It is not an uncommon experience for a vegan to share that this lifestyle has opened up a whole new world of delicious foods they would have never tried, had they not turned vegan! Veganism also often comes with a newly found love for vegetables and creative ways to use them in a plethora of taste-bud satisfying dishes.
This zeal for discovering new tastes can undoubtedly turn into a culinary adventure, which gets even more exciting if you have someone to share it with. It is loads of fun to introduce your family to a new ingredient and watch their reactions!
Here are 10 obscure but highly nutritious veggies you may have not heard of
Sometimes known as a German turnip or turnip cabbage, kohlrabi is a bulb-like cruciferous vegetable that’s praised for its cancer-fighting properties. Both the vegetable and its leaves are edible and taste similar to the stalk of broccoli. Kohlrabi is delicious sliced thin and tossed in salads, steamed and mashed or roasted in wedge form for a low-carb potato alternative.
Celeriac, widely known as celery root, is a root vegetable with a knobby and gnarly appearance. It is edible both in raw and cooked forms, with a vibrant and distinctive celery flavor. Because of celeriac’s comforting quality, it often stars in soups, stews, casseroles, mashes and other savory dishes. For a fresh, raw take on the root vegetable, try shredding it and adding it to tossed salads, grating it onto roasted vegetables or adding it to your favorite green juice. Celeriac is low in calories and high in flavor, making it a root-vegetable superstar.
3. Sweet Potato Greens
While sweet potatoes get a lot of love, their greens are all but overlooked. But these deep-green beauties are loaded with vitamin B-6, vitamin C and riboflavin. They have a velvety-soft texture and are less bitter and more pleasant that their competitors, kale and Swiss chard. Sweet potato leaves can be found at your local farmers market, in your CSA share or by simply asking a local farmer to save some for you. They are delicious raw or cooked. Try adding them to your green smoothie, cooked in a simple stir-fry or sauteed until just barely wilted and dressed with a little olive oil, sea salt and lemon juice.
Romanesco is some kind of magical lovechild between a cauliflower and broccoli. First documented in Italy, and also known as romanesco broccoli or roman cauliflower, this veg can now be found at your local farmers market during the fall months. This vegetable is striking in appearance, with its fractal, chartreuse peaks, and is crunchy and mild-tasting. Romanesco is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber. The best way to eat romanesco is to roast it.
5. Garlic Scapes
Although garlic scapes are becoming more and more popular and widely coveted by the foodie and chef community, this less-than-conventional vegetable is still unknown to most. Garlic scapes (commonly shortened to just scapes) are the curly, shoot-like stalks growing from the bulb of the garlic plant. Scapes are harvested at the beginning of the growing season, typically late spring to the middle of summer, to direct more of the plant’s energy into developing the bulbs’ intense flavor. A popular way to prepare scapes is to blend them into a pungent pesto, but they’re also fantastic when treated like asparagus and grilled or roasted with a sprinkle of sea salt.
Dea is passionate about pursuing gentle, pure living in all its forms. She’s a veg and fruit foodie, who loves to explore the healing properties of plant-based foods and then fully indulge in their sun-filled taste. She believes that “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”