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Are You Wasting These 7 Vegetables?

Are You Wasting These 7 Vegetables?

Since I started growing my own vegetables in my garden, I’ve been really interested in eating as much of the plants as possible. I hate throwing food away and when it’s something you’ve nurtured from tiny seeds, the urge not to waste food is even stronger. Now, I realize just how much edible food I used to throw away, because I didn’t think to eat it.

There were seven tasty veggies that I was almost completely wasting! Are you in the habit of doing the same?

Here are 7 vegetables that you might be wasting, and what to do with them:

1. Carrot tops

There’s no need to waste the lovely leaves on carrots! Have you noticed how they look a lot like flat leaf parsley? They taste similar too. It’s a pleasantly ‘green’ taste, and can be used wherever you’d normally go with leafy herbs.

2. Squash and potato skins/peels

There aren’t many vegetables I bother to peel anymore, apart from sweet corn and fava beans (broad beans). I often feel to lazy to do it, but I also tell myself it’s because much of the nutrition and flavour is in or just under the skins.

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I also love roasting pumpkin or butternut squash with the skins on, and then eating the skin. They are delicious and easy to chew since they’re well cooked!

I once did a taste test of potatoes roasted with and without skins. The unpeeled ones were just bursting with potato flavour, and I have not peeled them since.

3. Beet leaves and stems

Small beet leaves are great served raw in salads, but when the leaves get larger, cooking them to soften the texture.

A fantastic method is to wash the beet leaves and stems, and then chop. Chop the stems finely so they’ll cook faster. Next, pan fry them in a little oil with garlic, just until everything is tender.

4. Fava bean leaves

During the last planting season, I was really late in planting my fava beans, therefore I hardly had actual beans. It wasn’t the end of the world because I still had some of the leaves. They have a super fresh bean flavour that I adore. The texture can be a little limp though, so mix fava bean leaves with other salad leaves.

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They are lovely cooked in a pan until just wilted with a little garlic, oil, and a splash of water.

5. Swiss chard stalks

You can either set aside the chard stalks (silver beets) to cook separately, or chop and sauté them in oil with a little garlic until they’re almost tender, and then add the leaves.

6. Broccoli & cauliflower stems

When cooking broccoli or cauliflower, finely slice the stems and treat them exactly the same as the florettes.

7. Broccoli leaves

When you’re growing your own broccoli, you’ll have access to the mature leaves. Treat them the same as you would kale.

If you’re buying broccoli you may get it with the tiny leaves attached. Simply handle these leaves the same as the rest of the head.

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Here’s a Recipe You May Like to Try:

Roast Chicken with Carrot Top Pesto Recipe

Chicken and carrot pesto

    Serves 2
    For the pesto:
    1 bunch baby carrot tops
    1 bunch flat leaf parsley
    1 small clove garlic
    2 handfuls pine nuts
    1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1 large handful grated parmesan

    1. Whizz carrot tops, parsley, garlic and nuts in a food processor until finely chopped.

    2. With the motor running pour in the oil. Stir in parmesan. Taste and season if needed.

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    For the chicken:
    4 chicken thigh fillets
    1 bunch baby carrots
    1 head garlic, broken into individual cloves, skins still on
    carrot top pesto (above) to serve

    1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F).

    2. Place chicken, carrots and garlic in a roasting pan. Drizzle with some oil and sea salt.

    3. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink.

    4. Serve hot with carrot top pesto on top.

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    Last Updated on September 20, 2018

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

    If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

    1. Breathe

    The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

    • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
    • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
    • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

    Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

    2. Loosen up

    After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

    Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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    3. Chew slowly

    Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

    Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

    Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

    4. Let go

    Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

    The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

    It’s not. Promise.

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    Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

    Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

    21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

    5. Enjoy the journey

    Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

    Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

    6. Look at the big picture

    The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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    Will this matter to me…

    • Next week?
    • Next month?
    • Next year?
    • In 10 years?

    Hint: No, it won’t.

    I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

    Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

    7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

    You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

    Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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    8. Practice patience every day

    Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

    • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
    • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
    • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

    Final thoughts

    Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

    Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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