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Vegetable superfood for baking, soup, even coffee

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PEOPLE who don't fancy eating broccoli can still reap all its health benefits thanks to a special powder version of the much-maligned vegetable that can even be stirred into coffee.

Bunches of broccoli deemed too imperfect looking to be stocked on shop shelves have been ground up and turned into a powder by science agency CSIRO and agriculture group Hort Innovation.

Every two tablespoons of powder contains about one serve of broccoli, a vegetable health experts consider a superfood because it's packed with dozens of nutrients.

One Melbourne cafe has started experimenting with the powder by stirring it into coffees.

Hort Innovation chief executive John Lloyd says the powder is also ideal to mix into smoothies, soups, and baked goods.

"Research shows 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 on Wednesday.

The powder and a range of snacks are being developed as part of a research project that aims to reduce vegetable waste by creating healthy food products from "ugly" produce.

It's hoped that the powder could help boost the vegetable intake of Australians after a CSIRO survey last year found four out of five adults aren't eating enough fruit and veg to meet national dietary guidelines.

The CSIRO's lead researcher on the broccoli powder project, Mary Ann Augustin, said the next step is to develop the powder further and test it among a wider group of consumers.

"The powders are an option for farmers who want to produce value-added vegetable ingredients for the lucrative functional food markets," Dr Augustin said.

"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."

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