We’re in peak veggie season and it’s easy to fill up your plate with a variety of gorgeous, fresh-picked vegetables. From bright red peppers to crisp green cucumbers, fitting in your daily five or more is a breeze.
But there’s also no better time to break out of your vegetable rut and try something new. Following are five unusual and delicious superveggies to pick up on your next shopping trip.
Superfood surprises from the vegetable aisle
1. Gai lan:
in your favorite Chinese restaurant before without even knowing it. In spite of its nickname, gai lan looks far more like a leafy green than traditional broccoli. Picture a broccoli stalk with a lettuce leaf on top and you’ll have the right idea.
Gail lan becomes perfectly fork tender with just a quick steam, and is overflowing with good-for-you vitamins and minerals earning it its place on the superfood list. One cup of the leafy green is under twenty calories. And this veggie’s slightly sweet, mildly bitter flavor is perfect in soups, stir fries or simply tossed with some olive oil and coarsely ground salt as a side dish.
Also known as yambean, jicama looks a lot like a potato. But jicama is a low carb veggie with a glycemic load of just two for an entire cup.
Crunchy and slightly sweet, jicama makes a delicious addition to just about any salad. Or cut the jicama into thin slices, sprinkle with a dash of salt, and bake for a mouthwatering veggie chip that will make it easy to resist the potato chips at your next picnic.
Popular in Germany, kohlrabi hasn’t yet developed the following it deserves here in the U.S. Sometimes called a German turnip, this tuberous veggie is part of the brassica family, which also includes broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
Low in calories kohlrabi is a good source of fiber, and an excellent source of a number of vitamins and minerals. And while the veggie comes in both a pretty pale green and a beautiful deep purple, the inside of either color looks and tastes the same regardless of the color on the outside. Most folks describe the flavor as a perfect cross between broccoli and cabbage.
You can eat kohlrabi in the same way you’d eat cabbage, turnips or cauliflower. It’s delicious raw, steamed, roasted or mashed. For example you can peel off the outer leaves and grate the inside to use in a salad or to make coleslaw. Cut it up into cubes and toss into stir fries, soups or stews. Or combine with other veggies such as sweet potatoes and beets, toss in olive oil and salt and roast for a delicious side dish.
You’ve probably seen parsnips, which look kind of like a white carrot, at the grocery store. But if you’re like a lot of folks you’ve never actually tried them, or thought of them as a superfood. Let’s make this the year you change that.
When you cook a parsnip it develops a positively addictive sweet and nutty flavor that makes a delicious addition to just about any meal. Parsnips are versatile veggies that are great boiled, baked, fried, steamed, mashed or sautéed.
5. Tatuma squash:
This unusual vegetable is literally known as the squash with many names. But no matter whether you call it tatuma, tatume, Mexican zucchini, or calabacita one thing stays the same, and that is it’s always delicious.
Unlike some summer squashes you can find tatuma in season year-round. It looks like a cross between a zucchini, a watermelon and a pumpkin. Slice it and use it instead of pita with hummus. Try it roasted or sautéed. Or toss it into spaghetti or stir fries.
Try something new this summer. Give your taste buds a vacation with one of these unusual superfood superveggies.