Pumpkin lattes are so last season; Broccolatte is the new sensation

A broccoli latte brewed at Common Folk cafe. Image CSIRO

A broccoli latte brewed at Common Folk cafe. Image CSIRO

One cafe in Melbourne, Commonfolk Coffee, has already begun serving the broccoli powder in its lattes.

It sounds... rather more broccoli-flavoured than many might usually prefer their coffee to be, and doesn't take into account drinkers who prefer their brew without milk.

The powder itself is a remarkable innovation led by CSIRO, Australia's federal agency for scientific research, along with the nonprofit horticulture organization Hort Innovation, in which broccoli pieces that would otherwise not make it to market because of imperfect form are being salvaged and turned into a kind of superfood powder.

"The broccoli powder has already been used for the production of extruded snacks with high vegetable content. Prototype extruded snacks with 20-100 per cent vegetable content were displayed during National Science Week at the Queen Victoria Market previous year and were well-received by parents and even by kids". Common Folk Coffee Company has been cranking out these weird green and brown broccoli-infused java drinks to what CSIRO is calling "mixed reviews".

Scientist say just two spoons of this broccoli powder in your morning coffee would be the equivalent of one serve of vegetables.

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“Research is showing the average Australian is still not eating the recommended daily intake of vegetables a day, and options such as broccoli powder will help address this, ” he said. The stuff is made of 100 percent whole broccoli, and its creators say the pre-treatment and drying processes used allow the end product to retain the natural color, flavor and nutrients of the fresh vegetable.

The powder is part of a larger project that is looking into food waste reduction - creating products from veg that's too "ugly" for sale.

According to the researchers, Broccoli was the best candidate (out of all vegetables) to break down into a powder ingredient because it "contains protein, fibre and health-promoting bioactive phytochemicals".

"Eat your vegetables!" may not have been a prevalent command - nor an obeyed one - among Australian parents.

"The CSIRO team and Hort Innovation are discussing potential commercial applications with produce growers and grower groups across Australia who are interested in getting the powder on the market". "They will also be contributing to healthier lifestyles!"

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