How To Use Broccoli And Cauliflower From Stem To Florets

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Broccoli and cauliflower are two of the more expensive vegetables on the market today. Despite these being more expensive than your usual sayote, carrot, and cabbage and current food prices that seem to just keep rising, it's best to learn what is edible and what is not when preparing your vegetables. 

The florets or the flowering head are the most favored parts of these two vegetables. However, did you know that you can also prepare and eat the tender stems that you normally discard, too? 

The florets of broccoli and cauliflower are usually the favored parts.
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Yes! The large branch or stem that is topped with the florets is edible! The trick is knowing how much of the broccoli or cauliflower stem you can cut off to get to the tender centers. You can actually tell where to cut when you slice the stem in half exposing the center of it. 

Here are the parts of the broccoli (and cauliflower) stem you need to know: 

The Outer Layer: Stringy

This part of the broccoli and cauliflower stems is fibrous and stringy.
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The outer layer of both the broccoli and cauliflower stem is fibrous or stringy. This is the part that you need to cut off and discard. These will not become tender even after simmering or steaming so it's best to trim them off so you can get to the more tender center. 

To do that, simply use your knife and slice off the outer layer. 

The center: tender

Cut off the stringy outer parts and expose the more tender parts of the broccoli and cauliflower stems.
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The center of the stem is what you're after. Once the outer string bits are removed, this part is what you can chop up into cubes or slices and add to your broccoli or cauliflower dish.

How to cook the stems? Prepare and use this part like you would sayote, carrots, or even potatoes! Add it to chopsuey, your beef with broccoli recipe, potato and cauliflower curry dish, or in a simple roasted veggie dish. This applies to both broccoli and cauliflower so you can interchange these two vegetables in recipes!

So now that you know what parts of the broccoli and caulfilower are edible and what are not-so-edible, try any of these broccoli (or cauliflower!) recipes and cooking tips to make your vegetables worth every peso you spend. 


Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on by submitting your recipe here.

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