What, if anything, can I do with the greens at the top of fresh carrots?
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I used to use a small amount of the more tender parts of the carrot tops from my garden in salad, smoothies, soup because I hated throwing them away too. Then I came across these articles:
A carrot top, apparently, is not a laughing matter. They contain alkaloids, a group of organic compounds that includes caffeine, cocaine and strychnine. "Effects range from slightly elevated blood pressure, and slightly elevated alertness and heartbeat, all the way to death,"
I've also read they are high in nitrate and oxalates.
Truthfully, I've read that they are o.k. but I've also read they are not so I don't eat them anymore. Now I take them off in the garden and mulch the rest of the carrots with them or they go into the compost.
Meg is a trusted home cook.
Recipe for Carrot Top Tea in the Pooh Cookbook. Will post it here if you want it and don't have a copy of the book. :)
hmm... just read the first comment....
I guess try it at your own risk?? need to find out more about this ....
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
Yes, it does seem that the tops of some fruits and roots should be avoided. Tomato leaves included. It took a long time for tomatoes to be adopted as food in Europe after they entered the Continent from the New World via Spain. This was because they are in the group of plants that includes nightshades.
You have to consume a huge quantity of carrot tops for it to be harmful. The NYC restaurant Cafe Balud serves a spring salad with a carrot top vinaigrette. I've tried this dish, liked it, and tried to make it at home. I think the key is to use the carrot tops more like an herb- very sparingly.
Here is a link of the chef on the TODAY show. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/36431221/ns/today-today_food_and_wine/
There are only two recipes in the whole wide world for carrot tops because they taste terrible.
When in doubt, look at what other animals do. On the farm, even the pig won't eat carrot greens! The chickens don't like them either. Throw 'em in the compost pile!
Thanks all! Will compost.