Just as there are countless edible plants that we don’t eat (whether out of habit or ignorance), there are also parts of vegetables that we waste most of the time. This is the case with carrot leaves. Carrot leaves do not usually arrive at the grocery store, but it is common to find them when buying organic carrots.
Yes, those green leaves on your carrots are edible!and they’re not only edible, they’re super delicious and packed with nutrients!
Carrot leaves have a sweet, earthy flavor reminiscent of the orange (root) part; with a fresh parsley finish.
- Nutritional value of carrot leaves
- How to use carrot leaves
- 5 delicious recipes with carrot leaves:
Nutritional value of carrot leaves
Carrot leaves are very nutritious:
- They are rich in minerals, proteins and vitamins.
- They contain 6 times more vitamin C than the carrot itself
- They also contain vitamin K, which the root lacks..
- They are also a source of Potassium and Calcium
It is important to note that there is a nasty rumor that carrot greens are poisonous, and that is simply not true. Green carrots contain alkaloids, as do all vegetables in the nightshade family: eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes, but they are perfectly safe and nutritious to eat.
How to use carrot leaves
- Is very important that they are organicsince being a part of the plant that is not usually consumed, pesticides could be used in its cultivation that would not affect us, since they are not used regularly.
- As with many other vegetables, using the leaves and removing the green stems will take away some of the bitterness. Although its bitterness is still less than that of other vegetables that we consume, such as radicheta.
- They can be used like parsley: chopped with raw garlic to add to other vegetables or meat.
- They can be added to broths, stews or soups: in the bundle of herbs that are put there.
- Also in vinaigrette or pesto for salads: raw puree, with for example mustard seeds, oil, honey and nuts.
- They can be eaten in salads: raw, alone or mixed with other green leaves.
- Used in green smoothies or mixed with a fruit smoothie they will provide freshness, flavor and chlorophyll.
- Carrot leaf tea will be a detoxifying herbal tea and good for urinary problems. Pour boiling water over a handful of carrot tops and let cool.
- Finally, it can be cooked, sautéed with other vegetables, with garlic, with onion, etc. Like cooking spinach, like any other vegetable.
What can you do with green carrots now that you know they are edible? Well, here are 10 inspiring ideas to get you started:
5 delicious recipes with carrot leaves:
This recipe is great for adding a new and interesting flavor to a staple sauce.
- 1 cup finely chopped carrot tops (preferably organic)
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried red pepper or ñora
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- a few pepper seeds
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup virgin olive oil
Wash and dry your carrot leaves well.
Roast the carrots in a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes (or until tender, but not mushy).
Finely chop your carrot tops and mix them with all the dry spices and chopped garlic. Add vinegar and olive oil. Taste and adjust seasonings. (tip: try it with a carrot or a piece of bread instead of the tablespoon)
Serve with roasted carrots (or other vegetables)
Green carrot pesto:
- 1 bunch of carrots (with leaves of course)
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 1 lemon, zest and juice (zest first: easier than trying to grate after squeezing!)
- 1/3 cup parmesan or nutritional yeast to make it vegan
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil
- Pine nuts, walnuts or peanuts (depending on desired texture)
- (optional) salt to taste
Add all the ingredients to a food processor, starting with the least amount of olive oil. Pulse a few times until well blended. Add additional olive oil as needed to achieve desired pesto texture.
Taste the pesto and if desired, add a little salt. Serve the pesto over pasta, potatoes or whatever you like.
- 10 mushrooms (mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, shiitake… the one we like)
- 4 large unpeeled shallots, quartered
- 3 large carrots, with leaves, cleaned and coarsely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, quartered
- 2 unpeeled garlic cloves, halved
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 to 10 whole peppercorns
- 4 leeks only the dark part
- The water
- 1 teaspoon of salt
Preheat the oven to 180º. In a large baking dish, mix the first 5 ingredients, reserving half of the carrot leaves, add a little thyme. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and toss to combine.
Bake at 180° for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let’s avoid that they are too “burnt” so that the broth does not have a smoky taste.
Take roasted vegetables and place them in a large pot. Add the thyme, carrot tops, peppercorns, bay leaves, leeks and any other pieces of vegetables. Cover with cold water.
Cover the pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer with lid slightly ajar, stirring occasionally, for about 60 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve to remove all solids. If you want a super fine, clear broth, strain the strained broth through a damp coffee filter. Add salt. It may not taste as salty as you’re used to, but it will add a great flavor to anything you cook. And, if you’re eating it straight, adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
Store the broth in the fridge or, if you’re not using it right away, you can freeze it.
Bulgur tabbouleh with carrot tops
- 1 cup bulgur
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped cucumber
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion, we’ll use the white and green part
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup finely chopped mint
- 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot tops
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
In a large bowl, combine the bulgur with boiling water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Cover and let stand 30 to 60 minutes or until the bulgur has absorbed all the liquid.
Combine remaining ingredients with cooked bulgur, mix well.
Moong-Masor Daal with Carrot Leaves:
- 1/2 cup yellow Moong lentils
- 1/2 cup red lentils (Masoor)
- 2 cups green carrots, washed and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 2 green chillies (optional)
- 1 small chopped tomato
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons coriander and ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice or Amchoor powder
- pinch of asafetida
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 3 tbsp. oil
- 1 teaspoon of ghee
Wash both lentils and soak them for 10-15 minutes in clean water.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pressure cooker, add the cumin seeds and the asafetida.
Once crispy, add the lentils, carrot tops, tomato, ginger, garlic and green peppers.
Mix well and add turmeric powder, salt and 3 cups of water.
Bring the daal to a boil in the closed pressure cooker for 5 min.
Allow the pressure cooker to cool naturally.
Now, in another pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and sauté the onion until nicely pink.
Add the red chilli powder, coriander and cumin powder and sauté for a few seconds.
Add the cooked daal and simmer for 5 minutes, if the daal is too thick add a little water.
Heat the ghee, add the minced garlic and sauté until the garlic browns but does not burn.
Add the red paprika powder and immediately pour over the cooked dal.
Add garam masala and lemon juice.
to put out the fire
Now you have no more excuses to explore new flavors and properties of carrot leaves 😉