I have a question for you. When you think of carrots and beets, do you think of the root or top, first? You thought of the roots, right? You are not alone as that is what we grow up eating. I am going to teach you about the value of eating the tops and all the nutrition you may be throwing away.
Let's take beet tops first. Did you know that the stems taste salty? They are actually pretty good to just munch on fresh when you are wanting something salty (like potato chips) to snack on. Beet greens and stems are high in antioxidants, they're high in vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese, and low in fat and cholesterol. Based on a 2,000 calorie diet, daily values of beet greens contain: 220% of vitamin A, 60% of vitamin C, 16% of calcium, and 15% of iron.
You can saute them like spinach, put them in fresh salads or use them in place of lettuce, in lettuce wraps. They are also good when you use them as sandwich wraps. I like to steam the root, cool down, then chop them up with the tops, stems, green onions, tomatoes, cucumber and a little mayo, salt and pepper. It is a great summer salad.
Now to carrot tops. Did you know that even though they are a little bitter, kind of like radicchio, they are also very tasty? Carrot greens contain an impressive list of nutrients, including significant amounts of vitamin A, dietary fiber, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. I could give you a list of many ways to use them, but, instead, I am going to give you a link to the Carrot Museum. I know, it sounds funny, however, this is a great source of information on carrots. It has trivia and recipes from wild carrots to modern day uses. You will love this site: Carrot Museum.
Until next time, eat the tops and enjoy life!