Let’s Talk about Stalks
Tossing out produce that has spoiled always feels like such a waste of money. But the only thing worse than tossing out spoiled produce, is tossing out fresh produce–and most people do this, all the time! Many stalks, leaves, and stems are completely edible and nutritious, but are frequently discarded as being scraps. Stalks (such as from broccoli or cauliflower) can be shredded and tossed into salads or slaws. They can also be chopped in small pieces and then steamed, roasted, or sautéed until tender.
Other ideas include juicing the stalks with other veggies or adding them to a pot to make broth/stock. Stems from chard or kale (as well as watermelon rinds) can be soaked in pickling brine for a crunchy snack. Use chopped herb stems (cilantro, parsley, basil, etc.) to flavor soups or sauces, infuse oil or vinegar, add to dips like salsa, or sprinkle onto main courses. Citrus peels (lemons, limes, oranges, etc.) can be used to flavor beverages or zested to add flavor to dishes. By incorporating these items that you would normally discard, not only will you add beneficial nutrients to your diet, but you may find your food budget stretches farther. So the next time you think about heading for the trashcan with your scraps of greens, think again; it just might save you some green.
Whitney Martin, Master of Public Health Student at Liberty University
Intern for Bon Secours Physical Therapy and Sports Performance
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