It’s common practice to snip off the tops of your celery, beets, or fennel, discarding the leaves and ends and sticking with the centre. Because that’s what’s meant to happen, right? Erm, ‘fraid not.
I’m talking from personal experience here. For years I snipped away the leaves of many vegetables, casting them aside as useless inconveniences coming between me and my delightful [insert leafy vegetable here]. Until, of course, I realised that the leaves of these ‘leafy’ vege are actually an incredibly tasty (not to mention nutritious) addition to the puzzle.
Let’s take a look at a few of the big contenders…
1. Beet Leaves
It baffles me when I see beets with their leaves pre-cut at the green grocer. I feel ripped off. They’re an integral part of the vegetable – it’s like selling a broccoli without any stem. It looks convenient, but in terms of nutrients, you’re missing out on the one of the best bits.
What should you do with beet leaves? I add them to salads, or lightly sauté them in coconut oil and Bragg’s, and then throw on a drizzle of pure sesame oil when they’re done. YUMMO!
2. Celery Leaves
Having trouble with your blood vessels restricting? Then celery leaf is your answer. It’s a tasty little treasure that’s often overlooked, plus it adds a zingy freshness to your plate that I just love.
What should you do with celery leaves? Add them to soups on these chilly winter days, toss them through salads, or as I discovered this morning, add them to your eggs for an insane flavour explosion.
More on that: Roughly cut one onion and throw in a non-stick pan to sweat off. Once browned, crack your eggs into the pan and break yolks. Stir eggs through the onion and add celery leaves to the pan. Cook through and serve with avocado, salt and pepper. AMAZING!
3. Fennel Leaves
This anti-inflammatory is a glorious addition to any salad, sandwich or green juice. Its interesting flavour enhances many dishes and is commonly used in Mediterranean cooking as well.
What should you do with fennel leaves? Don’t toss away the leaves, use them to spice up scallops (seriously, the leaves go really well finely chopped in a lemon dressing over shellfish) or in a digestive ease drink along with 1/2 cucumber, 1 green apple, ginger, mint, fennel bulk and a few leaves of spinach.
Tell me Happies…
Do you toss the leaves or keep them for later?
What are your favourite uses?