Carrot Greens

You throw them out, don’t you?

That’s okay. For years, we did too. They’re bitter and kind of unappealing, unless you’re one of those people that likes chewing on raw sprigs of green stuff. (Okay, we admit we do).

But there’s gotta be some good nutrition in those bitter, scraggly-looking greens, right?

There is. Turns out, carrot greens are a powerhouse of potassium (which can help lower your blood pressure) and vitamin K (which can help prevent heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, dementia and numerous other organ problems). There is also six times as much vitamin C in the greens as in the root (the carrot). Who knew?

The bitterness is a by-product of the alkaloids in the leaves, and is probably a defense mechanism of the plant to prevent being eaten by grazing animals.

But what if there was a way around that defense mechanism, so you can get to all the good nutrition hiding underneath?

Here it is: blanching and soaking.

Blanching consists of briefly cooking something then shock cooling it. It is used on all sorts of things to remove unpleasant surface flavors but preserve the nutrition that would be lost by over-cooking.

Follow this blanching and soaking procedure to de-bitterify your carrot greens and they can be used to flavor dishes or as a salad in their own right. No more tossing all that good nutrition into the trash!

(Plus, let’s be honest, with food prices on the steep and steady rise, who can afford to be throwing away armfuls of perfectly good plant edibles? Not us, that’s for sure.)

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours

Instructions:

  • Bring water to a boil over high heat. Lightly salt the water. Add greens, boil for 2 minutes using wooden spoon to keep greens submerged.
  • Drain and immediately submerge in ice water. Let soak 20 minutes, then drain.
  • Squeeze the greens and rinse, then place back in new ice water. Keep greens in ice water for 6-8 hours. Set them on the counter and drain and replace the ice water each time the ice has melted. Drain the water a total of 3-4 times, and then the greens are ready to use.

Stay tuned for more recipes that make delicious use of these under-appreciated leafy greens!

photo credit: ksuyin via photopin cc

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