By Fredrica Syren:
At the farmers’ market, you will be offered to have carrot and beet tops removed; you can see them in big piles behind the vendors. Most people, including myself at one point, have no idea that beet and carrot tops are edible and — more important — delicious. My good friend Centehua Deneken, a raw food goddess and chef, informed me a couple of years ago that indeed you can eat both carrot and beet greens.
Carrot greens have had a bad reputation for being inedible; however, while it is true that carrot tops contain alkaloids and
nitrates that some people may be sensitive to, they aren’t inherently toxic to most of us unless we eat boat loads of them. Many times these greens end up in the compost or worse, the trash, but there’s no reason to waste these marvelous greens! Just always make sure to eat fresh and organic greens.
So how do you eat beet and carrot greens? Of course you can eat them raw in a salad or smoothie, but there are many, many different recipes out there. Here are a few of my favorites:
Carrot Tops Chimichurri — This green sauce from Argentina has bold and beautiful flavors and usually is served with grilled meat. I love eating this sauce with roasted hot vegetables or grilled tofu, and even blended with chickpeas.
Carrot Greens Soup — My kids loved this soup, which is creamy without a drop of cream! The creaminess comes from raw cashews.
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups carrot greens, rinsed
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup raw cashews
Place everything except the cashews in a pot, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to low medium heat for 15 minutes. Place everything in a blender with the cashews and mix until creamy. Add more broth if soup is too thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Beet Greens and Feta Pasta — A very simple dish but with bold flavors:
Beet Greens Chips—Move over kale and potato chips, and say hello to crispy beet chips. Yum!