Parsley growing in the garden (


Parsley is often thought of as a garnish, and it does make food look pretty, but it’s so much more than that!  It adds flavor to all kinds of dishes, from veggie salads to herb dips to veggie broths.  And it’s nutritious to boot!  One half cup of raw parsley leaves is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, and a good source of folate and iron.  Some garnish–it’s a power food!


We’re really on an herb kick this summer!  We’ve shared tips on growing mint, cilantro, and now parsley (a favorite substitute for cilantro).  Herbs really are easy to grow, inside or out, and parsley is no exception.  Parsley seeds should be planted once the temperature steadies around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and is a bit slow to grow (about 6 weeks before you’ll see seedlings), but it’s worth the wait!  We usually plant the seedlings because we don’t want to wait too long to start snipping it for our recipes. Once the plants mature, snip off the smaller offshoots.  Parsley will continue to generate new leaves all season long until the first fall frost, so keep snipping!


Chopped parsley is very versatile.  Sprinkle it on lean proteins like grilled chicken or roasted white fish to add a pop of fresh, herby flavor, or toss it into chopped veggie salads with a little lemon juice.  You can’t go wrong!  My Green Edamame Dip from Appetite for Life is always popular with both kids and adults.  It offers a great source of protein from soybeans, and plenty of vitamins from all the fresh parsley leaves!  It’s the perfect dip for summer picnics or BBQs!

Green Edamame Dip

The edamame give this dip its green color; the flaxseed oil and walnuts make it a good source of healthy fats. Serve with baby carrots, celery sticks, and bell pepper slices, or use it as a spread in a whole wheat wrap or sandwich with your favorite fillings.

Kids can measure and add ingredients to food processor and pulse.


1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) shelled edamame (soybeans)

3⁄4 cup walnuts

1⁄2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves

1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt

1 teaspoon flaxseed oil

1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt

1 small clove garlic

Sliced raw vegetables and/or pita chips


  1. In a food processor, place all ingredients except sliced vegetables and pita chips. Pulse until ingredients are well blended and mixture is smooth.
  2. Serve with cut-up vegetables or pita chips, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Makes 13 servings (2 tablespoons per serving)

Nutrition Facts per serving: 60 calories; 5g fat (0g sat fat, 1g mono, 3g poly, 0g trans fat); 0mg cholesterol; 3g carbohydrate (1g fiber, 1g sugar); 2g protein; 20mg sodium; 6% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 6% DV vitamin C; 2% DV calcium; 4% DV iron

– Stacey Antine, MS, RD, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, co-host, Family Food Expert Internet Radio Show, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA.

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