Sticking with the Stems: 3 more reasons eat your greens! | Veggiecation© a Culinary-Nutrition Education Program About Vegetables
Monday, 14 September 2015 12:08

Sticking with the Stems: 3 more reasons eat your greens!

Here’s a weird request: think of your garbage can before and after you create a meal. Is usually filled with discarded vegetable scraps? If that’s the case, we will let you in on a little secret about food waste and root vegetables. Can you guess what it is?

Its actually pretty simple…eat the whole vegetable. Save money, add some nutritional value, and reduce food waste by eating both the root AND the greens of veggies like carrots, beets, and radishes. A lot of people don’t realize that this is even an option and how could they? Root vegetables are almost never served with their greens attached and recipes rarely call for the stem/greens of a vegetable. But we’re here to tell you that its not only OK to eat the stems, it’s something you should absolutely do!


Reasons why you should be eating the greens of root veggies:


1. You can save money. If you’re anything like us, you want to make sure you are getting your greens in pretty much all the time. Rather than purchase a green vegetable in addition toyour root vegetables, you can use the greens you already have.


2. Added nutritional value. The nutritional content in the greens is huge. Health benefits vary depending on the root vegetable but nutrition density is surprisingly high.


3. Reduce waste...because if we can, we should. When one third of the food in the U.S. is lost or wasted, we should want to be a part of the solution whenever possible.


Eating the root veggie:


The stems are thought of as being bitter and we can’t deny this; the stems of carrots, beets, and radishes do have a slight spiciness to them. However, with the right amount of culinary care, you can transform the stems into delicious dishes. 


  • A simple sauté with garlic, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice will cut down the bitterness of the greens. (This works best with beets and radishes)
  • Turn the greens into a pesto. Get rid of the bitterness by boiling them first. (Try this with carrot greens)
  • Blend everything up into a dressing – check out Our Emerald City Dressing below! (Recipes calls for radish greens)

Radish NB


Our Emerald City Dressing (Radish Dressing)



Cutting Board


Measuring Spoon

YIELD: 5 Servings



4 – 6 radishes cut in half

½ cup of radish tops (leaves)

1 tbsp garlic, chopped

2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp tahini paste

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp water

Salt & pepper to taste



In a blender place all of the ingredients and blend well.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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