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Explore the Amazing World of Exotic Vegetables

By now, you’re probably familiar with the incredible health benefits of vegetables. The antioxidants in vegetables have been touted for everything from preventing cancer to promoting weight loss. Still, many people find vegetables to be “boring”. If you’ve ever used those words to describe the taste of vegetables, it may be time for a change.

There’s a whole new breed of exotic vegetables out there just waiting to tempt your taste buds. An exotic vegetable may be just what you need to liven up your dinner plate. Here are some interesting choices to try:


This starchy root vegetable is a popular vegetable in South America where it originated. It’s sometimes known as a white carrot due to its characteristic appearance. The root portion can be steamed, boiled, or roasted to give the characteristic flavor of this vegetable which some describe as a cross between celery and cabbage with an underlying smoky flavor. This exotic vegetable can be used in the same way you currently use boiled potatoes. It adds considerable flavor when added to stews, pureed, or served as a simple vegetable side dish. You don’t have to feel guilty since this vegetable is quite nutritious and measures in at only one hundred calories per serving.


Yuca is another root vegetable native to South America. Although it looks non-descript, even ugly, its outward appearance belies an amazingly versatile vegetable. Yuca really came into its own several years ago when chefs discovered the amazing versatility of this vegetable, converting it into such creations as mashed, garlic yuca, yuca chips, delicious gourmet soups, fritters, and even yuca fries. This tasty vegetable can be roasted, mashed, boiled, deep fried, sautéed, or pan fried. Each hundred gram serving of this amazing vegetable has only one hundred calories.


This unusual looking vegetable is derived from the ostrich fern and is considered to be a delicacy in the state of Maine. Its distinctive look comes from the way the fern leaves of this vegetable form a coil at the end of the stalk. Fiddleheads can be prepared by simply cleaning and steaming for fifteen to twenty minutes. Add a touch of garlic and some melted butter and you have a delicious side dish. Another popular use for fiddleheads is for pickling and as a tasty addition to salads. This unusual vegetable is amazingly low in calories with only 33 calories per serving.


While this so-called vegetable is technically a fruit, it resembles a tomato in appearance. Native to South America, the tamarillo can be eaten by simply cutting open the fruit and scooping out the contents with a spoon. Like the tomato, the tamarillo is quite versatile. It can be used to make delicious heart healthy salsas and chutneys, sauces, stews, and added as a delicious decorative element to salads. Tamarillos also make tasty jams and can even be used as a dessert component. When you add this fruit to your recipes, you’ll gain the benefits of added beta-carotene and vitamin C at only forty calories for an average sized tamarillo.

Next time you’re at your local supermarket, look for these recent additions to the vegetable market and enjoy the additional flavor and health benefits that exotic vegetables can add to your meals.

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