November is the time that I start harvesting broccoli in my garden. Because I grow broccoli from seeds; I can plant the seedlings in my garden beds for September, October, November, December and January. This will insure that I have leaves to pick from October through May and fresh crowns from November through May.
Wait a minute, did she say leaves? Yes, I heard you ask – I did say leaves. I watch my animals. When they get into my garden they go right for the leaves. Now, so do I. I trim the lower leaves off of the plant starting in October. I freeze them, or mix them up with coconut aminos to make “Broccoli chips”. Why not? They are full of vitamins and minerals too. I put the frozen leaves into smoothies or stir fries. I crunch them up and put them into soups and sauces. I even dehydrate them as part of my “magical green powder”. Everything green goes in that stuff.
The reason that I started trimming off the lower leaves in the first place is as follows. Broccoli grows during the season that we have less sun. I plant intensively, so the large leaves of the broccoli shade the carrots and cabbages that are underneath.
During the warmer months- this is an amazing trick to keep the soil cool and moist- the large leaves act as an umbrella. But during the winter; this can cause overgrowth of fungi, and the little plants underneath would appreciate some air and sunshine.
To be perfectly honest, I get too many broccoli leaves from my garden-so I share them with my chickens, ducks, pig. The sheep and goats that are not currently in milk love them too. But feeding cruciferous to ruminants will spoil the taste of the milk.
I know- you are still stuck on the broccoli chips. So here is the recipe for you.
You can make these from any of the cruciferous veggie leaves. Think Broccoli, Cauliflower, cabbage and brussel’s sprouts leaves.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Line some sheet trays with parchment paper.
1 Tblsp of coconut oil and 2 Tblsp of coconut aminos. Brush it on both sides of your leaves. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
Let cool and eat them all up.
Hooray for Broccoli chips!
See you next week when we see what else is growing in Donna’s Desert Garden.