Shredded raw vegetables add brightness, flavor, and crunch to recipes, as well as needed nutrients. Here's how to shred vegetables -- and how to use them once they're shredded.
By definition, to shred means to push food across or through a shredding surface to make long, narrow strips. To finely shred means to make long, thin strips. Most vegetables can be shredded with a box grater, a hand grater, or a food processor; however, cabbage lettuce, and other leafy greens can be easily shredded with a knife. We'll show you the best ways to get the job done.
When to Shred Vegetables
Here are some of the most common ways in which shredded vegetables are used in recipes:
Either will work, but each has its advantages. While the box grater offers more functions, the plane grater takes up less room in your kitchen and can be easily tucked into a drawer.
Here's how to shred root vegetables, cucumbers, asparagus, summer squash, and other nonleafy vegetables:
Tip: As the vegetable you're grating becomes smaller, it's easy to shred skin from your fingertips or knuckles if they get too close to the shredding surface. Once the vegetable has been shredded down to a small piece, cut this remaining piece by hand into small strips using a sharp knife. This will help you avoid cutting your fingers on the grater. You can also buy a shredding glove to protect your hand.
How to Shred Other Leafy Greens
Follow these instructions for napa cabbage, Savoy cabbage, Swiss chard, escarole, kale, romaine, turnip greens, and other sturdy leafy greens:
Shredding Vegetables in a Food Processor or Blender
You can also use a food processor fitted with a shredding blade to shred vegetables. Follow the directions given by the manufacturer. We do not recommend shredding vegetables in a blender, as blenders chop the food into short, small, uneven pieces rather than shredding them into long, narrow uniform strips.
Shredding: How Many/How Much?
Carrots, cabbage, and other greens are often used by the cupful in recipes. Here's a guide to how much of each you'll need for each cup: