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Jerusalem artichokes are native to the Central America and bear no relation to the city of Jerusalem contrary to what its name suggests.
Jerusalem artichokes are sweet and crunchy tubers that are in fact not a true artichoke, but instead a variety of sunflower. This white fleshed veggie resembles ginger but is sweet and crunchy when raw and smooth and aromatic when cooked. Its nutty, sweet white flesh is the perfect paring with other root veggies. Though small it is rich in nutrients such as iron, potassium and vitamin B1.
Uses: Cook them the same way you would for potatoes or parsnips. Jerusalem artichoke is great roasted, sautéed, puréed or dipped in batter and fried. Make sure to either wash them thoroughly or preferably peel them before use.
A member of the cabbage family, the swede is often confused with the turnip, though they look quite different. It’s also known as yellow turnip, Swedish turnip and Russian turnip and, in America, rutabaga. In Scotland, where it is known as neeps, swede is the traditional accompaniment to haggis on Burns night.
Swedes have a delicate, sweet flavour, a great texture and are very versatile. This vegetable provides many health benefits as it’s a good source of vitamins and nutrients.
Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean reaches but also grows in southern England, where it was introduced by the Romans. It has a distinctive aroma and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
The Swiss brown mushrooms come from the same portebello family as the white button mushroom. They were the original variety of mushroom and were stronger in flavour.
Not widely known facts about mushrooms include their cancer fighting capabilities and ability to prevent diabetes.
They can be eaten raw or used in a wide variety of dishes including pasta, soups and stews.
The midnight pearl potato is the result of Australia farmers’ trail and error in creating the perfect combination of colour and taste.
Its high fibre content, helps lower cholesterol in the blood and therefore reduces the risk of contracting heart disease. It also contains Vitamin C for better carbohydrate absorption.
It can be deep fried to create purple crisps or boiled, baked. It can also be used raw in potato salads.
A natural hybrid developed by a Japanese company. The broccilini has smaller florets and thinner stalks than the broccili.
It is high in vitamins and minerals essential to improving nervous and brain functions and preventing cardiovascular diseases.
Broccolini tastes milder, with a sweet, earthy taste than the Broccoli. It can be sautéd, steamed, boiled, or stir fried to bring out the most of its sweet crunchy flavour.
Parsnip is a root vegetable closely related to carrots and can be used similarly, though they have a sweeter taste, especially when cooked.
Uses: Parsnips can be eaten raw, but are usually served cooked. They can be baked, boiled, pureed, roasted, fried or steamed. It can be found in stews, soups and casseroles.
A staple of the Mediterranean diet, these tough pod beans have a smooth creamy taste and represent a rich source of proteins and carbohydrates.
The plentiful health benefits of Broad Beans include cancer fighting (e.g. Breast cancer, lung cancer), improving the immune system to prevent colds, aiding sleep and preventing strokes.
Broad Beans can be boiled, steamed or puréed and served with garlic. Add them to soups and stews to boost nutritional value and add texture.
Turnip is a root vegetable that is quite versatile in its usage based on the size. The smaller ones are sweeter and more tender whilst larger ones have a stronger more mature flavour and a more crunchy texture.
You can use turnip in several ways based on the size. Smaller young turnips can be used in salads to complement cabbages, carrots and beets. Other methods would include roasting, steaming and even pickling. Dice them up and roast them with other root veggies for a delicious side dish to any meal.
Tip: If the turnip is large you may want to peel it as the outer layer can be tougher when the size is bigger.
Rumoured to be grown in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the beetroot’s nutritious and sweet taste have endured the test of time.
The golden Beetroot’s sweeter taste compared to the red beetroot reflects their higher sugar content. It also comes with a smoother taste and while its golden colour brightens up any dish.
The golden beetroot benefits the immune system due to its high content in Vitamins A and C; essential minerals such as potassium invigorates the nervous system, organs and bones.
Eaten raw or cooked, the golden beetroot can be used to make salads, juice mixes, and sandwiches.
Rhubarb stalks have a strong, tart taste. Though mostly used in desserts it is technically know as a vegetable. Only the stalks can be eaten as the leaves are not edible and toxic.
Cut the stalk into small pieces and stew them to cook it before making pies and pastries, or it can be used to make jam. Due to their tart flavour sugar is needed when it cooked. Though it is considered too tart to be eaten raw in the western world in earlier years it was seen as a cheap treat when dipped in sugar.