Discover the World of Unusual Fruits and Vegetables
Are you ready to add a little inspiration to your diet? Discover the world of unusual fruits and vegetables. It’s a fun way to eat more healthy.
Despite the important role fresh produce plays in preventing disease and promoting good health, most Americans aren’t getting their daily seven servings of fruits and vegetables. One reason may be that many people find fruits and vegetables uninspiring when compared to a freshly grilled steak, a crisp order of French fries, or a tasty dessert. Unfortunately, when most people envision fruits and vegetables, they think of conventional offerings such as green beans, apples, and oranges; never taking the time to explore the many unusual fruits and vegetables that are more widely available these days. These unusual fruits and vegetables can not only titillate the taste buds in a fresh new way, but also provide inspiration for new recipes and dishes.
Where can you find unusual fruits and vegetables? The best place to start is at your local supermarket. On your next trip instead of breezing through with a list, spend some time exploring the produce section looking for options you haven’t tried. Some grocery stores have a reference book on display that gives cooking and nutritional information for a wide variety of produce items. These books usually contain photos of less common fruits and vegetables so you can get an idea of what’s available. Instead of reaching for the customary bag of oranges and broccoli, try some tangelos and broccoli rabe instead. Exploring a new fruit or vegetable is a great way to shake up weary taste buds while adding healthy vitamins and antioxidants to the diet.
If your supermarket has a limited selection of produce, visit some of the natural and whole food markets in your area. These stores frequently offer unusual fruits and vegetables. Oriental food markets and farmer’s markets, depending on the region, can also be a source of exotic fruits and vegetables. Another way to explore the world of unusual fruits and veggies is to join an exotic fruit of the month club. These can be found by googling the term “buy exotic fruits”. Every month you’ll receive a new and unusual fruit offering including such choices as acerola, custard apples, dragon fruits, lychee, mangosteen, star fruit, ugli fruit, and more.
What about vegetables? Some that are readily available in grocery stores that you may not have tried include arugula, bok choy, chayote, leeks, radicchio, daikon, and Swiss chard. Other more “exotic” choices that may be more difficult to locate include taro, cassava, yucca, Jerusalem artichoke, burdock, jicama, banana squash, kabocha, and manioc. If you do find these harder to find vegetable options, consider freezing some for later use. Another option, if you have a green thumb, is to grow your own.
To educate yourself further, consider investing in a book that illustrates the many ways to prepare unusual fruits and vegetables. One such title is Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables: A Common Sense Guide by Elizabeth Schneider. Resources like this can be a good source of education and inspiration. Enjoy the world of unusual fruits and vegetables!