Are You Throwing Away the Most Tender Part of Broccoli?


Ahhh….the sad and lonely stump that gets thrown away after the prized crown is chopped off.


Underneath that tough, fibrous outer layer of the stalk is the most TENDER part of the broccoli. It’s so tender, delicate and sweet that most of the time, I just eat it raw. Right there at the cutting board. I don’t even share. All it takes is 1 minute of your time to remove the outer layer.


Video: How to unveil the most tender part of broccoli

What do you do with the broccoli stalk???

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Comments 39

    1. Scott

      It’s no joke, the broccoli stalks are more satisfying in nutritive feel-satisfaction and taste, than the florets,.. the florets just look prettier. I’ve been enjoying the stalks since I’ve been out of high school, out of the family house. Grow up.

      1. Scott

        With most of the broccoli I see in markets the stalks have not become too fibrous, so they’re good for straight eating after cooking till a little tender. And for fibers on tougher stems, you just ‘maneuver’ them out of your mouth while eating, like one would with some seeds when eating cherries, for example.

    2. Nop

      Nope, it’s common practice in many Asian cuisines. When I’m cutting broccoli for stir fry, I don’t even discard the skin the way she does, I just trim the dried bits & leaves, then diagonal cut the rest – it stir fries beautifully.

  1. Roberta

    Me, too. I love the trimmed stems of broccoli roasted in the oven with olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika. Then I eat it with a squirt or two of lemon juice and, often, a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche. It’s very decadent! I’m sure cauliflower will be just as good. Um, um, good!

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  3. Dorach

    Funny, I just discovered these through mum-in-law who looked horrified that I threw away the stump. I agree it is a very yummy part of brocolli, super tender & sweet! 🙂 Will never throw them out now.

  4. Alison

    I use a veggie peeler to get rid of the tough outer layer and chop the tender inside of the stalk. Mixed it right in to a broccoli rice casserole.

  5. Lisa Kent

    When it comes to cooking, i always throw away tender part of broccoli. But for soup, every section of the brocoli is same to me.

  6. lori @

    Guilty as charged! I admit it. I have tossed the stalks, but no more! Plus, I always kinda resented paying for something at the market that we didn’t even eat. I look at broccoli in a while new light. Thanks so much!

  7. Jena

    I often don’t bother peeling the stalk–just chop it all up (not the woody parts, of course) & toss it in–salad, stirfry, whatever.

  8. Barbara

    I’m not alone! Somebody else likes the stems! I’m grinning from ear to ear! I give all my florets to my Hubs, and happily eat the stems. I gag on florets because I can’t handle the texture unless it is so finely chopped, cooked to total softness, and covered in cheese that I can’t feel it on the roof of my mouth. I like the flavor, and the health benefits are such that I really try, but some things just don’t go down well, so we really should try other parts of those things when possible!

  9. Tracey @ Don't Mess with Mama

    Great post. I peel the outer layer and then stir fry the broccoli stem. It’s so delicious. There are a ton of vegetable “discards” that people throw away that can be reused. I usually save them to make a homemade broth.

  10. Ana

    I actually cut them into chunks and freeze them either for green smoothies or for veggie stocks. And i just cut off the tough ends, and the whole stalk goes into my freezer 🙂

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  12. Kathleen

    Wow.. I never knew that people threw the stem part away. I have always peeled it and used it in whatever I use the heads in. Really.. I never knew.. HA.

  13. Victoria

    Our broccoli is always “trees” not florets, and I use the thick part of the stem as well, all except the bottom inch or so. Raw, boiled, steamed … it doesn’t matter, it’s my favourite part.

  14. Maria

    I used to be guilty of this too until I saw an episode of Jacques Pepin show on PBS & decided to give them a try. Now I like the stems more than the crown. Give it a try, peeps! They are really good!

  15. Janice

    I love the stems! I prefer them over the florets, which was perfect for me as a kid because my sister ate the florets while I ate all the stems. I’ve heard the stems are actually more nutritious than the florets…

  16. Roe Zub

    I have been saving stems for a very long time, I trim um and cut an prep and I store in freezer ready for soup or roasting etc. I also save all the parm cheese rinds and freeze them and throw into my gravy and soups , virtually anything , stem sisters unite!

  17. Mandy

    You’ve done a wonderful service to the world by spreading the word: save the stalks! (: I like to grate (or finely chop) them and egg them into frittata egg muffins and stir fries. I also enjoy them simply steamed or roasted! (Broccoli oven fries?!)

  18. AnnJ

    I also prefer the stems to the crowns. For the last few years, my supermarket has been selling “broccoli crowns,” and I have to search hard to find those that still have enough stems to satisfy me. The stems (and the non-floweret parts of the cauliflower) are very much like kohlrabi.

    However, my FAVORITE part are the leaves of the broccoli and the cauliflower. I winced when you discarded the broccoli leaves in your video. I chop them up and add them to whatever I’m cooing, or leave them whole and crisp them up in the oven.

    Jaden, I’d like to say again how much I enjoy your newsletter, both your cooking notes and tales of your life with your family.

  19. Pauline Matte

    Thank you very much for your video showing how to cut and keep most of the parts of the brocoli and cauliflower!

  20. Kjell

    I use the broccoli stalks in my chili. Trim off the outer layer. Large dice the inner part. Toss chunks into the chili as it is cooking.

  21. Margot Maitland

    The stem is great Julienned and used in a stir fry, or with Julienned orange and yellow peppers as a side Veg. I NEVER throw it away.

  22. Rick

    Definitely going to do this tonight !!
    What should I do…Roast or Stir Fry ?
    Tough Decision.

  23. Stephanie

    I thought it was common knowledge that the broccoli stem was good. But then I was watching my future mother in law make broccoli and SHE THREW THE WHOLE THING AWAY! I was horrified. My parents raised me always peeling it and cutting “broccoli pennies”.

    1. Casey

      Did you get it out of the trash? Ha ha, no really…I would have (and just washed it off).

      I think it’s good for people to experience poverty, more or less, so that they can be grateful and not wasteful. We are so used to our modern conveniences that we take everything for granted.

      As a side note to everyone, that’s not real olive oil! None of those major brands are. Go to

  24. Anna

    I always eat all of the broccoli (and cauliflower). My kids like the florets, not the stems –yeah, more for me!

  25. Joy

    I really like the chicken and broccoli recipes. I need to cut the salt factor, so is there a way to cut it and still have good tastes?? Thanks

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