FoodWhy you should stop tossing carrot tops: Health benefits unveiled

Why you should stop tossing carrot tops: Health benefits unveiled

Carrot greens will be a great addition to the salad
Carrot greens will be a great addition to the salad
Images source: © Adobe Stock

2:02 PM EDT, June 6, 2024

Young carrots are enticed with their beautiful color and wonderful taste. Most often, people focus on the root, but what about the greens? Their place is certainly not in the trash. See why carrot leaves should be on your menu.

Carrot leaves are often treated as waste and usually in the trash after the root is cut off. Why? Many people still believe that the tops are poisonous. In reality, however, they are entirely edible and very healthy.

Carrot leaves are edible and healthy. Here's why you should eat them

Carrot leaves, or tops, are not poisonous; on the contrary, they are fully edible and very nutritious. They contain many vitamins, such as vitamin C, K, and minerals. These include primarily calcium, magnesium, potassium, phenolic compounds, carotenoids, chlorophyll, and antioxidants.

Carrot tops also have a wide range of uses in folk medicine. They are used as an antiseptic for mouth and gum diseases and wounds. A brew made from carrot leaves has diuretic properties, reduces swelling, and aids in the body's detoxification process. It can also be used to freshen breath.

These underrated carrot leaves offer numerous health benefits. They support immunity and positively influence digestion and circulation. They help regulate blood sugar levels and maintain proper blood pressure. Additionally, they are good for eye health.

What can be made from carrot leaves? Prepare fantastic pesto

In the kitchen, carrots should be treated like parsley, meaning the root and the tops should be preserved and used. Carrot leaves have a unique, slightly bitter taste that becomes less intense after cooking. The best to consume are the tops of young carrots from organic farming. Carrot leaves can be added to soups, salads, sauces, sandwiches, juices, vegetable smoothies, or fruit and vegetable smoothies. Moreover, carrot tops are suitable for freezing.

Carrot leaves are very healthy.
Carrot leaves are very healthy.© Pixabay

To prepare carrot leaf pesto, you need a large bunch of young tops, olive oil or vegetable oil (about 3.4 ounces), garlic (3 cloves), and almonds, nuts, or sunflower seeds (a handful). For seasoning, you'll need salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Wash and dry the tops, then remove the tough stems. Peel the garlic and blend it with the carrot leaves and oil. Gradually add the roasted seeds or nuts until the pesto reaches the desired consistency. Finally, season the mixture with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Serve the pesto with pasta or as a topping for sandwiches, vegetables, cheeses, or cold cuts.

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