A double headed blue arrow in between a red, yellow, and green bell pepper and a green zucchini with zucchini slices. Below is another double headed blue arrow between a bunch of green spinach and two heads of green bok choy.

To reduce waste and save money on fresh fruit and vegetables, swap produce ingredients based on what is available and affordable. A root may be able to be swapped for another root in the same recipe, saving a trip to the store. Also do this with other edible parts of the plants such as the stems, leaves, flowers, fruit, and seeds.

Easy Swaps by Plant Parts

  • Swaps: Potato, sweet potato, parsnip, Jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke), carrot, radish, beet, golden beet, yam, jicama
  • Tips:
    • Wash roots well and roast, grill, or pan fry for any recipe that calls for a potato.
  • Swaps: Shallot, leek, chives, scallion, stems from collards, kale, kohlrabi, bok choy (pak choi), cucumber
  • Tips:
    • Chop and add crunch to omelets, skillets, or salads.
  • Swaps: Chard, kale, beet greens, dandelion greens, spinach, romaine, arugula, mustard greens, bok choy (pak choi)
  • Tips:
    • Shred leaves into pasta-based meals for additional fiber
    • Chop and top a pizza to add color.
  • Swap Veggies: Celery, zucchini, kohlrabi, cucumber, eggplant, sweet pepper, summer squash, mushroom
  • Swap Fruits: Like for like (i.e., berry for berry, stone fruit for stone fruit)
  • Tips:
    • Fruits with pits (stone fruits) can be easily swapped in desserts, chutneys, in a grill meal, or as salad toppings.
  • Swap Nuts and Seeds: Walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Swap Beans: Black beans, pinto beans, navy beans, fava beans
  • Tips:
    • Grind seeds and nuts into a pesto or hummus.
    • Top salads and sandwiches with nuts, seeds, and beans.