Vegetables are often sold with leafy greens, for example, radishes in a bunch, carrots with cabbage or kohlrabi, and beetroot with leaves. Crisp leaves indicate that roots and tubers are fresh. In addition, the leaves and stems of vegetables are often edible, tasty, and healthy.
Healthy Vegetable Leaves
Leafy greens of vegetables have healthy ingredients that may protect against disease:
- Radish leaves are rich in mustard oils, which help the body fight off viruses and bacteria. They also bind fat and lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Kohlrabi leaves taste like the tuber, but contain twice as much vitamin A and C, important for the eyes and immune system, and a lot of calcium, which nerves and muscles need. If the leaves are still small, you can use them raw. Towards autumn the stems are very firm, then the leaves and stems should be steamed.
- Beetroot leaves were harvested long before the root tuber was discovered to be edible. They contain seven times more calcium than tubers, 200 times more vitamin A and 2,000 times more vitamin K, which protects against osteoporosis and prevents hardening of the arteries.
- Carrot cabbage tastes like a mixture of parsley and carrot, with a slightly bitter note. If you buy carrots with cabbage, you don’t need parsley. Carrot cabbage has a lot of bitter substances and fiber that stimulate digestion. It also contains more calcium than the beet itself.
- Dandelion is a medicinal herb: Its bitter substances relieve gastrointestinal problems and it has more vitamin C than any conventional lettuce. You can buy dandelions, but they also grow as weeds. Do not harvest on a dog park or busy street.
Poisonous vegetable leaves
The leafy green of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, or potatoes is not edible. The leaves contain toxins such as oxalic acid or solanine and must therefore not be consumed.
Organic vegetables are free from pesticides
If you buy organic vegetables, you can be sure that they are free from pesticides. But there are also more and more vegetables from conventional cultivation that do not use pesticides. However, this only applies to vegetables from Germany.