Uncommon Edible Parts of Vegetable Plants

Vegetables grown at home

If you grew up in the city, chances are you only knew carrots as those long orange veggies. You probably never even thought about their leaves until you saw Bugs Bunny chomping down on one. When you buy veggies at the store, you usually only see the popular bits – the ones that are easy to transport and sell.

Take tomatoes, for example. The plant itself isn’t edible, so there’s no waste when you pick the tomatoes. But with stuff like root veggies and onions, you gotta pull up the whole plant when it’s harvest time. And often, only the main part gets snatched up, leaving the rest – which could be just as tasty and nutritious – in the bin.

Even if the store does carry all the edible bits, we’re so used to cooking only certain parts. Recipes usually call for just a fraction of the veggie, and the rest gets tossed. It’s a bummer because we’re missing out on some good eats!

Not knowing what parts are edible leads to a ton of food waste. But here’s the thing: you can cut down on waste by using all the edible bits. And if you’re growing your own veggies, even better! You’ll have access to all those parts that never make it to the store shelves.

Sure, you might need to grow certain veggies to get your hands on some of those less common edible bits. But others you can find at any store, or you can even regrow some from scraps. So, why not give it a shot and make the most of your veggies? You’ll be cutting down on waste and expanding your culinary horizons at the same time!

Carrot Leaves

Carrots with their leaves

Carrots aren’t just about the roots; their leafy greens are packed with nutrients too, like vitamins A, C, and K, minerals, and antioxidants. Carrot leaves have a slight carrot flavor and can be used in soups, smoothies, and even pesto for an extra boost of nutrition and flavor. Plus, using carrot leaves reduces food waste.

While they’re not commonly sold in stores due to shelf-life issues, if you grow your own carrots, don’t toss those greens – they’re just as nutritious as the carrots themselves! So, next time you’re cooking with carrots, give the greens a chance and enjoy the added health benefits.

Read more about using carrot leaves.

Similar to carrots, the leaves of a lot of different types are all discarded but they are most definitely edible.

Beetroot Leaves

Beetroot Leaves

Beetroot again is a root vegetable whose root is popular but its leaves are almost always left out of dishes. Beetroot leaves aren’t too delicate so are sometimes sold along with the root in stores. Despite being available to both those who grow beetroot at home and those who buy it, beetroot leaves are usually discarded.

Beetroot leaves are ideal to be sautéed and made into a salad. The purplish-red and slightly harder stems of the leaves add in extra color and texture, so don’t be afraid to use these parts as well.

Uncommon Edible Parts of Vegetable Plants
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