A straightforward answer is ‘yes’-carrot leaves are edible! If you are a carrot eater, whenever you buy fresh carrots, choose the ones that have tops as you can maximize them by making soups, sauces, or side dishes. Besides its health benefits, you are also reducing food waste.
Carrot leaves are nutritious, edible leafy green that is also a great substitute for herbs and light lettuces like spinach and parsley. If you sauté carrot tops with garlic, red pepper, and olive oil, it can be a great stand-alone side dish. Carrot tops are very flavorful and nutritious. Some other recipes you can make out of it are carrot-top pesto that you can serve with soups, roasted veggies, salads, or simply spread on toast!
Carrots are available year-round because they are easy to grow. Garden-grown carrots have a good texture are more flavorful. They are also very popular veggies, a long-lasting root vegetable that can be grown in many climates. Young carrots have a big spray of leafy greens; they are soft and sweet with a hint of herby flavor.
USES FOR CARROT GREENS
If you are new to cooking, carrot tops can be an excellent addition to your kitchen recipes. They are easy to prepare yet very nutritious and flavorful.
Carrot greens are not as versatile as other leafy greens since it has a distinctly earthy, sharp, and bitter taste. The stem’s thicker part is also a bit tough and fibrous; it’s better to use the feathery carrot greens and keep the stem for cooking vegetable stock. You can make salsa verde or chimichurri using fresh carrot greens.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CARROT LEAVES
Did you know that carrot greens are healthier than carrot roots? Carrot tops or their leaves have six times more Vitamin C than their roots! Because it’s also a good source of vitamin K that cannot be found in its roots, carrot greens are healthy for the bones and aids wound healing and blood clotting.
The bitter taste of the carrot leaves is due to the high amount of potassium. The leaves of carrots are suitable for adults and older people because the potassium they contain helps prevent osteoporosis, lower blood pressure, and promote a healthy metabolism. Carrot leaves are also rich in calcium and chlorophyll, which is an excellent source of magnesium. Magnesium supports healthy blood pressure, strong bones, and muscles.
CARROT GREENS TIPS
If you can’t resist that excitement to cook, here are some of the most helpful tips when cooking carrot greens:
Clip them off right away. If you want to keep the carrot roots and leaves fresh, store them separately. When you buy veggies in the market and some bunch of carrots, choose the bright green tops, clip off the greens right away and wrap them up and store them in the crisper drawer in your fridge, or freeze them to make vegetable stock.
Wash and Dry them properly. Carrots love to grow in loose soil with lots of organic matter and compost, so if you are to cook carrots freshly harvested from your garden, wash them extra clean! Dry them using a kitchen towel or you may use a salad spinner before chopping.
Get rid of the tough stems. The harder stems of carrots are seldom used in the kitchen except when you are making stock. They can add delectable flavor to vegetable stock, but they’re too tough to use in sauces and salads.
There are rumors that carrot leaves are poisonous-they are not! Carrot greens do contain alkaloids, unlike bell peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes; carrot leaves are perfectly safe and nutritious to eat.
CARROT GREENS RECIPES
Cashew Carrot Top Pesto
Pesto is always a famous and recurring theme in the carrot green recipe world, and for a good reason! You can have a cheesy cashew carrot top-a delicious topping for perfectly roasted carrots.
Curried Carrot Fritters
This healthy fritter recipe combines shredded carrots, curry spices, and carrot tops. What’s the best of all, and a great surprise? They are baked — not fried!
Roasted Baby Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto
This carrot top pesto recipe has a nice zesty flavor and is best served over top of the carrots themselves!
Carrot Top Pesto
This carrot top pesto truly lets carrot tops shine. The carrot greens are perfectly blended with garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. You could toss this pesto with pasta for a real carrot top treat.
Sounds new? But this is a must-try refreshing, healthy and delicious carrot margarita! You’ll surely be impressed. It has a vibrant color that is so attractive to the eyes and the flavor is simply appealing to the palate. This margarita recipe is so quick and easy to whip up!
Carrot top chimichurri
Of course, one of the stars when it comes to carrot greens-the fresh and flavorful sauce, chimichurri! It is great served over roasted or grill veggies as well as grilled steak, chicken, pork or fish!