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Ask the Expert Archive

Ordinarily stems of leafy vegies like kale and collards are not considered edible, but when making a green smoothie, my Vitamix blender can completely grind those up. So I’m wondering if there’s any significant nutritional value in those stems other than fiber or should I discard them? Here are the vegies with stems I use: kale, collards, chard, spinach, dandelion greens, basil, fennel, broccoli, carrot tops. Thanks. Jim Creighton

Many of the vegetables that you have listed can be, and often are eaten with the stems attached. The stems in general taste just like the vegetable. The only difference may be if the vegetable is larger and more mature, it may give your smoothie a more bitter taste. These vegetable stems won’t hurt you, will provide the extra fiber, and may supply some additional nutrients or phytochemicals unique to that vegetable. It’s simply a matter of preference and sounds like an economical use of good vegetables! A lot of the vegetables that you have listed above have a mild taste so they can easily be added to many of you fruit smoothies too. The sweetness of the fruit can often bland their taste but adding these vegetables will increase the amount of vitamins and minerals! Try our Power Gold Smoothie
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  1. I use the stalks in all my smoothies, I too have a Vitamix and it hadles it well. I used to throw them away after removing the leaves which are reserved for my 2 year who loves Kale, but felt bad one day and started blending them too! I do freeze my Kale stems after a couple of days I hope I’m still retaining the nutrients using the stalks frozen. If anything it’s good fiber I suppose we could all use more of that! :-)

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