We all know how our moms practically force down super healthy vegetables down our throats, telling us they’re good for us. Well, now that we’re a little order, we all know our moms were right. Squash and carrots for better eyesight, spinach for iron, bell peppers for vitamin C. These are several of the popular vegetables that we know. However, you’ve probably tasted some unusual cruciferous vegetables already, but have no idea what they are. That's because out there still lies more than a thousand other rare but super healthy vegetables. Now before you go running for the hills, introducing new vegetables into your diet is actually not a bad idea. You’ll be doing your taste buds a great favor since they’ll be experiencing new flavors.
A Must-Try List of Super Healthy Vegetables
We might see a resemblance between a Romanesco broccoli and a cauliflower because Romanesco is a natural cross between cauliflowers and broccoli. This yellow green-colored, peculiar-looking vegetable goes by a lot of names, but most people call it a Romanesco. This fibonacci or spiral pattern does not only captivate our eyes, it also loads us with a better health as it is naturally antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogen, anti-cancer, and even an antidepressant. Apart from the things mentioned above, it is rich in vitamins C and K, fiber, and carotenoids.
How to Prepare Romanesco Broccoli
- Rinse your romanesco with cold water. Drain after or shake excess moisture from florets.
- Set upside down on a chopping board, then cut the large center stem and put the florets aside.
- Using medium heat, bring to boil 4 cups of water with 1 teaspoon of salt. While waiting, cut the florets into smaller bites or leave as is.
- Place the florets in the boiled water and return water to full boil. Cook for five minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. You may also add butter as desired.
2. Winter Squash
The winter squash is an annual fruit with different varieties. It is usually harvested and eaten in autumn. This is when their seeds reach the mature stage and when the skin is tough. Unlike the summer squash, winter squash’s skin is not usually eaten. Most varieties of the winter squash can be stored and enjoyed through winter. Winter squash or Hubbard squash contains vitamins A, B, and C. It also has dietary fiber and riboflavin contents. With its beta-carotene content, winter squash shields our bodies from cancer cells that can hit our colons, and it also gives us super skin, especially during cold seasons.
Did You Know?
You can actually replace potatoes with squash in mashed potatoes, coining it as squashed squash. Others suggest that you mix these two vegetables together too. Just steam these two veggies with garlic for about 15 minutes. Afterward, add some margarine, then start mashing the two. Salt, pepper, and nutmeg will best add to its taste.
It takes two processes to grow an endive, but it sure is worth the wait. Endives are said to be the world's 13th most alimental vegetable. This super healthy vegetable supplies one with tremendous energy due to its high vitamin B content. One can be delighted by its sugary and mildly bitter taste. It also gives a crunchy bite.
Best Way to Serve an Endive
Grilled, brushed with olive oil, and topped with balsamic vinegar and toasted walnuts. To add taste, salt and pepper will do.
This plant is widely grown in many European and Asian regions as a staple leafy vegetable. It has thick leaves and taste slightly sour and salty. Its leaves and stems are edible. Its yellow flower buds can be also used, especially in salads. The purslane has an unbelievably high level of omega-3 fatty acid compared to any other vegetable. Research shows that constant consumption of food rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. It also helps prevent the development of autism, ADHD, and other developmental differences in children. Aside from omega-3, this super healthy vegetable also has loads of other vitamins and nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and some vitamin B-complex. Purslane also has some dietary minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, and potassium. The purslane also aids in weight loss, provides better skin, helps in cancer prevention, and much more.
The Purslane Surprise
Fun Fact: Purslane is just one of your backyard weeds. Yes! That’s right. Purslane is considered a common garden weed. It can be found in moist garden beds, lawns, and shady areas. It grows close to the ground and commonly goes unnoticed.
Not to confuse anyone, but the celery and celeriac taste just the same because celeriac is actually a knobby root from where celery comes from. Celeriac is a very good source of vitamin K, and it has a very low calorie count. It also contains several essential minerals such as phosphorous, which is needed for cell metabolism. It also contains copper, which helps restore one's immune system.
Making French-Fried Celeriac
To do so, juice ½ cup of lemon and bring to boil. Peel off the roots of the celeriac, cut into slices, then cut into sticks and put into the bowl of lemon juice. In another pot, heat up vegetable oil until it smokes and deep fry until golden brown. Drain, add salt, then serve.
Despite the fact that this aquatic plant is often unnoticed, watercress tops the list of healthy vegetables. It is a close cousin to cabbage, arugula, and mustard greens. It has small, round, and slightly scalloped leaves. Since it grows in water, watercress should first be washed thoroughly and soaked about half an hour or so in cool water that is mixed with hydrogen peroxide. This is to remove any pollutants, parasites, or other impurities. This plant is low in calories, but has tons of other properties that help prevent diseases. It is also rich in protein and vitamins A, C, K. The watercress boosts one’s immune system, helps promote stronger bones, helps treat Alzheimer’s disease, and prevents iron deficiency.
The Taste of Watercress
Watercress is usually bitter. That is why it is best served with other vegetables in a salad. It produces edible flowers that are more bitter than its leaves. You can opt to eat it raw, but make sure that you remove its thickest stems.
Mostly consumed as a liquid content for most nutritious drinks like Daily Greens, wheatgrass is said to best cleanse toxins from one's body. It is also a blood builder, containing about 70% chlorophyll. Wheatgrass is actually healthier than most vegetables that you eat.
Is wheatgrass Really One of the Super Healthy Vegetables?
There are not enough studies on wheatgrass as one of the super healthy vegetables, despite its claims to being healthier than most vegetables that you eat. However, it contributes a lot to one's needed intake of fruit and vegetables in the body. This is why it is one of the best ingredients for supplements.
Famous in Korean, Chinese, and Japanese cuisines, wakame is an edible brown seaweed that is part of most Asians’ staple diet. Sometimes people use wakame for sushi, miso soups, and many other dishes. But who would've thought that this seaweed is one of the super healthy vegetables? Other than its high nutrient content, wakame is also low in calories and minimal in fats, which prevent one from obesity and having heart diseases. It is also a good source of magnesium, iodine, folate, lignans, calcium and a number of vitamins, specifically A, B2, C, D, E, and K.
Why Are Other Wakame Served Green?
There is another way to prepare wakame that makes it green. First, one soaks wakame in lukewarm water for about 10 minutes until it swells. Then one drains the wakame before bringing it to boil. To fully enrich its color, rinse immediately with cold water.
Kohlrabi, or knol-khol, has an unusual and unique appearance. It's like a weird mixture of an onion and a cabbage. You can actually eat it any way you want---raw, steamed, roasted, or in a soup. Whichever way you choose, kohlrabi will still give you all the nutrients that it contains. This impressive list of vitamins includes vitamins A, C, K, and the B-complex group. The minerals that the kohlrabi have include calcium, potassium, copper, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. The benefits that this super healthy vegetable can provide is it can help the human body maintain healthy connective tissue, teeth, and gums. It also protects the human body from harmful free radicals. Another benefit is that it has health-promoting phytochemicals that can help ward off prostate and colon cancers.
The Kohlrabi Slaw
First of all, you'll have to consider that even though the whole plant of kohlrabi is edible, it would be best to peel it until the bulb shows. Now you're ready to make your own kohlrabi slaw. To start with, combine kohlrabi, cabbage, carrots, onion, and cilantro in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, cider vinegar, salt, and sugar for your dressing. Mix together and chill before consumption.
We would probably never want to eat this particular vegetable because of its tiny spines all over. Nopales actually come from cactus plants, only that we consume it as soon as we completely take out its spines. Tasting like beans, the best way to serve these nopales is using it as ingredients for salads and soups. They actually provide a lot of benefits to the human body. They help in weight loss, through regulating and improving digestion and through optimizing metabolic activity. Eating nopales can also help prevent cancer, protect heart health, boost the immune system, cure insomnia, reduce inflammation throughout the body, improve the skin, and build stronger bones. This is achieved through its bounty of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Nopales contains riboflavin, copper, fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium. It also has vitamins A, B6, C, and K.
Pricky, Pricky: What to Do with Pricks
Trying to serve nopales but got pricked while taking out the cactus's spikes? It's easy! While some prefer using a knife to remove the spines, some actually result to burning them off.
The Super Healthy Vegetables Challenge
This list of super healthy vegetables to try are actually just some suggestions for you. You can actually go out, do your own research, and come up with a list of your own. Who knows? Your list may even be better and tastier!