9 Unusual Vegetables You Should Try


unusual veggies graphicNext time you’re at the grocery store, look for some of these interesting vegetables to incorporate into your menus.  Watch the video clip for some recipe ideas, and read up on the nutritional benefits of these veggies below.

Unusual Vegetables Play

Bok Choy


Bok choy is a member of the cabbage family, and contains fiber, protein, and vitamins A and C, which are antioxidants and protect cells from damage. Try sautéing it in a skillet with hot oil and garlic until leaves are bright green and stalks are translucent.



Anise, or Fennel, is a root vegetable and also an aromatic and flavorful herb in the same family as carrots and parsley. It continues fiber, some protein, vitamins A, C and E, potassium, zinc, and beta-carotene.

Roasted Fennel with Parmesan

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 fennel bulbs, cut vertically 1/3-inch thick slices, fronds reserved.
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Lightly oil bottom of a 13×9 glass baking dish. Arrange fennel in the dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then with parmesan cheese. Drizzle with oil. Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Chop enough fennel fronds to equal 2 tsp, then sprinkle over the roasted fennel and serve.



Kale contains protein, fiber, potassium, and vitamins A, C and B6. Try it in a massaged salad, or added into soup.

Massaged Kale Salad

  • 2 bunches of kale
  • ½ c parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • ¼ c lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt

Strip leaves from the stems (discard stems). Wash and dry the leaves. Tear the leaves into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Add parmesan, oil, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and salt. With clean hands, firmly massage and crush the greens to work in the flavoring. Stop when the volume of greens is reduced by about half. The greens should look darker and somewhat shiny. Taste and adjust seasoning with more parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, and/or pepper. To avoid mess, massage in a Ziploc bag!



Broccoflower looks like a light green cauliflower, and has a milder and sweeter flavor than either broccoli or cauliflower. It can be eaten raw or cooked. Broccoflower contains vitamins A and C, folic acid and magnesium.

Rainbow Chard


Rainbow chard is a relative of the beet, with colorful stalks that resemble celery topped with dark green leaves. It contains vitamins A, C, E, and K, beta carotene, calcium, and potassium. Prepare the leaves as you would spinach, and the stalks as you would asparagus.

Purple Potatoes


They may look different, but purple potatoes contain the same vitamin C, potassium and fiber that regular potatoes do, and can be prepared the same way.



Shallots contain more nutrients than onions, and have a milder flavor. They contain vitamins A and C, pyridoxine, folates, and thiamin.



Jicama is a root vegetable, and contains potassium, fiber, protein, and vitamin C. It should be stored on the counter, not in the fridge. Eat it with hummus or on a salad.



Beets contain antioxidants, vitamin C and B6, fiber, potassium and magnesium. Try them roasted.

Information for this article was contributed by Jaqueline Neid-Avila, RDN, CD with USU Extension in Davis County



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