by Kristen Troy
This root vegetable has both edible roots and leaves and is full of nutrients. Raw beets are mostly water with small percentages of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. In 100 g of raw beets, there are 43 calories, 27% daily value of folate, 16% manganese, and including smaller amounts of other vitamins and minerals. Beets can be prepared and eaten in a variety of ways such as boiled, roasted, raw, and pickled. The leaves of the beet can be eaten in salads when they are young. More mature leaves are usually boiled or steamed. If you want to preserve the most nutrition, chop or grate raw beets into a salad for some sweet flavor and a burst of color.
The name can fool you because black-eyed peas are actually beans. These beans are a good source of folate (52% DV in 100g serving), thiamine (18% DV in 100g serving), iron (19% DV in 100g serving), magnesium (15% DV in 100g serving), Manganese (23% DV in 100g serving), phosphorus (22% DV in 100g serving), and zinc (14% DV in 100g serving). Black-eyed peas are used worldwide in many types of cultural cuisine. In the southern United States, a dish named “Hoppin’ John” made with black-eyed peas, rice, and pork, is served on New Year’s Day to bring prosperity in the upcoming year.
These deliciously tart berries are similar to their raspberry relatives. The difference between the two is blackberries keep the stem with them when picked, unlike raspberries which appear to be hollow inside. When picking blackberries, look for a container of vibrant black fruits that aren’t discolored, wrinkly, or growing mold. They are great in desserts, jams, jelly, wine, smoothies, in yogurt, or by themselves! Blackberries are a significant source of both insoluble and soluble fiber. A 100g serving of raw blackberries contains 25% of your daily value of vitamin C and 19% of your daily value of vitamin K.
This round berry is wonderful in many baked goods, smoothies, jams, jelly, wine, and as a snack. Most stores carry blueberries in the produce area and the freezer section. You can also go and pick your own fresh blueberries this time of year. Other than their sweet flavor, blueberries are popularly known as a superfood because of their high level of antioxidants. The antioxidants can prevent or slow damage to cells in the body caused by free radicals (waste substances).
This popular, green, tree-like vegetable is part of the cabbage family. Broccoli is used in a wide range of culinary dishes and can be eaten raw or cooked. During summer picnics broccoli can be seen in vegetable platters with carrots, celery, and ranch dressing. Broccoli is also delicious steamed, roasted, sautéed, smashed, or made into patties or tots. 100 g of raw broccoli contains 34 calories, 107% of your daily vitamin C, and 97% of your daily vitamin K, and is rich in antioxidants.
Heads of cabbage can be found in blue, purple, and white coloring and can weigh between 1 to 9 lbs. The heaviest-ever head of cabbage weighed in at 138.25 lbs in 2012! This versatile leaf can be prepared in many ways, including pickled, fermented, steamed, stewed, sauteed, grilled, roasted, braised, or eaten raw. In 100 grams of raw cabbage, there is 25 calories, 72% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K, and small percentages of B vitamins.
Cantaloupes are melons that should be firm when you pick them out and will have sweet, orange flesh. They are mainly eaten as fresh fruit but can be used in the making of ice cream or custard. A popular antipasto dish features balls of the fruit wrapped in proscuitto. In a 100 gram serving of fresh cantaloupe, there is 34 calories, 21% of the recommended daily vitamin A, 44% of vitamin C, and small amounts of other vitamins and minerals.
This vegetable is part of the cabbage family and looks similar to broccoli. There are five different types of cauliflower and they can be distinguished based on the colors. Cauliflower comes in white, green, purple, orange, and green. When choosing a head of cauliflower, look for unwilted green leaves around the head and avoid florets with spots of brown or discoloration. Similar to broccoli, cauliflower can be eaten raw, steamed, sautéed, roasted, mashed, or riced. In 100 grams of raw cauliflower, there are 24 calories, it is rich in vitamins C, K, B5, B6, and B9, and has trace amounts of other vitamins and minerals.
These red fruits are often used in pies, as a garnish, or to eat as a snack. They come in sweet and sour varieties, and the nutritional value differs between the two – sour cherries have fewer calories, more vitamin C, and more vitamin A per serving. When picking out cherries, look for green stems, vibrant color on the fruit, and they should feel firm.
There are many varieties of corn, but the types we typically see in our area are sweet yellow and sweet white corn. The beautiful corn on a cob with vibrant yellow kernels is sweet corn. In 100 grams of raw sweet corn, there are 86 calories, and it contains 14% of the recommended daily B5, 13% for thiamine and phosphorus, 12% for niacin, and 10% for magnesium.
These fan-favorites are an American summer staple. Eating cucumbers is refreshing and filling because of the water content – a cucumber with the peel on is 95% water and only has 16 calories!
Ever wonder why these stem-like veggies are called beans? It’s because they’re harvested before the beans inside the pod mature. These long pods are edible and tasty steamed, roasted, blanched, sautéed, grilled, in a casserole, or consumed raw.
There are a few varieties of kale, but the one we see most in our area is curly leaf. Kale chips have been growing in popularity in recent years and are an easy way to consume this antioxidant and vitamin-rich leafy green. Kale is fairly versatile, so it can also be used in salads, soups, stews, and many other recipes.
This root vegetable tastes similar to broccoli stems but is slightly sweeter. Both the leaves and bulb are edible. If the leaves are young and tender, they can be sautéed, steamed, or eaten in a salad. To prepare the bulb of the kohlrabi, use a vegetable peeler to remove the outermost layer, like you would an onion. The remaining bulb can then be used raw, pureed, roasted, steamed, and used in recipes. Raw kohlrabi is low in calories and provides 75% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C and 12% of the recommended vitamin B6 in a 100-gram serving.
These green spheres are harvested from pods that can hold anywhere from a few to as many as 10 peas! Peas are a starchy vegetable and are a good source of fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. Enjoy these in a casserole, steamed, boiled, or fresh.
Peaches aren’t just a cute emoji, they are a sweet, fuzzy fruit. Peaches grow on peach blossom trees, and the number of blossoms determines how many fruits the tree will produce. Commercial growers thin out fruit midseason so that the remaining fruit will be flavorful and sizeable. Be careful when you are picking out peaches because they bruise easily. They also are not easy to store, so buy only what you need.
These starchy tubers are tasty in many forms. French fries, tater tots, roasted, breakfast potatoes, potato salad, hashbrowns, scalloped, in casseroles, and many more. Potatoes are also used to make vodka. Nutritionally potatoes are high in water and carbohydrates, with the majority of the carbohydrates being starch. While delicious, this root vegetable is best in moderation.
This green edible plant, sometimes considered a weed, originated in India and Persia is now growing throughout the world. Purslane leaves contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids than in some fish. Vegetarians and vegans can benefit from adding purslane to their diet to get their fix of omega-3s. Not only are the leaves edible but so are the stems, yellow flower buds, and the seeds!
These squashes are harvested when they are immature, so their rind is still tender, which makes it edible. Vegetables in this family that belong to the “summer” squash category are zucchini, straightneck squash, crookneck squash, and pattypan squash. Summer squash is delicious grilled, on kabobs, cut into rounds and sautéed, in casseroles, and some varieties are great for making into vegetable noodles.
These green and purple spherical fruit originated in Mexico. You can eat tomatillos raw or cooked. They are typically used to make salsa verde and other Mexican and Central American green sauces. Depending on when the fruit is harvested it can have a sour or a sweet flavor. In one cup of tomatillos, there are just 42 calories and a substantial amount of Vitamin C and K.
This juicy fruit comes in yellow, orange, and most commonly red. They also come in a variety of sizes from 5 mm in diameter to 10cm in diameter. Tomatoes are popular in many cuisines. 95% of the tomato is water, 4% carbohydrates, and 1% is split between fat and protein. In 100 grams of tomatoes, there are about 18 calories and a small amount of Vitamin C.
This green aquatic plant grows rapidly and is filled with nutrients. The leaves are a rich source of vitamin A and C, and a good source of folate, calcium, iron, and vitamin E. Watercress has a peppery flavor which shines when it is used in salad or tea sandwiches.
Still in season
Learn about these from, In Season This Month: May
- Fava Beans
- Garlic Scapes
- Green Onions
Learn about these from, In Season This Month: April
- Collard Greens