The light green seed pods of the Okra plant are commonly consumed, but the fresh leaves, buds, flowers, pods, and stems can all be prepared and eaten. This natural thickener is useful in soups, stews and gumbo. How okra is consumed varies greatly by culture, but it is also breaded, deep fried, or pickled. This low calories vegetable packs in the vitamins and nutrients, including B complex vitmamins.
Cassava is a root vegetable that looks a bit like a sweet potato. This high carb food is also very high in calories, vitamin C, and potassium. The vegetable is traditionally cooked similarly to a potato, but cassava flour has been gaining traction and popping up in various healthy chip and cracker alternatives. It is advised that cassava root is prepared with caution, as it does have high levels of cyanogenic glycosides, which are dangerous if consumed raw.
CHICKPEAS (GARBANZO BEANS)
Chickpeas are protein-packed pantry essential with a whole lot of versatility. Part of the legume family, this beige little ball can aid in bone health as well as digestion and heart health! It is an easy ingredient to incorporate into most recipes to add protein and substance. The water from the can (aquafaba) can even be used to whip up egg-free meringue.
While from the same family as both broccoli and cauliflower, this odd looking leafy green is often looked over. With an intriguing spiky texture, it looks a bit more exotic than other members of the Brassica oleracea family. Look for it in-season, late-summer to early fall, and store in the fridge. This iron and folate rich veggie is prized for its reproductive health benefits.
You may have seen the bulky mass of lumps and spikes in the grocery store and wonder what it is or who it appeals to. Jackfruit has been gaining popularity as of late due to the incredible ability to season and cook the seeds as an animal protein substitute free of cholestrol and saturated fat. When fresh and ripe, jackfruit is eaten raw and said by some to taste like like Juicy Fruit Gum!
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