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How to use the whole vegetable: root to stem cooking

It can be easy to throw away the parts of the vegetable you don’t usually cook with. Especially if you’re in a dinner prep frenzy, trying to get dinner on the table quickly as you can!

Root-to-stem cooking is now being touted as one of the hottest trends of 2018, because not only does it encourage mindful cooking and is working towards the reduction of food waste, but it also ensures that we utilise the nutrients in the stems and peels of the fruits and vegetables too.

Also root-to-stem cooking will help reduce your grocery bill. If you use all parts of the plants in cooking, there will be less waste and less need to buy more ingredients to make up for the part that gets tossed out.

Those carrot tops, broccoli stalks, potato skins, ends of greens that are usually thrown away, are actually very useful in cooking.

What vegetables and their parts can you use 
  • Asparagus ends
  • Beet greens
  • Potato peels
  • Broccoli stalks and leaves
  • Carrot tops
  • Cauliflower stems and leaves
  • Celery heart and leaves
  • Chard and silverbeet stems
  • Fennel stalks and fronds
  • Leek greens
  • Radish leaves
  • Pumpkin skins
Ways to use the remaining parts of the veg


An easy way to use the whole veg is in soup. Asparagus ends and leftover beet greens especially add flavour and a nutritional boost to soup. Soups are also a great way to sneak in a lot of veggies for fussy eaters.

Vegetable stock 

Using the stems of broccoli, potato peels, cauliflower stems and leaves and even carrot tops to make a vegetable stock is another great way to use the whole veg. It’s also a great way to use up any veg past its prime in your crisper drawer. Throw it all in a pot with some water and let it simmer away. If you don’t need the stock right away, freeze it for later use.


Potato skins are extremely delicious roasted. They turn into crunchy potato chips. So next time you’re making mashed potato, don’t throw out the skins. Toss them in olive oil and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to roast them.

Also, you will do no harm in roasting the whole pumpkin, skin and all. It’s packed with nutrients you won’t get in the flesh.


Beet greens are extremely delicious sautéed, and make for a great accompaniment to any nourish bowl or warm salad.


Blending up fresh herbs is an easy way to use up a leftover bunch is wilting in the fridge. The result, is a flavourful condiment to steak, salads, or savoury breakfasts.

Stir fries 

Stir fries have no rules, so using the whole veg is absolutely fine. Broccoli stalks are fantastic in a stir fry, they add a lovely crunch and flavour. Also chop up a whole leek and add it to the base of your stir- fry. Delicious.



Recipes to try 





This feature contains a mix of content from myfoodbook third party content partners and our own opinions.


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