Don't toss all of your veggie parts

Dietitian Meridan Zerner from the Cooper Clinic says many people usually toss out perfectly edible vegetables that are packed with nutrition and flavor.

Here are some suggestions so you can get all you can out of those veggies.


Squash seeds: You can roast seeds from any winter squash, including butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash. Squash seeds are a great source of protein.


Beet greens: Buy beets with the greens still attached and it's like getting two vegetables in one. Beet greens contain loads of vitamin C and beta-carotene - nutrients linked to lower cancer risk.  They're great sautéed in olive oil, with garlic, salt, and pepper to taste.

Broccoli stems: Eat raw or added to stir-fries. Stems are rich in cancer-protective vitamin C and fiber.  Use a vegetable peeler or large knife to remove the thick, tough outer layer of the broccoli stem
Broccoli leaves: They look a lot like collard greens but taste sweeter. Dark green broccoli leaves are rich in vitamin C,  beta-carotene and sulforaphane, a phytochemical with anti-cancer properties. Prepare like you would any other green.

Potato and sweet potato peels: Perfect way to add extra fiber, nutrients, and texture to many dishes. You'll get more minerals and about a third more fiber by eating the skin.  Try leaving the peels on when mashing potatoes.

Sweet potato leaves: Are tender and mild. They are also a good source of vitamins A and K, and carotenoids.  They are harder to find in grocery store so try farmer's market and lightly braise them.


Cauliflower stems: Cut all the way through a cauliflower head from the top to make cauliflower steaks, which can be broiled or pan roasted.  Try "Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes" using the whole cauliflower including the stem.
 

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