You've just gotten home from the farmer's market with a big bunch of leafy carrots, or a bundle of beets with leafy tops. What do you do next? If you're like most people, you throw the whole bunch of carrots, turnips, beets, etc. right into the refrigerator, with tops attached. And most likely, unless you use the root part of the vegetables within a day or two, you'll notice they begin to go limp by the time you're ready to use them. Perhaps you don't even end up using the whole batch because they simply become lifeless before a week is up. If this sounds familiar, read on.
Years ago, I was taught by a farmer that the best way to keep root vegetables is to immediately remove the green tops as soon as you get home. If you think about it, a carrot with greens attached is still living, in that the greens are pulling water - and prana (life energy) - out of the root. So, the longer you keep greens attached, the more life gets sucked out of the root.
After separating roots and greens, store both separately in the refrigerator in sealed bags/containers for maximum life.
If you're someone who typically discards the greens, I'd recommend finding new uses to incorporate them into your meals and produce less waste. Keep in mind that the flavor of the greens is often similar to how the root tastes - beet greens have a slight sweetness, turnip greens are spicy, etc. Some of my favorite uses for root veggie greens include:
- Sauteeing with coconut oil and a pinch of salt for a quick side dish
- Making pestos or sauces
- Throw a handful into veggie stock
- Chopping them finely for garnishes
Do you have a favorite use for greens? Share below!
I hope this tip is helpful, and long live your root veggies!