Ask Amelia Tips

What To Do with Broccoli Stems

broccoli stems

Here’s a question I got recently:

As I was chopping up some broccoli last night, I found myself throwing away the stems.  I also, out of habit (because this is what my mom did), throw away the white sections of celery.  Can I, should I, eat the broccoli stem and the whole stalk of celery?  Seems like a waste not to.

My answer: eat the stems!  Whether you’re preparing broccoli, broccolini (aka baby broccoli, pictured above), or broccoli rabe (long thin broccoli stems with lots of leafy greens hanging off) – you can just slice up the stems and cook them along with the florets.  With regular broccoli, I suggest cutting the stems into thinner pieces so they cook faster and are more bite-sized.  Then I think you’ll find the stems pretty tasty!

broccoli stems

As for celery, the “hearts” are perfect for using in soups, especially if they have leaves attached.  These whitish center stems taste a little more bitter when eaten raw, but when chopped up and sauteed with onion and carrot as the base of a soup, they add great flavor (in fact I much prefer to cook with these parts than the outer, greener stalks).

Hope this helps you get more bang for your buck!

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  • Susie Bee on Maui
    October 24, 2011 at 11:19 am

    You can also cook them in some broth, season, and puree for a simple soup. I’m making it tonight for meatless Monday and serving with some crusty homemade brown soda bread.

  • Amelia
    October 24, 2011 at 11:32 am

    What a wonderful idea, Susie! I didn’t think about adding them to pureed soups – but sounds delish – and perfect for a hearty Meatless Monday meal!

  • Amanda
    October 24, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    I too tend to throw out the broccoli stems out of habit, but when I stop and think about, it’s such a waste! Definitely going to be more conscious about using them moving forward. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Amelia
    October 24, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    I love thinking of ways to use up food instead of throw it out – sounds like you do too!

  • Charli
    October 24, 2012 at 8:01 am

    I like to thinly slice the stem and munch on them as chips with my baby carrots…yummy and healthy snacking!

  • Amelia
    October 24, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing, Charli!

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