How can I reuse or recycle squash or marrow leaves?

I always feel a bit silly asking for suggestions for vegetable/garden waste because the vast majority of the time, it just goes in the compost bin, job done — but sometimes I think it’s worth asking because what is a common place use/reuse to someone is completely mindblowing to the next (for example, the broccoli stalk issue).

I thought it would be worth asking about squash (above) and marrow/courgette/zucchini (below) leaves because our garden is full of them and some of them are massive – when they stop finally fruiting, that’s going to be a LOT of vegetable matter going in the compost bin. Obviously not the end of the world – they’ll make nice compost for next year and it’ll nicely balance out our browns in there – but still.

From what I’ve read, chickens aren’t so keen to eat them so they’re probably not good for them. What about other livestock? If it’s veggie livestock, the leaves will end up in the compost anyway, just serving another purpose first ;)

My next question was going to be “can we eat them?” but a bit of Googling has already answered that for me – yes, we can eat squash leaves but best stick to the tender new leaves & shoots of summer squash, else they’re a bit tough. They also need peeling too apparently. Anyone had any experience of cooking with them?

Any other reuses for them?

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3 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle squash or marrow leaves?”

  1. Alena says:

    Cover the leaf with a bit of paint, then press onto paper. Frame your art work.

  2. Alena says:

    Squash leaves can be eaten, when cooked.
    Squash stems, if you clean off the prickles, are also edible, even raw. They taste like green beans.

  3. Steve Navarra says:

    I did some research, too, because I’m that kind of internet addict; my findings are that EVERY PART of EVERY SQUASH PLANT is edible. Humph. Who’d have thunk it?

    So…armed with such knowledge (and, a willing wife) I made some brown rice; added some chopped onions, salt, pepper, garlic, a few craisins and some cinnamon and olive oil. Stirred it up nice. Scooped about an ounce of this mixture onto the base of a squash leaf (obtained from my compost bin plants) that I had washed and blanched, and tucked in the sides, rolled it up neatly, and laid off to the side.

    Then, in a medium pan, I sweated some diced onions in olive oil, tossed in some garlic, salt, pepper, and a small can of crushed tomatoes; gave it about five minutes on medium heat, and placed the rice-filled leaves into it to simmer for about forty-five minutes on low, basting occasionally. Served them topped with nutritional yeast (we’re vegetarian/Veg*n) and enjoyed. I would bet that for the Omnivores out there, a meatball recipe filling would work quite nicely.

    Your sources are correct: stick with the smaller leaves. the big ones are not only tough, but they have whiskers like Grizzly Adams. NOT a taste treat.

    If you have any questions, hit my email:

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