Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Food You Might Be Throwing Away

Broccoli and cauliflower stems and hearts  can be eaten raw or in a stirfry of just cooked along with the rest of the vegetable. They're a great addition to a salad and a treat to eat out of hand. They're chock full of nutrients, so don't toss them! 

The leaves of both broccoli and cauliflower can be cooked just like any other green. You may not have enough to make a meal at one time, but you can blanch and freeze them and/or add them to other greens. 

If you can find beets with the greens still on them, grab them! Not only will they keep better, but the beet greens have a mild flavor that many will enjoy if they don't like the stronger flavored greens. Eat them with or without a little salt and that's all they really need, but some people like to put butter on them.

You may not realize that carrot tops are edible. They taste a little like carrots but with their own unique flavor, so sample some before deciding. Eat them cooked, in soups, stews or casseroles. You can dehydrate them for use later. 

Radish greens taste a little like a radish, but the texture can put you off if you eat them raw. Cook them like you would any other green and they're good, although you might not get enough from one bunch of radishes. You can blanch and freeze or dehydrate them. If you decide to eat them raw, chop them into small pieces in a salad to minimize the fuzzy texture. Try them anyway. 

Cabbage hearts are another treat somewhat like cauliflower and broccoli. They taste kind of like a mild turnip. I had always trimmed cabbage close to the heart, then cut the heart out of the remaining "stubble," then it occurred to me that even the stubble was edible. Cook it all together if you wish and you won't waste a thing. 

Candied orange peel, anyone? It's a rather expensive ingredient in fancy dishes around the holidays. You can candy them yourself by boiling them in a simple syrup. Dip them in melted chocolate to make a special treat. 

Wash your potatoes before you peel them and the potato peelings can be deep fried quickly to make a great snack. Add a touch of salt or your favorite spice. 

There are many other things we throw away that I won't list here for now. The next time you're preparing vegetables for a meal, think about the scraps that you usually throw away. The chances are they are edible and good food.

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