The carrot tops are the green leaf part of the carrot that pokes above the ground as it grows. This leafy part is the first part of the carrot that gets thrown away, often before it even reaches the supermarket!
However, if you have grown your own or have sourced some fresh carrots, including the carrot tops, there is some great news. You can eat your carrot tops.
There are some rumours that state that carrot tops are inedible, or even poisonous! This is because carrots are often grown using pesticides, and the leafy part of the carrot can absorb a lot of these chemicals.
However, they are only as poisonous as any other type of leafy green and should be treated as you would any green veg. If you can, buy organic carrots if you plan to eat the carrot tops and you can avoid much of this issue altogether.
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What Do Carrot Tops Taste Like?
Carrot tops taste almost exactly like you would think they should. They have a slight taste of carrot but with a little leafy taste added in. This taste is slightly more bitter than you would expect from a carrot and even have a slight saltiness to the taste. One thing is for sure, they are delicious!
How to Eat Carrot Tops
Now you know you can eat carrot tops, it is natural to now wonder how on earth you eat them? Here are a few ideas for you to consider.
Make a Carrot Top Pesto
Carrot tops make a delicious pesto that is an alternative to the traditional kind made from basil and garlic. Substitute the basil for the carrot tops.
The thicker stems of the carrot tops may need to be removed or chopped up very finely before processing, but aside from this making, a carrot top pesto isn’t too different from making a traditional pesto.
Sautee and Serve as a Side Dish
You can treat carrot tops as you would any veg, and they are delicious lightly sauteed with a pinch of garlic. If you prefer, you can choose your favourite herbs and spices, a little chilli or turmeric also adds to these greens’ flavour.
Make sure if you are serving carrot tops this way to choose the best quality, organic greens to ensure the taste is the best it can be and you will be sure that there are fewer toxins in the greens.
Add Carrot Tops to Your Falafel
For falafel with a difference chop up some carrot tops and pop it into the mixture before making the falafel. The carrot’s bitterness adds a wonderful depth to the flavour, and you get some added nutrition too!
Add to Soups
For fans of carrot and coriander soup, there is some wonderful news. You can chop up your carrot tops and add them as the soup cooks. The flavour of the tops adds a little extra carrot flavour but with a hint of bitterness similar to parsley to freshen the flavour.
If you find that the carrot tops are a little tough to eat, you can sieve them out before serving.
Benefits of Eating Carrot Tops
Carrot Tops are highly nutritious, so it is a shame that we throw so many of them away. The tops of the carrots, in particular, are high in potassium. This part of the carrot has a lot of vitamin C, up to seven times more than the root of the vegetable that we usually eat.
This follows through with many of the nutrients in carrots. Most of them are in the carrot top and not the root itself. We usually prefer to eat the root because it is much sweeter in flavour than the tops.
Should You Eat Carrot Tops?
If you are confident that you can source good quality carrots, preferably grown organically, you should be eating those carrot tops instead of letting them go to waste.
The only reason to advise wariness when eating carrot tops is if they have been grown using many pesticides. They will have absorbed some of these pesticides, and these won’t be released by cooking.
Other Questions about Eating Carrot Tops
Below are some other questions people often ask when it comes to eating carrot tops. If you do find yourself with further questions, however, then please do ask in the comments area at the bottom of this page:
Are Carrot Tops Safe to Eat?
Carrot tops are often discarded as people assume they will be full of chemicals from the growing process. This is true, but the amount of chemical will be no different to other leafy greens you will still eat. The best approach to take is to buy organic carrots.
Can Carrot Tops be Eaten Raw?
They certainly can! You can cook them as you would other soft, leafy greens or use raw how you would often use parsley. After all, carrots and parsley are part of the same family of plants.