Did you know that you can basically eat each and every part of most fruits and vegetables? You just have to know what to do with each nutritious part! Root-to-stem cooking is a great way to decrease food waste while creating new flavorful recipes. Instead of chopping off those leafy stems or pushing onion skins off to the side, save them for other recipes for naturally added flavor!
Check out these simple ways to reduce food waste and utilize all parts of fruits and veggies, from the root to the stem:
- Potato skins – what do you normally do after peeling a potato? Throw away all of that potato skin? No! When life gives you potato skins, make French fries! You can toss the peels in olive oil and seasonings and bake them until they’re crispy.
- Stock – keep a bag of veggie scraps like carrot peels, onion skins, and herb stems in your freezer. When the bag is full, boil in water for your very own, homemade vegetable stock!
- Pickle – pickling is a creative and tangy way to use up those extra vegetable parts. Beet stems, chard stems, and even watermelon rinds can be pickled.
- Ginger peels – ginger peels can be added to broth, blended in juices, or boiled to add a fresh flavor to tea.
- Broccoli stalks – once the outer peel is removed, these crunchy green stalks can be cut up or shredded into salads or roasted with the rest of your veggies.
- Sauces – carrot tops and other green veggie tops make great additions to sauces and salsas. Substitute cilantro in salsa or basil in pesto for carrot tops or kale stems.
- Sautee – beet greens and other tops of root vegetables are great sautéed with herbs and spices and make a tasty addition to any meal.
- Smoothies – use root vegetable greens to add extra vitamins and minerals to smoothies!