Gastronomy allows you to introduce multiple food combinations and incorporate new products into recipes. And the fact is that, every time, there is knowledge of more plants that are edible, as well as their parts that are edible, since there are roots, leaves, stems and edible flowers. For example, there are a lot of stems that we eat and, sometimes, we don’t even realize it. Some of them are very popular because they have been used in cooking and in numerous recipes for a long time, although others may be less known.

From oneCOMO, we are going to talk about 13 edible stems, which you can incorporate into your recipes without problems because they are very delicious and are also easy to prepare. In some cases, you don’t even need to cook them because you find them packaged and you just have to open the jar or can that you buy in the store or supermarket, so take good note of these stems that are eaten.


  1. 13 edible stems – list of names and characteristics
  2. The most used edible stems in cooking
  3. Recipes with edible stems-ideas

13 edible stems – list of names and characteristics

In cooking and in recipes it is not uncommon to find stems that are eaten, although sometimes they are not indicated by this name because they are considered vegetables and even vegetables. In fact, it is common to find in recipe books the use of more generic terms such as edible stem vegetables. And what are some of them?

  • Asparagus: This plant belongs to the genus Aspargus and it is very common throughout Europe, as well as in areas of Africa and western Asia. In the cover image of this article we see white asparagus, but green or wild asparagus are also edible stems. Here we explain how to cook asparagus.
  • Sugar cane: Sugar cane is also part of the group of stems used in cooking. The edible part is the internal stem in which, precisely, the sap is found, which is the source of sugar.
  • Bamboo: Although this plant is used as an ornamental or for construction, the truth is that its stems are eaten, although only the young, emerging shoot is suitable for consumption. Learn here all the great properties of bamboo for health.
  • Shallot: Among the edible stem vegetables is the shallot, which is from the onion and garlic leek family. What is eaten are its leaves with a little of its stem.
  • Rhubarb: The edible stems of this plant are red or green and can be consumed raw or cooked with sugar, which is the most common way to prepare them. You have to be careful with the leaves because they are toxic.
  • Swede: This plant belongs to the mustard family. It is another of the stems that are eaten, and can be eaten raw or cooked. Of course, only the base stem, which is shaped like a sphere, is eaten.
  • Radish: Another of the stems that are edible is the radish, which is consumed in its entirety, normally raw, and is widely used for salads.
  • Celery: Also known as célery, it is one of the longest and most fibrous edible stems there is. In addition, it has the advantage that it can be eaten in its entirety, including the little leaves on top.
  • Cinnamon: Although we are used to seeing it in powder form, the truth is that cinnamon is a stem. Specifically, it is obtained from tree species of the genus Cinnamomun, its stems appearing when removing or extracting the bark. Usually, it is used as a spice.
  • Chard: Swiss chard is one of the edible stem vegetables. Although you can eat its green leaves, there are many people who only want to eat the stalk, that is, its white stem.
  • Borage: This plant is another of the edible stem vegetables. It has a very similar shape to chard, although its leaves have small prickly hairs and its stalk is green and narrower.
  • Palm heart: These stems are extracted from the buds of various species of palm trees, such as the coconut tree. It is a product that, above all, is widely consumed in areas of South America.
  • Leek: This vegetable also has an edible stem. It is also known as long onion. In fact, it is very similar to it, although with a slightly milder flavor.

The most used edible stems in cooking

Although there are many stems that are eaten, the truth is that not all of them are used equally in cooking, at least in the well-known Mediterranean diet. Furthermore, not all of them have the same nutritional properties nor is it advisable to consume them frequently due to their high content of, for example, sugars, as is the case with sugar cane. So, these are the stems that are eaten most used in cooking:

  • Asparagus: They are one of the best edible stems, and are also recommended in many diets to lose and maintain weight because they have few calories and are made up mostly of water. They are also ideal for hypertensive people due to their low sodium level. But, they also have other benefits such as, for example, the high content of vitamin B6, as well as minerals such as calcium, zinc and magnesium. Of course, we must not forget that it is a great natural source of fiber.
  • Celery: In this list of stems that are eaten, celery cannot be missing because it is one of the most beneficial for the body. Like asparagus, they have a lot of water content, making their consumption ideal for losing weight and to avoid fluid retention, being a perfect natural diuretic. It is also a source of vitamin B1 and B2, as well as choline, tyrosine, asparagine and glutamine, which are necessary for the nervous and muscular systems.
  • Chard: Among edible stem vegetables, one of the most popular is chard, which is also a very complete food. For example, it is rich in amino acids such as isoleucine, arginine and glutamine. Likewise, it is a source of vitamins such as B, C, E and K, as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc, among others.
  • Leeks: This edible stem also has a high percentage of water, which is also very diuretic. However, it also contains proteins, vitamins (B, C, E and K), and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and manganese.

Recipes with edible stems-ideas

The stems used in cookingThey are normally found in the salads, although there are many other options depending on the edible stem you want to consume. For example, asparagus is usually prepared in a salad, although it is delicious if you make a soup with it or sauté it and serve it with meat, mainly.

Rhubarb, for its part, is a stem that tends to be prepared like fruit, in jam, and in salads, but it has multiple uses in pastries and cooked with sugar to make cakes and crumbles. Another stem that is eaten and used in a variety of dishes, such as stews, creams and crumbles, is the leek. For example, in this recipe you will see how to make leek cream easily. On the other hand, celery can be used in stews and not only in broths, soups and creams. If you like creams, apart from leek cream, we recommend trying this other stem with this recipe on How to make celery cream.

The shallot plant, for example, has many uses as a condiment or to use in the dressing of some pickles such as olives or pickled cucumbers.

These are some options on how you can incorporate the stems that are eaten into the kitchen. At unCOMO, we hope to have helped you learn more about these 12 edible stems so that you can use them in your favorite recipes.

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