Vegetables are good for us — not exactly breaking news, is it? Broccoli, spinach, kale, and celery may win the race time and time again, featuring in healthy recipes to balance out meals and keep things in check. But what about the other hundreds of vegetables out there waiting to be devoured?
Bringing in an array of nutrients and benefits, it’s often the “ugly” goods that turn a plate into a rainbow of colors. There are so many exciting, metabolism-boosting dishes that can easily be created with the unusual veggies that we are so quick to stroll past in the supermarket. Not only can they reduce your weekly bill by going a little left field, but they can also inject a bit of excitement and taste back into your weekly dishes.
Below is Savoir Flair’s round-up of the top five nutritious vegetables that should be sprouting back into our lives and diets – for taste as well as health – along with recipe ideas for each to get the ball rolling.
Even for someone accustomed to cooking, these rather intimidating-looking vegetables can leave a few question marks. However, studies have shown that artichoke hearts have higher antioxidant levels than blueberries, broccoli, cranberries, and even rich dark chocolate, so you have to wonder why they aren’t being thrown into our trolleys on a weekly basis. They’re also high in potassium, vitamin K, and folic acid, making them one tasty “superfood”. Here is Jamie Oliver’s guide to everything you need to know about preparing and cooking artichokes.
Most people are pretty familiar with the humble cauliflower, but it’s still a leading contender in the forgotten vegetables family for many of us. This rather bland vegetable usually gets neglected next to its green partner-in-crime, broccoli, but the craze for using it as a base for healthy pizza is nothing short of a miracle. It’s also a fantastic, gluten-free rice substitution.
These typically dirty-looking red roots are a bit of a mystery for people who wonder, “How can something so unappealing be so sweet and vibrant?” It’s all about unwrapping its layers. Peel away the tough outer layer of beetroots after baking to reveal what is, quite frankly, the prettiest vegetable out there. Bright pinks and reds translate to a naturally sweet and antioxidant-full flavor that can be added to many dishes, or be the star of the show. Beetroot has been proven to lower blood pressure, improve sugar levels, and increase athletic performance. An amazing all-rounder root! Click here for a delicious and light recipe for beetroot carpaccio to get you started.
Although they come with their own array of health benefits (they’re packed full of fiber, potassium, magnesium, and calcium), radishes also boast great taste and a beautiful pink hue. Salads are always full of cucumber and tomatoes, but they really are missing this vital ingredient. Crunchy, fresh, and slightly peppery, radishes will zing up any salad or side dish. They also make for the perfect crudité and snack. In the South of France, radishes are even served alongside bread and butter in the fanciest of restaurants. So out with the carrots and in with these pink roots, along with some soft cheese or hummus. Delicious.
The cousin of kale, Swiss chard is a tasty, healthy alternative to your usual leafy greens. It provides a whopping 700 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin K and over 200 percent of the RDA of vitamin A – all in just one cup! It can be eaten raw or cooked, and used in salads for a low-calorie, nutritious, and tasty addition. Why not start by saying goodbye to high-carb fajita wraps and let chard be the star of your Mexican nights? Click here to see how.