Root to Shoot Edibility: How To Avoid Wastage By Eating Edible Parts of Vegetables & Herbs

We have all heard about eating vegetables & herbs from "root to shoot" to avoid wastage, but how often do we practice it? Everyday, we throw away cauliflower & broccoli stalks, carrot & celery leaves & potato skins. Agreed a few of us do use these bits as compost for plants but wouldn't it be nicer to consume all edible parts of veggies & herbs? Yes, its time to really love your vegetables &  practice root to shoot edibility. Let's look at how in simple ways we can avoid wastage by eating edible parts of vegetables & herbs that we often throw away. In addition to reducing costs, these simple tricks shall add extra flavour to your everyday cooking. Also, did we tell you that this will help us enjoy extra nutrients? Win, win we say.

Everyday our modern kitchens use only the choice morsels discarding some edible parts of plants. With a little extra work & a bit of innovation, we can use almost the entire plant in a few cases. Although, thread with a little caution. Wash the vegetables & herbs well to get rid of any dirt lodged in the produce. Use a vegetable brush/scrubber to remove dirt & wash under running water. Moreover, removing surface pesticides is equally important & here is how you can do it at home. Besides, do experiment with a small quantity at first to rule out any allergies one may have.  

Let's look at a few ideas for using your vegetables & herbs from root to the shoot:

Pea Peals (Mattar ke Chilke):

Winters are a great time to enjoy fresh flavorful peas! But have you also tried eating the tender pea peals after removing the thick fibrous vein & the papery cover? Make an easy matar ke chilke ki sabzi with aloo to wow your loved ones. In the same manner, make an easy chaat with them. Dunk cleaned pea peels in chickpea batter seasoned with ajwain & Indian spices & fry. Arrange on a plate, sprinkle green chutney, date & tamarind chutney & some chaat masala. Enjoy!

Beetroot leaves: 

Just like beetroot, the leaves are nutritious too. Wash & chop beetroot leaves & add them to salads. In addition, the leaves can be added to your dals to make them more nutritious. A delicious stir fry with beet greens, chopped garlic, cooking olive oil, chili flakes & salt shall make your meal a healthy affair. We found a great recipe to make beetroot leaves thoran that is a must try & a great way to practice root to shoot edibility.

Carrot Leaves:

Though not easy to find, carrot leaves are a surprising delight! Make an easy pesto out of washed & chopped carrot leaves. Add them to moong dal while cooking to add a burst of flavour & nutrients. Besides, they taste great in salads & while making veg burger patties too! 

Celery leaves: 

Apart from the stem, celery leaves are tasty too! Wash & chop celery leaves finely & add to a salad. Moreover, they can be cook along with chopped onions & used as a base for soups.

Cauliflower & Broccoli stalks:

Peel off the thick outer skin of cauliflower/broccoli stalks to reveal a core that is crisp in texture. Finely chop the stalk & add a dash of lemon juice, little cooking olive oil, chili powder & salt to taste for an instant pickle. Additionally, the stalks can be finely chopped & added to an Asian stir fry. Use a spiralizer on the tender core & add extra flavour if you are making a coleslaw.

Coriander stems:

Flavorful & robust, coriander stems should be on top of our stems we east list. Wash & chop the stems finely & add to a stir fry shortly before the end of cooking. Moreover, they can be added to soups to add some zing.

Parsley stems:

Just like coriander stems, finely chopped parsley stems can be used in adding flavour to dips, salads, broths, soups & more. 

Pumpkin seeds:

Roasted pumpkin seeds are a great guilt free snack. Furthermore, they are packed with vitamins & minerals too. Here is a great recipe from BBC good food for easy roasted pumpkin seeds.

Potato skins:

Now, who does not love potatoes. Leaving the skin on in a few curry dishes like aloo mutter is a great way to enjoy more nutrients. Do wash the potatoes carefully with a vegetable brush to dislodge dirt & grime. Make a great snack by roasting potato skins with a little olive oil, salt & ground pepper in an oven.

So, what's your favorite way to use some edible parts of common vegetables & herbs? Do tell us in the comments section.