Eat the scraps

Being less wasteful has nutritional benefits.

Eating all parts of the vegetable, including those you’d normally discard, is a good way to add more nutrients to your dish, says Steven Satterfield, chef and owner of Miller Union in Atlanta, Georgia, and author of the cookbook Root to Leaf. Cook bottoms, seeds, skins, and greens so a little bit less goes to waste with these tips.

Asparagus bottoms: Satterfield incorporates asparagus bottoms into a stock. Also, roast and puree them to use for a spread for toasted baguette slices.

Cucumber seeds: When making a salad, directions often suggest removing the seeds, as they can waterlog a dish. Freeze them for a refreshing addition to smoothies, suggests Satterfield.

Herb stems: Many recipes call for using only herbs’ tiny leaves. This one for Rosemary and Sage Grilled Pork Chops utilizes the entire herb, though, including stems. As the meat rests on bunches of fresh rosemary and sage, it takes on an herbaceous aroma.

Beet greens: Beet greens supply vitamins A and C, potassium, and magnesium. Take the edge off their bite by blanching them first.

Weeds: Wild edibles are rich in phytonutrients, compounds that fight disease, says Kristen Rasmussen Vasquez, R.D.N., a culinary nutrition educator based in San Francisco. Throw weeds like dandelions or lambsquarters in a mixture of your go-to greens (like chard) and add seasoning to cut any bitterness.