Next time you’re cooking vegetables and are about to toss out those vegetable parts STOP they are perfectly edible, and are packed with nutrition and flavor.
Here are some tips and tricks to make the most of your veggies. They’ll help you eat more of a variety of vegetables. You’ll also reduce food waste and save money.
Roasted pumpkin seeds are a fall favorite, but you can roast seeds from any winter squash, including butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash. Squash seeds are a great source of protein.
To roast, scoop out seeds, rinse and drain. Let them dry, spread flat on a baking pan and bake at 300 F for about 20-30 minutes until golden brown.
Buy beets with the greens still attached and it’s like getting two vegetables in one. Beet greens contain loads of vitamin C and beta-carotene — nutrients linked to lower cancer risk.
Separate the greens from the beets by cutting just above where the stem begins. They’re great sautéed in olive oil, with garlic, salt, and pepper to taste. Or combine beets and greens in one dish.
No need to toss broccoli stems, they are delicious raw or added to stir-fries, stems are rich in cancer-protective vitamin C and fiber.
Use a vegetable peeler or large knife to remove the thick, tough outer layer of the broccoli stem then incorporate broccoli stems and florets into the same dish.
Broccoli leaves look a lot like collard greens but taste sweeter. Dark green broccoli leaves are rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene and sulforaphane, a phytochemical with anti-cancer properties.
Prepare these nutritional powerhouses like you would any other green. Braising is a great option The braising technique works for any green.
Potato and sweet potato peels
Potato peels are the perfect way to add extra fiber, nutrients, and texture to any dish. You’ll get more minerals and about a third more fiber by eating the skin.
Leave the peels on when mashing potatoes, this works particularly well for red potatoes. You can also leave the peel on when baking or roasting potatoes or sweet potatoes. Be sure to scrub the vegetables well if you’re planning to eat the peel.
Sweet potato leaves
These leaves are tender and mild. They are also a good source of vitamins A and K, and carotenoids.
Look for sweet potato leaves at your farmer’s market or at local gardens, and try them lightly braised.
Please note that sweet potato leaves are edible, some potato leaves and stems can be poisonous. If you’re not sure; avoid them.
Use the whole cauliflower, including the stem. Cut all the way through a cauliflower head from the top to stem, peel the stem with a potato peeler and add to the same dish.