Everyday Plants That You Didn't Know You Could Eat

Vegetable "scraps" aren't just for the compost bin or for soup stock.

Go zero waste in the kitchen (and discover exciting new flavors and textures) simply by learning how to use the whole plant from top to tail.

You might be surprised by what you can eat from everyday vegetables you already buy or grow!

Cucumber leaves


Fresh, crisp cucumber sprouts make an especially good salad green, but tender young cucumber leaves can be eaten as well.


You can use them sparingly in sauces, soups, and salads (which is where I feel their rich, distinctive flavor works best). Tomato leaves add a deep savory note that comes alive when the leaves are cooked or chopped to bring out the oils.

Tomato leaves


A popular use for pepper leaves is in the Filipino soup called tinola, though certain Chinese dishes also use pepper leaves in braises and stir-fries.

Pepper leaves


Fava leaf salads are my preference in this category, as the plants grow tall and thick with mild-tasting foliage (in a slightly sweet and nutty sense). You can start harvesting fava leaves weeks before the pods emerge and all through the season.

Bean leaves

The beauty of green garlic is how soon you can harvest the crop, so you can plant a round in spring while you’re waiting to harvest your fall-planted garlic. The same goes for onions.


Garlic and onion shoots

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