Unique Vegetables

Unique vegetables are goodies from around the world that we might never have even known existed. If you're looking to expand your vocabulary and your daily meals exquisitely and nutritiously, then this list of unique vegetables and how to use them is what your diet and meal management system needs!

Yard Long Bean

Health Benefits:

The yard long bean, stemming from Asian territories, contains edible pods that are soft and sweet, with plenty of dietary fiber that helps reduce LDL-cholesterol levels. Yard long beans give you the multiple vitamins you need, with a comparably higher amount of vitamin A than lima or green beans, and enough vitamin B-12 and C to synthesize your DNA and boost your antioxidant levels. These green magic sticks can even contribute to fighting infections and protecting blood vessel elasticity. Let's not forget it also contains healthy minerals like copper, iron, magnesium, and calcium, which help nerves and joints, support strong bones, and relax muscles.

How to Use Them:

Your best bet is to treat yard long beans as you would green beans. Trim the ends, chop them into your desired length, and sauté, steam, or rinse them. Drop in a salad or stir-fry, or use as a nutritiously tasty side for a plate of fish or seafood.

Unique Vegetables

Romanesco Broccoli

Health Benefits:

The interesting appearance of Romanesco easily places it in the realm of unique vegetables. Romanesco also has great nutritional value, providing zinc, carotenoids, iron, vitamin C, and folate, which does wonders for the reproductive system. This flowery vegetable also contains glucosinolates and thiocyanates that help strengthen the liver against potentially toxic substances. That's not all, though. Enzymes are also found in Romanesco, making it a good detox food. As part of the broccoli and cauliflower family, it is also high in fiber, so you won't have to worry about constipation, high blood sugar, or overeating.

How to Use Them:

Romanesco is the perfect substitute for broccoli or cauliflower, but it has a more delicate texture that requires less cooking time. Add it to any pasta or stew and you are good to go.

Unique Vegetables

Kohlrabi

Health Benefits:

Kohlrabi leaves, also known as turnip cabbage, contain more vitamin C than oranges! Full of dietary fiber and other vitamins, this Germanic vegetable has no cholesterol, nourishes the body's tissues, and is made of phytochemicals that protect against prostate and colon cancers. These unique vegetables come in white and purple and provide a fair amount of minerals such as phosphorous, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Kohlrabi also contains nutrients that help manage heart rate and blood pressure.

How to Use Them:

This round, crunchy medicine ball is similar to vegetables like kale and Brussels sprouts. Eat it raw or cooked. Trim off the leaves and stems, but keep them to put in a leafy stir-fry. Slice it down into soups or salads, or include it in a barbequed meal. Whatever your kohlrabi heart desires!

Unique Vegetables

Garlic Scapes

Health Benefits:

The premature flower stems of garlic, a.k.a. garlic scapes, are quite the nutritional leaf sticks. If you already know how healthy garlic cloves are, you'll be pleased to learn that garlic scapes are not much different. High in antioxidants, these unique vegetables can guard your body's cells from bacteria and illnesses. The delicate green also protects the lungs and skin with its high containments of vitamins A and C. Garlic is made of volatile oil, which gives it a defined taste and contributes to the protection of the liver and kidneys from oxidative stress.

How to Use Them:

Garlic scapes are fitting for all salads, dips, pastas, and stir-fry dishes. For the summer months, try making a special green dip with green beans, yellow mustard, lemon juice, and olive oil. You can really play around with this spicy green veggie!

Unique Vegetables

Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato

Health Benefits:

This extravagant purple vegetable has been named a top superfood, and it's not hard to see why. Like other sweet potatoes, the Okinawan sweet potato is known to enhance the regulation of blood sugar. The Okinawan is also particularly highly ranked for its soaring antioxidant levels, which can help protect the body against cardiovascular disease and cancer. This Hawaiian vegetable also has your vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese, as well as significant minerals such as vitamin B-6, copper, iron, potassium, and fiber. Fun fact: anthocyanin is the antioxidant that creates its striking plum-like color.

How to Use Them:

Okinawan sweet potatoes can take the place of any normal potato, while adding a savory sensation to the taste and changing the color to something more ravishing. Add cinnamon powder and coconut milk to make a fantasy dish of mashed Okinawan sweet potatoes.

Unique Vegetables

We love veggies because they have little to no cholesterol, HUGE nutritional value, and never-ending uses. While the biggest conflict you encounter may be actually finding these unique vegetables, there are several local markets and suppliers that import these unfamiliar vegetables for us.

Whether you use a gym tote, gym backpack, or sports duffle bag, these vegetables will fill your meal management system up with unique bursts of color and flavor. Next time you enter the grocery store, be on the look out for these vibrantly healthy eats!

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