By Caroline Rosini

There’s nothing like a good haul from your local farmers market on a Saturday morning, or being the first one down the supermarket aisle when everyone is still sleeping. If you’re like us, (coffee in hand), you probably stroll by a dozen or so produce varieties you don’t recognize. Or perhaps you recognize it but aren’t sure how to cook with it? We’re here to help. We’ve identified seven unusual fruits and veggies that’ll add flavor and interest to any meal, from breakfast to dessert.

Dandelion Greens 

Yep, that dandelion. But it’s not just a pesky weed that mars a beautiful lawn. The greens that go along with the flower are edible and delicious.

Grown in backyards around the world, dandelion greens have a bitter flavor and are generally combined with richer foods to balance the bitterness. This unusual produce is a great source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, and many other nutrients. Look for dandelion greens during the spring for peak freshness.

jicamaYou may have seen this little-known tuber in a crisp salad or adding crunch to tacos. Jicama is grown in warm climates, like the Caribbean, Southern Asia, and Central America, especially Mexico.

Jicama, with its crunchy texture and sweet, nutty flavor, can be used as you would a water chestnut and can be cooked or left raw in a veggie salad. This unusual veggie is high in fiber and vitamin C, and can aid in the absorption of calcium.

Kohlrabi

kohlrabi

This green or purple bulbous vegetable is in the cabbage family, but is often mistaken for a turnip.

Commonly eaten abroad in Germany, Vietnam and India, kohlrabi is a mild-flavored vegetable. Enjoy it raw or cooked, as long as you peel away its thick outer layer.

The texture of the main body of the kohlrabi is reminiscent of Brussel sprouts or broccoli stems, making it a wonderful side vegetable while the leaves (if you’re lucky enough to purchase them still attached) are a delicious addition to a salad. Kohlrabi is an especially rich source of dietary fiber and vitamin B6

Pomelo

pomeloThe pomelo, or pummello and pomello, is South East Asia native and the larger, sweeter cousin of the grapefruit. On the outside, pomelos could pass as an abnormally large grapefruit, but underneath their thick green-yellow skin, they are sweeter and milder than the grapefruit. 

The pale-yellow flesh is a delicious addition to a salad or dessert, while the juice and rinds are ideal for making marmalades. Like most citrus fruits, pomelos are high in immune-boosting vitamin C and potassium, important for hearth health.

Tomatillos

tomatilloIf you’re a lover of Mexican food, you might know this little dynamo already. Tomatillos are native to Central America and a member of the tomato family. Although tomatillos look an awful lot like a green tomato, under their inedible, paper-thin husk, they are distinct in flavor and texture.

Tomatillos are firm and non-juicy with a tart flavor that combines well with avocado, peppers, or Mexican spices. Try making a tomatillo salsa or roast and add them to a spicy chili!

 

vegan plant-based diet