Broccoli and cheese are the quintessential combo that makes broccoli actually edible – even for the veggie impaired. Bread in the form of a stick also raise-the-roof-worthy. But paleo broccoli “cheese” sticks that combine the healthy components of broccoli, the savory necessity of cheese, and the soft, finger food love of a bread stick, that both adults and little ones will like? One word – YES.
If you’ve been a loyal follower of Physical Kitchness, you know that I started my son with real ‘adult’ foods right off the bat – also known as baby led weaning. Of course I wasn’t shoving an apple or a piece of steak in his face at 6 months old, but I learned how to incorporate foods like roasted sweet potato wedges, avocado slices, or sliced bananas into his diet while carefully watching him to gage how he was doing with each soft food so I could see what would be ok to introduce next. I then started experimenting with fun combos that were squeaky clean, healthy, and do-able for little mouths with 4 teeth. These spinach and sweet potato tots and cinnamon spinach mini flap jacks were always a hit.
Now that he has a few more teeth and a tenacious appetite, I decided it was time to step up my game! Plus I wanted to make a fun eat that I could enjoy too – whether it was to dunk in my favorite soup, swirl in my runny egg yolk (because runny yolks are the ONLY way).
These paleo broccoli “cheese” sticks are perfect to serve for my little one and to munch on myself. Why the quotations around “cheese”? Because these sticks are dairy-free! I have a special trick to mimic the taste of cheese – a discovery you may have never heard of, but WILL change you life.
Packed with tons of vitamins, easy to make, paleo, whole30 compliant, AND perfect for little mouths? I don’t think broccoli could ever boast such amazingness on its own!
The secret ingredient that makes these paleo broccoli “cheese” sticks worth trying? Nutritional yeast. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t be weirded out – it’s much more appetizing than it sounds. Nutritional yeast is usually found in small yellow flakes or as powder that is packed with B-complex vitamins. However, it’s not an active yeast. Nutritional yeast has a nutty, cheesy-like taste that is often substituted for grated cheese and tastes amazing on roasted vegetables and even popcorn! I find it at my local Whole Foods but most health food stores will carry it, and it’s fairly easy to find purchase online. A little goes a long way, so buying a jar or bag of it will last you months.
Ready to try them yourself? Start by boiling a pot of water and dropping four cups of broccoli florets into the water. Boil 8-10 minutes, until the broccoli is soft. Drain the water and place the florets into a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until the broccoli is broken down. Scrape the broccoli ‘paste’ out of the food processor and into a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, baking powder, and nutritional yeast together. Add the dried ingredients to the broccoli, then add one egg and 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and mix until well combined.
Pour the mixture on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place another piece of parchment paper over the top. Using a rolling pin (or your hands), spread the mixture by pressing it out underneath the top piece of parchment paper (to avoid it sticking) until it’s roughly 1/3 – 1/2 inch thick. Remove the top piece of parent paper. Using a pizza cutter, score the dough into 1″-wide pieces to make sticks. Also score the dough in the middle.
Place into the oven at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the edges are slightly golden and the middle is cooked through. Let cool, then separate the scored pieces into sticks.
You can store these at room temperature for a few days, or to keep longer, place in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I also freezer leftover sticks and thaw when needed. Does the dough kind of look like a pizza crust to you? DING DING – you can also use this for a healthier pizza crust alternative!
Paleo Broccoli “Cheese” Sticks
- Yield: 22 sticks 1x
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the broccoli florets. Boil for 8-10 minutes, until broccoli is soft, then drain the water
- Add the broccoli to a food processor and pulse until broccoli is broken down and scrape the broccoli ‘paste’ out of the food processor and into a medium bowl
- In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and nutritional yeast together
- Add the dried ingredients to the broccoli, then add the egg and apple cider vinegar and mix until well combined
- Pour the mixture on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place another piece of parchment paper over the top. Using a rolling pin (or your hands), spread the down by pressing it out on the top piece of parchment paper (to avoid it sticking) until it’s roughly 1/3 – 1/2 inch thick
- Remove the top piece of parent paper. Using a pizza cutter, score the dough into 1″-wide pieces to make sticks. Also score the dough in the middle
- Place into the oven at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the edges are slightly golden and the middle is cooked through. Let cool, then break the pieces into sticks
- Store at room temperature for a few days, or to keep longer, place in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Freeze any leftover sticks and thaw when needed
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Stella @ Stellicious Life says
Wow, this is a completely unique and new to me combination, love that it is cheesy without any actual dairy cheese! I love broccoli, but Boyfriend doesn’t, will have to try your recipe and see if he likes eating broccoli this way 😉 Thanks and have a lovely weekend!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
Well anything NOOCH-ful <3 I really think I could live off the stuff! I haven't gotten my brother to try it, but my mom was pleasantly surprised 😉
It’s kind of amazing, isn’t it? When I was first introduced to it, I admit I was a little weirded out. But now I never go without it!
Mg McGrath says
i made this twice as i thought i might have made a mistake or missed an ingredient as first batch did not come out crispy though it’s the same the second time around, any idea why this could be?
Hi! I responded to your email, but these are not meant to be crispy. They are more of a bread consistency. You could broil them for a bit to crisp up the edges if desired.
Heather @ Polyglot Jot says
Yum these look so good–i love broccoli cheese combo and cant have dairy these days. Thanks so much for sharing. I’ve not yet tried nutritional yeast but its been on my list of must-buys! This recipe may have been the push i needed to get some!
YES friend, MUST BUY. Especially if you can’t have dairy anymore, nutritional yeast will be a lifesaver when you need a little cheesy fix! I hope you love these!
Giselle Schroer says
These sound great and I love that they freeze well! I’m all about freezer food right now as we prepare for baby #2! Thanks for sharing!
Momma-me toooooo! I did this with my first and it was a lifesaver. I’ll be totally stocking the freezer FULL before my second comes as well. Great minds think alike!
Wonderful idea. I am trying this since I have broccoli in my refrigerator.
Thanks Gunjan! Enjoy!
Interesting recipe with broccoli going in my todo box.
Good call! It’s a to-do that should definitely be made!
linda spiker says
Yum and they look really easy to make!
Now I’m thinking broccoli cheese sticks for breakfast sounds really good!
Right?! You wouldn’t think, but seriously with eggs = da bomb!
Robyn Proctor says
I would never think to make this, so creative and yummy:)
Half the stuff I make I never think to make, it just sorta comes together 😉 Thanks Robyn!
I love broccoli so much more when it involves cheese so these sound perfect!
I don’t think you are alone Charlotte! These are a good compromise of healthy and tasty! Even sans the cheese.
Julia @ Drops of Jules says
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t get enough veggies in my daily eats, but this sounds delicious!
This is a great way to do it! Thanks so much Julia.
Liz @ The Clean Eating Couple says
This is such a cool idea! I want to try this as a way to get in more veggies.. I just bought nutritional yeast the other day – so this is perfect timing!
YES! That is perfect timing! You go Liz – enjoy!
This is so perfect for my almost 2 year old! Can’t wait to try it!
I hope he/she loves these Brittany!
Rosie from Blog To Taste says
Oh yes, I will be making these. I love broccoli, cheese and sticks! Seriously though, these look good and might cure my craving for cheesy crackers and bread sticks, which i cannot have because i am sadly lactose intolerant 🙁
Oh I hope it hits that craving for you Rosie!! I think you can’t go wrong with these beauties. Especially when you’ve been missing all those once beloved, lactose-filled snacks!!
Stacie | RDN says
These looks so delicious! Can’t wait to share them! xo
Thanks Stacie! I hope you love ’em!
Does this work with flax “egg” to make it vegan?
Hi Alex – I haven’t tried it with flax egg, BUT I think it would work! You could also try chia “egg” too. Let me know if you give it a whirl!
Think I can still make these if I don’t have coconut flour only the almond flour?
Hmmm you may need more liquid if you tried with coconut flour since it’s so dense. And you probably will taste a slight coconut flavor. I’d likely stick to almond flour or sub with gluten free flour if possible!
Hello! Can the flour be substituted with oat or all purpose?
I haven’t played with other flours but my guess is that oat flour would work!
I made these for my 1 1/2 year old and I had a hard time not eating them for myself. Both my son and I LOVED these and they were so quick and easy to make! These are definitely going to be a repeat recipe to make!
I’m so glad these were a hit!