We often cook the same meals over and over again, using the usual ingredients. There are, however, a slew of great vegetables that you may not have heard of, but are great for your health. Here are five good-for-you veggies to discover, and simple ways to enjoy them.
Part of the beetroot family, this vegetable is very much used in Mediterranean cooking. Swiss chard looks a bit like rhubarb, and the stems can be yellow, red or white, depending on the type. The more colourful the stem, the sweeter the taste. The leaves should be green and firm; they yellow as they age.
Its benefits: Swiss chard is rich in beta-carotene and antioxidants. It is also a great source of iron when boiled or steam-cooked.
Culinary uses: Both leaves and stems can be consumed, although the latter requires a bit more cooking time. To give Swiss chard a bit more taste, brown the leaves and stems in a pan with some olive oil and minced garlic until they soften. Season with salt and pepper, and enjoy! Try our recipe for Potato Chard Soup.
Sometimes known as “Italian broccoli”, this vegetable is part of the cruciferous family. It is formed of thin stems and indented leaves. The stems, like the leaves, are edible. Make sure the rapini is green with firm leaves; this means it’s fresh.
Its benefits: Rapini contains vitamins A and C and is a great anti-cancer vegetable, much like others from the cruciferous family.
Culinary uses: Because of its bitter taste, rapini is mostly eaten cooked rather than raw. It can be used to replace broccoli in most recipes and can be boiled in the exact same way, though for much less time. When ready, simply serve it by drizzling oil over it as well as a few drops of lemon juice. It also tastes great with tofu, which it infuses with taste when cooked together. Try our recipe for Pasta with Broccoli and Rapini.
Part of the root vegetable family, celeriac may not look like much on the outside, but its taste is extremely flavourful. It resembles a turnip, but with a taste that is less intense. It can also take in the flavour of other foods it is cooked with.
Its benefits: Celeriac is a great source of potassium, vitamin C and iron, and is also rich in minerals. It also has diuretic and purgative properties.
Culinary uses: Celeriac bulbs can be eaten raw, especially when shredded in salads. They make excellent soups when boiled or ground. They can also be used in stews or can be fried or mashed in place of potatoes. Try our recipe for Apple and Celeriac Salad.
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