What’s that?! Fun Facts, Veggie Samples, & Recipes to Explore Unfamiliar Vegetables
With so many different vegetable varieties, there are bound to be veggies that folks have never seen or eaten before. This lack of familiarity often introduces hesitation when it comes to trying new veggies, so we’ve been working to increase access to vegetable knowledge through veggie fun facts, offering free vegetable samples, and sharing easy recipes that incorporate these less well-known veggies. Check out the following veggie fun facts and recipes from our time at the West Ward Market this summer!
Did you know?! Veggie Fun Facts
- Did you know that Rhubarb is sometimes considered poisonous because of the concentration of oxalic acid in its leaves? Consuming high amounts of this acid produces a condition in the body which greatly increases the risk of kidney stones. However, rhubarb stalks are highly nutritious and form an essential part of many healthy diets. The stalks actually contain antioxidants which can help protect against many health-related issues!
- Did you know that Kohlrabi (the alien-looking turnip) is high in calcium, potassium, and magnesium which supports bone health? Not only that, but this alien-looking turnip is also high in fiber and vitamins C, and B6.
Veggie Favorites (& Least Favorites) from our Conversations at the West Ward Market
When we took a poll of everyone’s favorite and least-favorite veggies during the West Ward Market in early July, our results showed a pretty strong consensus against kohlrabi, eggplant and okra, but brussel sprouts, zucchini, and spinach were very popular.
We want to encourage everyone to give these less popular vegetables a second chance — maybe you just haven’t had them in the right recipe yet! Check out the information below for some tasty recipes featuring our favorite funky veggies. Be sure to let us know if you find any new favorites 🙂
1. Fresh Kohlrabi, Carrot, and Apple Slaw: Try out Kohlrabi in this easy no-cook recipe – Kohlrabi’s crunch paired with the slaw’s sweet and zingy flavor is sure to be a hit!
2. Oven-roasted Okra: Try this alternative to traditional okra recipes and roast fresh chopped okra in the oven for a crispy and delicious veggie dish (plus, you can easily add in your favorite seasoning for extra flavor!)
3. Corn and Tomato Summer Salad: Try this quick and easy recipe to use up the last of summer’s corn and tomato harvests into a delicious and nutritious salad!
On the other hand, it was incredible to see that the most popular veggies were spinach, zucchini, and brussel sprouts because these veggies are all high in key nutrients and are available from local farms throughout the summer and early fall (bonus points for supporting local farmers!)
For example, brussel sprouts are high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and ALA Omega 3 fatty acids. These vitamins and nutrients support gut and immune health as well as brain and heart health!
Similarly, zucchini contains potassium and magnesium which are key electrolytes that contribute to heart health, blood pressure regulation, and hydration. On top of that, zucchini (or summer squash) is a prime summer vegetable, grown in large amounts by several local farms! Check out the West Ward Market vendors for some locally grown summer squash selections.
If you have any favorite recipes using these veggies or others that you want to share, please share them with us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or instagram (@eastongardenworks). We’d love to share them on our social media so other folks in the local community can benefit from this shared knowledge. Overall, we are striving to increase access to knowledge and fresh vegetables in our community as a means to support the autonomy that everyone has over how and when they eat their veggies 🙂