8 Vegetables to Kick-Start Your Menu
By Kate Gardner
Vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. I know it, you know it, my kids know it (even if sometimes they pretend not to know it). Carrots, broccoli, and cucumbers are our main go-to vegetables, but eating the same things day in and day out gets a little stale. When that happens, I find that we start skipping our vegetables in favor of more exciting foods. If you find yourself in a similar vegetable rut, the answer to your problems may lie in trying something new! Here's just a taste from Delish.com's list of "50 Fruits and Vegetables You've Never Heard Of."
African cucumber - Also known as horned melon, this cucumber is actually a fruit (but we'll allow it). With a spiky orange exterior and green interior, the flavor is compared to cucumbers, zucchini, bananas, and lemons. African cucumbers are eaten raw.
Black radish - If regular radishes aren't spicy enough for you, maybe a black radish is in order! Super-spicy black radish can be eaten raw (like red radishes) or roasted.
Dulse - Not all vegetables come from the ground. Dulse is a vegetable grown in the sea that has a slightly salty taste. Much like kale, you can roast dulse for a crisp snack!
Gai lan - Gai lan has a taste similar to broccoli, though it doesn't have florets. The leaves can be eaten and are often boiled or used in stir-fries.
Jicama - Jicama looks a bit like rutabaga, but has a mild, sweet flavor. Cut it into strips and roast them with olive oil and salt or enjoy them raw!
Romanescu - This crazy looking vegetable tastes just like cauliflower. It can be used in any recipe that calls for cauliflower, from roasting to mashing.
Salsify - No, this vegetable isn't what happens when you add salsa to something. Salsify looks like a long, root-colored parsnip and tastes like an artichoke. Try roasting salsify or boiling and mashing it with butter and salt.
White asparagus - White asparagus is the same vegetable as its green sibling, but it is grown without any sunlight! It is preferred by some because it is said to be more tender.
If you can't find these vegetables in your local supermarket, try ethnic grocery stores or health food stores. Make vegetables a more exciting part of your menu by exploring some of these unusual choices!
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