6 Vegetables to Repurpose Instead of Compost

Any vegetable gardener can tell you that a lot of plant matter ends up in the compost pile. Likewise, the majority of home cooks know that much of the produce they buy ends up in the form of trimmings and peels that never get eaten.

There’s an increasing passion for restricting our food waste at home, kindled both by conservation and mindfulness. If you invest the time in getting a food plant to grow, you want to eat as much of it as possible. Following are some interesting ways to consume plant parts before they become compost.

1. Kale, mustard and collard greens stems. Most stems of leafy vegetables are edible even though the recipes instruct you to throw them away. You can trim the bottoms off the stems and slice the rest thinly crosswise, which adds an attractive component to cooked greens. The flesh is somewhat sweeter than their leafy parts.

2. Radish greens. Radish greens are delicious, edible greens that we regularly throw out. Similar to spinach, they cook fast and shrivel down significantly, so make sure to add them to a pan with other greens toward the end of cooking. Radish greens have a very short shelf life, so if you plan to cook them you will need to do so within a day or two of buying the radishes.

3. Carrot tops. Carrot top pesto is becoming increasing popular. Use the green lacy fronds of carrots as you would basil leaves to make perfectly great tasting pesto.

4. Lettuce cores. When you make a salad with head lettuce, such as romaine or Boston, cut out the core, thinly slice it and add those pieces to the salad. The bitter flavor is suggestive of Belgian endive or chicory. The resilient crunch adds an interesting element to traditional tossed salads, perfect for a picnic!

5. Tomato leaves. Though once thought to be toxic, the bitter leaves of tomato plants are edible. They will make your tomato sauces emerge with an unmistakable scent. Just slip a few tomato leaves into your sauce like you would with oregano or basil.

6. Celery leaves. The yellow inner stalks near the center of a bunch of celery have a buttery texture, with an assertive bite that awakens the flavor of chopped and tossed salads. Use them as you would a fresh, leafy herb. You can also add the tiny, leafy inner celery stalks to stocks and soups, but be conservative because they are potent.

If you love looking at familiar ingredients in new ways, discovering different uses for what usually lands in the trash or rubbish heap is a tiny thrill and inspiring challenge—you’ll find unexpected flavors and textures that make you rethink the common, blasé produce we all take for granted.

About Carrie

A SAHM who loves her life :)

Posted on June 23, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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