April is one of my favorite months because I love the start of spring. I mean, what’s not to love about spring cleaning, fresh greens coming into season, and Earth Day reminding all of us to continue our efforts in more sustainable living?
This month I’ve been focusing my sustainability efforts on reducing waste. It’s amazing how much waste can come out of one kitchen and if you don’t live in area with access to compost, this really adds up! One of the other perks about reducing kitchen waste when it comes to food is that it can definitely save you money so it’s a win-win all around.
My goal on this blog is to provide you with simple, doable steps to improve your health, lifestyle, and overall wellbeing. With this in mind, I wanted to share a post showing you some simple ways to reduce kitchen waste by using all parts of your vegetables. Today we’re going to focus on the three worst offenders: beets, radishes, and broccoli. So here we go!
In my opinion, beets and beet greens are one of the most under-appreciated vegetables of all time. Even though I’m usually pretty good at converting beet-haters into beet-lovers, most people simply don’t use their beet greens! It makes me so sad to see these going to waste in the compost bin because they’re a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, and calcium.
Beet leaves can be substituted for chard or spinach in any recipe and they also make a great substitute for kale or collard greens. Try blending a few raw greens into smoothies, sautéing them with onions, or adding them to soups!
My favorite beet greens recipe? Try these Sesame Roasted Beets and Greens!
Radishes are my favorite spring vegetable and they’re one of the easiest vegetables to grow. If you are thinking of starting a garden, especially with kids, I’d highly encourage you to try growing radishes! Believe me, if I can grow ’em, you can too!
Radishes make a great snack (I really like dipping them in my vegan walnut and mushroom pate), but I often see folks throwing out the leaves. Such a shame! Instead, try tossing raw radish leaves into a salad. I’ve found that the smaller leaves tend to be less-spicy so these are perfect to add in with your favorite salad mix. Radish leaves are also a great way to add some kick to your favorite vegetable juice!
My favorite radish greens recipe? Try these Roasted Radishes and Greens! Did you know that when you roast the radish greens they actually become crispy, like a chip? They’re incredible!
Broccoli is one of my favorite veggies year-round because it’s so versatile and always makes a wonderful side dish to any entree. However, I always see people tossing their broccoli stalks! Nooo! This is one of the best parts, I promise!
Once you peel the outer skin of the broccoli stalk away, the inside is crisp and sweet and they make a wonderful snack by themselves. I also love using shredded broccoli stalks raw in salads and slaws or sautéing them in a quick stir-fry.
I love broccoli stalks so much that I had a hard time deciding on just one recipe suggestion to share so I’m going to give you my top faves:
- Daikon Carrot Salad with Almonds
- Creamy Fennel and Broccoli Soup
- Tahini Broccoli Salad with Cashews
- Sweet Broccoli Juice (warning: this is a bit intense and not for juicing beginners!)
What are your favorite ways to reduce kitchen waste? Leave a comment below and share!