Gardein_Blog_Main_Food_Tradition_800x340Don’t toss those carrot tops and broccoli stalks! These often overlooked greens are not only edible, but tasty, and one of the easiest ways to help save your budget and the planet!

Did you Know…

In the US, about one-third of available food is thrown away every year – an estimated 133 billion pounds of food. The resources spent going into this food, like water and oil for transportation go to waste when this food gets trashed. Most of it ends up in landfills, where it begins to produce greenhouse gases and contribute to the global warming effect. These emissions can be drastically cut back by reducing waste, and making good use of items like vegetable greens.

Making good use of vegetable greens helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, helps conserve resources, and saves money!

Learning to cook with the vegetable parts that usually get cut off and discarded also means you get more bang for your buck! Here are 3 different ways to use those snubbed stalks and stems!

Stir Up Some Homemade Vegetable Stock

Nothing says comfort like homemade soup from scratch! Boil tough broccoli stalks and kale stems alone or with other vegetables to make a flavorful vegetable stock. Vegetable stock is a kitchen essential, and can be used as a base for a wide variety of dishes, like a hearty beefless barley and chanterelle soup.

Blanche or Sauté for a Healthy Side

Some stems and stalks are often discarded for their bitter taste, but bitter greens are usually packed with antioxidants and other nutrients. The bitter taste can be cut down by blanching or sautéing with oil and seasoning. Serve as a side, or serve under a main dish like this Korean beefless tips bowl.

Perfect Pesto

Leafy greens are perfect for pesto, and the fine texture of pesto means the toughness of stalks and stems (like broccoli or kale) will melt away. Sub in your leftover greens for the basil in your favorite pesto recipe.

 

Sources:

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/09/16/440825159/its-time-to-get-serious-about-reducing-food-waste-feds-say
http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/beet-and-carrot-greens-how-to-use-them-instead-of-toss-them/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/19/reduce-food-waste_n_6186410.html
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/27/the-pleasure-of-bitter-greens/?_r=0