If you’ve ever tried juicing, then you know that one of the most common and popular vegetables to juice is carrots. They’re healthy and easy to get a hold of. But can you juice carrot tops?
You may be surprised to learn that you can juice carrot tops. I know it sounds weird, but there are great benefits to juicing them. Plus they taste delicious! So if you’ve never thought to add carrot tops to your juicer along with the carrots themselves, you may want to start.
Read on to find out more about each of these benefits and how you can start juicing carrot top juice at home.
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What Are Carrots?
You’ve likely heard of carrots, but what are they exactly? Carrots are root vegetables that grow in the ground. They have a fleshy part underground that is long and cylindrical. This is called the taproot, which stores all of its nutrients.
Moving away from the top of the carrot where you find the leaves, you’ll find more underground roots heading off toward different directions. These are lateral roots, which help to anchor the carrot in place as it slowly grows upward over many months before reaching its mature height.
What Are Carrot Tops?
Carrot tops are pretty much what you see when you look at a carrot. The leaves that grow on the top of the carrot supply it with nutrients and assistance in photosynthesis, as well as help shade it from sunlight.
These deep green leaves don’t get much love and are usually cut off at harvest. You won’t see carrot greens in the supermarket, although if you get your carrots from a farmers market or organic grocer, you may find the greens left on as a selling point.
Are Carrot Tops Toxic?
You may have heard that carrot tops are toxic. This statement is actually untrue. While they do contain toxins, it’s in very low quantities and isn’t enough to cause any harm. If you juice them, they will be even more diluted than when eaten whole.
The reason many of us think of carrot tops as being poisonous stems from media rumors that they contain high levels of alkaloids. Alkaloids can be toxic at high levels and can cause problems such as heartburn, digestive issues, and even death.
However, the levels of alkaloids in carrot tops are so small that they aren’t considered to be dangerous or poisonous to humans. Many other vegetables contain alkaloids and we eat them all the time.
We also consume small quantities of alkaloids in foods such as chocolate, so it’s not a concern at all if you’re juicing carrot tops.
What Are The Benefits Of Juicing Carrot Tops?
We’ve established that carrot tops aren’t dangerous to juice and can provide us with some great benefits. So what are those benefits? There are three main ones:
Carrot tops contain many vitamins and minerals, many of which don’t exist in high levels in carrots themselves (at least not after processing). This means that when you juice carrot tops along with your carrots you’ll be getting more nutrients than before!
One reason for this high level of certain nutrients is because carrot tops are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants fight off free radical damage and allow the body to function properly.
Carrot top juice tastes fantastic! It’s one of my favorite kinds of juices. It’s got a very bright taste with hints of earthy flavor coming through as well. With just these three benefits, you can see why it makes sense to add carrot tops to your juicer when you’re making juice at home!
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Can You Juice Carrot Tops?
The answer to this question is yes! If you’ve juiced before and always pass over the carrot greens in favor of just using the carrots themselves, it’s time for a change.
Carrot tops contain healthy levels of antioxidants including lutein, beta-carotene (which your body converts into vitamin A), and zeaxanthin (an antioxidant associated with eye health). They also contain minerals like calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
Carrot tops also contain many nutrients that become rare in the vegetable kingdom once you get past the stem of most plants. They’re packed with vitamins A, C, D, E, and K along with magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
Are Carrot Greens Good for You?
When most people think of carrot tops they think of them as scraps that are no good for juicing. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Carrot tops contain three major nutrients and properties which make them great for juicing and even eating: antioxidants, chlorophyll, and vitamins.
There’s only one real downside to carrot tops: their flavor. They’re pretty bitter and earthy tasting and can at times be quite strong. However, if you mix the juice with other vegetables or fruit juices it doesn’t take away that much of the flavor while adding a whole lot of great nutrients!
If you don’t like the idea of mixing in other juices, there are ways to make carrot top juice taste better on its own. The most common way is to add maple syrup to sweeten it up a bit, but this adds extra calories from sugar which isn’t ideal either.
How Do You Store Carrot Greens?
Carrot greens can be removed from the root and stored in a jar of cold water. This will help to preserve the greens and stop them from drying out. Be sure to change the water every day to stop mold from growing.
Another way to store carrot top greens is to wash them, place them in a plastic bag, and stick them in the freezer.
While they’re not as great frozen as they are fresh, putting them into the freezer helps lock in nutrients that will slowly break down over time. Unlike most other vegetables, carrot greens will only last 1 – 2 weeks in the freezer.
If you find yourself with an overabundance of carrot tops at once, freezing is key here. However, if this doesn’t seem like an appealing idea then there are other ways to store them without losing too much of their flavor or health benefits.
You can place carrot greens in a jar of cold water and place them in your refrigerator. They should be good for a few days this way but will start to wilt after a while.
How Long do Carrot Tops Last?
Carrot tops are still very nutritious even if they’ve started to wilt. They’ll last for about four days in the refrigerator before their flavor gets too strong or they start to rot.
Carrot tops stored in a jar of cold water that is changed daily will last about 4 -5 days.
If you’re looking to save carrot greens longer than this then freezing is your best option. While carrots greens will only stay good in the freezer for up to 2 weeks, putting them into a plastic bag and sticking them in the freezer helps lock nutrients in so they don’t go bad as quickly.
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What do Carrot Tops Taste Like?
While the flavor of carrot tops is quite bitter and pungent, they aren’t as strong as they smell. This makes them easier to eat than they seem and doesn’t overpower your morning juice.
Your body can use many nutrients found in carrot greens without too much effort.
If you’re not a fan of carrot tops then you shouldn’t give up on the idea of juicing just yet. While most people find that chopped-up stems are hard to swallow, juices with carrot tops mixed in aren’t as bad as you might think.
In fact, many people who don’t like eating their greens will still happily drink their juice daily.
Can You Juice Carrot Tops – Final Thoughts
Juicing carrots is a good way to get more nutrients and vitamins, and now you know that you can also juice carrot tops. The benefits of juicing them are endless.
For instance, they’re rich in beta-carotene which helps fight cancer cells and boosts your immune system. So if you’re looking for new ways to keep healthy – or want to add some variety into your juicer routine – then try adding the leaves from the top of a carrot plant instead of just throwing them away.
There’s nothing like getting all those amazing health benefits without having to do anything extra (except cut off the leafy bits) so give this technique a shot today. Using your carrot tops for juice also cuts down on food wastage, which is always a good thing.