Obscure Vegetables Might Actually Be Better For You
Have you ever heard of Romanesco? Kohlrabi? Yardlong?
We are so excited about vegetables and always want to keep you updated on new and interesting varieties. These nutrient-rich foods are relatively unknown, but they are easy to grow and are so good for you! While it is easier to get popular varietals at grocery stores, that produce has been sitting for a while losing vital nutrients. It is likely in finding rare varieties, that you'll have to shop more locally at a farmer's market, or grow these wonder veggies yourself - there's nothing fresher or healthier than that!
Romanesco, in the same family as broccoli and cauliflower, is delicious and so good for you. It helps boost heart health, eyesight and digestive health, reduces the risk of cancer, improves circulation, increases brain function, helps fight infection, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar, and protects from free radicals. Is there anything this vegetable can't do?! After it is harvested, it can be chopped into florets and cooked like it's relatives. It is delicious sautéed, steamed, or stir fried.
In Sonoma County, Romanesco needs to be planted in the late summer for Fall harvest, or early spring for early summer harvest. It will be ready to harvest in 90 to 120 days from planting. It also grows in some of the coolest fractals we've ever seen!
Kohlrabi can be eaten from top to bottom. As a member of the cabbage family, it comes with the signature sweet-but-peppery flavor profile. It should be firm and never squishy when bought or harvested and it can be eaten in many ways. This veggie has a cult following that prefer the bulb sliced and completely raw! It can also be cubed and roasted, stir fried, or cooked in any other way your heart desires. In Sonoma County, Kohlrabi needs to be planted in late Fall and Winter and can be harvested 50 to 70 days from planting.
Yardlong, sometimes referred to as Chinese long beans, come in various shades of green and even purple. They grow very quickly in warm environments and you can see significant growth from one day to the next. After harvesting, these beans are a perfect addition to any stir fry or they can be cut and cooked like green beans. They contain loads of fiber, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A. In Sonoma County, Yardlong needs to be planted in the Spring, and are ready to harvest in mid- to late Summer.
We hope that this has given you some inspiration to try and find these veggies at your local farmer's market or even grow it yourself in the next few months! There really is nothing like enjoying a new healthy food and we would love to help you grow delicious produce in your own yard.