Nutritional treasure in the trash

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Sometimes the best parts of the vegetables get thrown in the trash. So next time you’re cooking up vegetables and are about to toss out those extra parts, stop. Many vegetable parts are perfectly edible and are packed with nutrients and flavor.


Here are some tips from the American Institute for Cancer Research to make the most of your veggies:

•  Roasted pumpkin seeds are a fall favorite, but you can roast seeds from any winter squash, including butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash. Squash seeds are a great source of protein. To roast, scoop out seeds, rinse, and drain. Let them dry, spread flat on a baking pan and bake at 300ºF for about 20–30 minutes until golden brown.

•  Using the whole cauliflower, including the stem, in cauliflower “steaks” is trendy right now. Cut all the way through a cauliflower head from the top to make cauliflower steaks, which can be broiled or pan roasted. Or instead of mashed potatoes, try mashing the whole cooked cauliflower including the stem.

•  Use a vegetable peeler or large knife to remove the thick, tough outer layer of the broccoli stem (if you use a knife, make 4 lengthwise cuts along the 4 sides of the stem to make a long rectangle). Try making creamy broccoli soup, which includes both the broccoli stems and florets.

•  Buy beets with the greens still attached and it’s like getting two vegetables in one. Beet greens contain loads of vitamin C and beta-carotene—nutrients linked to lower cancer risk. Separate the greens from the beets by cutting just above where the stem begins. They’re great sautéed in olive oil, with garlic, salt, and pepper to taste.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


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