Why You Shouldn't De-Stem Strawberries For Smoothies

You've probably discarded the leaves and stems of strawberries for as long as you remember, right? Your mom did it, your grandma did, and even the chefs on TV gracefully gouge the tops off of strawberries before they eat them or use them in a recipe. It seems like a good idea. But, as it turns out, the green parts of strawberries are entirely edible — and that's not all.

They may not be sweet or juicy like the rest of the fruit but there's no harm in consuming them. You don't have to jump in with both feet and start popping de-stemmed strawberries in your mouth but you can, and should, be adding them to your morning smoothies. Not only does skipping the step of de-greening your berries save you some prep time, but it also cuts waste and makes for a hearty boost of nutritional value.

Leave the greens, please

Before you eat or use them in recipes, wash your strawberries to remove any dirt on them, including the leaves and stems. Along with your other smoothie ingredients, just drop the berries in as they are — no chopping, hulling, or halving required. Once it's ready, you'll have the same sweet, pink, delicious strawberry smoothie you're used to but with even more vitamin C, antioxidants, and antimicrobial properties. What's not to like about that?

If you're not necessarily a smoothie person, there is still plenty you can do with strawberry greens. In addition to steeping them in tea, water, kombucha, or even alcohol, you can add them to salads, swap them for parsley as a garnish, or blend them into sauces. Eating the greens from strawberries isn't so unusual when you consider that many people already eat things like radish and beet greens. Strawberry leaves may not carry the flavor punch that these other greens do, but that's part of what makes them so versatile.