Sometimes we get root vegetables without their green tops attached, but other times, we get the whole food experience. Our habit is to cut off the vegetable tops and toss them away. But did you know that some of the greens that you’re throwing out can actually be used in recipes and are actually incredibly nutritious?


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Turn vegetable tops into delicious dishes.

1. Daikon

I love daikon, and I love daikon even more with the long, luscious green tops attached. They’re perfect for sautéing with any protein foods like ground meat or pressed tofu. But the secret is to brine the green tops. Soak them in a bowl with water and add lots of salt. The ratio is about one tablespoon to one cup of water. Let it soak for a night or two before chopping them up and sautéing them! Shout out to my mom for this epic trick.

2. Carrot

No, carrot tops are not toxic. They’re 100% edible and are actually quite delicious. Although slightly bitter, the green tops are refreshing, herbal, and a little earthy. They can be sautéed as they are in place of any greens. They’re also a popular alternative to parsley, which means they can be a great ingredient to churn up your own version of pesto.

3. Radish

Radish tops are not for the faint of heart, but if you’re a fan of the spiciness and pungent elements of arugula, you might have just found a perfect kitchen hack! Use radish greens in place of arugula anywhere—in pasta, in sandwiches, in salads. You do you.

4. Beet

Beets rarely come with their long beautiful green top and stem, but when it does, cherish them! You might have mistaken the tops as chard at first, and that’s probably the best way to think of beet tops. The texture and flavour are both similar between the two, which means there are countless ways to use them. Don’t believe me? Here are twenty different ways to start you off.

5. Turnip

What do turnip greens, broccoli, and kale all have in common? They’re all part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which means you can bet that turnip greens are super healthy! As an excellent source of many vitamins and essential minerals, it’s a wonder how people went for the root part of the vegetable instead—no shade to turnips, but seriously. Turnip greens can have a stronger and more bitter flavour, so wherever you choose to use these healthy greens, pair them with flavourful ingredients that can stand up well to them.

6. Celery

I toss those beautiful green leaves everywhere! Seriously, they are so aromatic and delicious. Try leaving the leaves on the next time you’re cooking with celery and see how much they can enhance the flavour, whether it’s a salad, stew, or soup. And if you’re making clear soups or broth-based soups, add the celery leaves as the soup is ready to be served. It’ll add a nice refreshing and aromatic flavour.

Do you have any tricks and tips on how to use vegetable tops that many are guilty of tossing away? Share with us in the comments!


6 Vegetable Tops you Should Stop Throwing out and Start Eating! #zerowaste

Daniel is a Digital Marketing and Content Strategist at SPUD. He graduated from UBC with a degree in English and International Relations with a focus on environmental topics. A wordsmith by day and a bookman by night, he's a self-proclaimed gastronomic snob, a buck-a-shuck addict, a sub-par skier, and a devoted kingsguard of the oxford comma. He also frequents the dog park with a schnauzer named Duke. | Instagram: @dannnyellow

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