Delicious, meet nutritious: upcycled-vegie gelato

At the Hort Connections conference in June, more than 3,000 visitors sampled a healthy, sustainable new frozen dessert made using surplus vegetables that would otherwise have been lost to the supply chain.

The bespoke gelato flavours – cauliflower-vanilla bean and pumpkin-gingerbread – were created by FFS partner  Hort Innovation and grower-led vegie-upcycling venture Nutri-V. Each double scoop contains 7g of nutritious vegetable powder, equivalent to a standard 75g serve. Developed in previous research involving Hort Innovation, CSIRO and Nutri-V, the powders can be added to an array of foods and beverages.

“Part of growing vegies can involve ending up with tonnes that do not meet retail specification or … an oversupply or excess stalks and leaves, yet it is all still perfectly nutritious,” explained Nutri-V CEO Raquel Said. “We upcycle that waste into a sustainable yet delicious solution. This ice-cream … is … helping Australians top up their vegie consumption while supporting farmers to reduce waste.”

Finding new ways to curb food waste and encourage people to increase their fruit, vegetable and nut intake is an industry priority, noted Hort Innovation CEO Brett Fifield. “Research shows that 96 per cent of the population do not eat the recommended amount of vegetables each day – which is five to six serves,” Mr Fifield said. “Ice-cream is a popular dessert: why not get a health boost through it? Less than one per cent of hard vegetables, such as pumpkin and cauliflower, are consumed as desserts – maybe this is an untapped market.”

Source: Vegetable icecream: clever consumption or crime against frozen dessert? I Hort Innovation media release, 6 June 2023

Lead image: Hort Innovation CEO Brett Fifield and Nutri-V CEO Rachel Said with samples of their new upcycled-vegie-based gelato at Hort Connections 2023, Credit: Hort Innovation