Here's Why You Should Stop Throwing Away Your Carrot Tops

When you buy a bunch of carrots at the farmers' market or even choose some from the produce aisle at the grocery store, they might still have their green tops attached. When farmers and gardeners harvest carrots, it's the frilly green tops that they see — as root vegetables, carrots grow underground. It's possible that you have been chopping off the tops and tossing them in the trash (or even better, into the compost bin) to get on with your cooking prep. Maybe you thought they were just taking up space in your fridge, or worse — you thought they were bad for you, or even poisonous. But that's not true. In fact, they're good for you.

You're going to want to reconsider your green tops, since they are edible. Basically, you can think of carrots with their tops as two veggies in one. And if you want, you can create two different meals with the distinct parts. Now you have a new ingredient to use that is also healthy for you.

Carrot tops are edible and nutritious

Carrot tops are rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, including calcium and iron, according to Delish. They can be used in pesto, sauces, soups, marinades, or even to complement a dish as a garnish, according to Spruce Eats. You can sprinkle them raw into your salad as an additional leafy green to amp up the nutrients in your meal.

The leafy green tops don't taste like carrots at all. Rather, they have their own flavor that is similar to herbs, such as parsley, or tarragon, according to Spruce Eats. Sometimes they can have a bitter profile, but if you get a leaf, or two, or the whole bunch with that flavor, they'll just add some bite to your meal. You might also consider cooking them to tone down the bitterness.

They are easy to use and incorporate into your meals. You can cook them in a variety of ways, including sautéing, baking, blanching, and roasting (via Spruce Eats). And if you opt for making a pesto sauce, consider blending it with spinach or basil (via Spruce Eats) to create a smoother flavor and reduce some of the bitterness. This is another way to eat these greens raw, since you blend ingredients together without cooking, typically with olive oil, garlic, cheese, and pine nuts, if you wish.