&aq=0&aqi=g1g-v3&aql=&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=160a46efcf63646c&ix=hea&biw=950&bih=496
Broccoli Isn’t the Only One Whose Leaves You Miss at the Grocery Store!
- So far, I have discovered that garlic greens can be used in the place of regular garlic! It tastes exactly the same, is easier to handle in the kitchen, and, from previous research I did on it for a class report a while back, it contains more of the active compounds that garlic is reputed for than the bulb!
- Additionally, cauliflower leaves and brussel sprout leaves (pretty much any relative of the wild mustard) can also be consumed.
- Above is a picture of sauteed pea greens. The vine of the pea plant can be used like spinach! That’s great news, considering the amount of time and space it takes to grow peas. Here’s a basic recipe: http://localfoods.about.com/od/fruitsvegetables/tp/aboutpeagreens.htm
Waste Not, Want Not.