It’s easy to shop the farmers’ market with your typical “grocery list”—the same-old fruits and vegetables you already know you like, and are comfortable preparing. But what about everything else? You know, those seasonal goodies that you’d only order in a restaurant, or sometimes wonder what they even are. We don’t want you to miss out on the tasty home experience, let alone great nutrients, just because you’re unfamiliar. Here are five vegetables to get you started. The amazing thing about all these farmers’ market or CSA box finds is they’re extremely versatile and can be incorporated into both sweet and savory dishes. Get out there and stretch your food comfort zone!
: a sweet root vegetable rich in antioxidants, evident by its brilliant red color. They are also anti-inflammatory and detoxifying.
– Cut off stalks and wrap beets in foil. Roast at 375F for 45-60 minutes until tender, then peel off the skins.
– Or cover beets in water and boil for 30-60 minutes (depending on size) until tender and skins peel off easily.
– Other options: pickle or juice the red beauties!
: a slim red & green stalk that’s high in fiber and surprisingly, calcium!
– Trim off leaves and root ends. Cut stalks into 1-inch pieces. Combine a 1/4 cup of water and a 1/4 cup of your desired sweetener (white or brown sugar, maple syrup, etc.) with 3 cups of chopped rhubarb. Boil until sweetener has dissolved.
– Or spread the 1-inch stalk pieces in a single layer within a shallow dish lined with foil. Coat lightly with your sweetener of choice. Roast at 400F for 15-20 minutes or until tender and syrupy.
– Other options: stew or braise the stalks.
: a close cousin to onions, garlic, and shallots, this milder-tasting vegetable is rich in fiber and antioxidants.
– Cut them in half the long way, wash, and then thinly slice.
– Add raw leeks to salads or sandwiches, or sauté to incorporate into side dishes like eggs, meat, or soups.
4. Baby Eggplant
: a huge amount of water and fiber help regulate weight and promote healthy skin, nails, and hair. Bonus: they’re low in carbs.
– Slice or cube eggplant and toss in salt. Place in a colander for about 20 minutes. Then rinse off the salt and squeeze or pat dry to remove excess water. Toss eggplant slices or cubes in oil and grill (over an open flame for ~15 minutes).
– Roast the eggplant whole for about an hour at 350F.
- Baked Eggplant Parmesan Stacks
- Pasta with Eggplant, Feta, and Mint
- Baby Eggplant Stuffed with Peanut Masala
: a cross between a turnip & cabbage, rutabagas are a rich source of vitamin C for digestive health, plus zinc to boost the immune system.
– Peel and cube the rutabaga into 1-inch chunks. Lightly toss them in oil and roast at 425F for about 40 minutes or until tender.
– Or place the chunks in a saucepan of water, cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer until tender (about 40-50 minutes). Drain and mash if desired.