Unfortunately, the processing these veggies go through before they reach your dinner table can rob them of much of that nutrition.
To get broccoli into more meals without losing that nutritional value, researchers at Hort Innovation and the Australian national science agency CSIRO developed a broccoli powder. The stuff is made of 100 percent whole broccoli, and its creators say the pre-treatment and drying processes used to allow the end product to retain the natural color, flavor, and nutrients of the fresh vegetable.
“The broccoli powder has already been used for the production of extruded snacks with high vegetable content,” says Mary Ann Augustin, lead researcher on the project. “Prototype extruded snacks with 20 to 100 percent vegetable content were displayed during National Science Week at the Queen Victoria Market last year and were well-received by parents and even my kids.”
Melbourne café conducted an experiment where they used the powder to brew a broccoli latte. The reception was apparently mixed – but if pumpkin can pull it off, there’s hope for any vegetable.
The team says that the broccoli powder can also benefit farmers. Supermarkets are notoriously picky about the vegetables that end up on display, leading to a huge amount of wasted “irregular” produce that’s not presentable enough for stores but is otherwise perfectly fine. Turning those plants into powder reduces food waste and can give growers a new revenue stream.
To get the broccoli powder on the market, the researchers plan to conduct consumer sensory evaluation trials, to make sure people will actually eat it.