Spring is a great time to try new things and lucky for you, I’ve created an introduction to my favorite interesting, tropical and uncommon fruits and veggies that will get you exploring new foods. Going along with the whole Saint Patty’s Day gold, rainbows & luck theme, I have categorized these unique noms by color (Can anyone say superfood rainbow?).
Starting with veggies, verdes- I have picked some leafy greens, as well as a few intricately patterned vegetables.
KALE: A fiber-y, leafy green that most people know and a lot of people hate. It’s a very good addition to smoothies, is perfect in a salad and can be roasted to make a healthy alternative to chips. NOM NOM NOM
ARTICHOKES: With a slight bite to them these bad boys are often accompanied with a dipping sauce. artichokes are perfect for roasting and a great topping on pizza.
ROMANESCO BROCCOLI: One of my favorites for sure, this broccoli has a very interesting pattern and can be served roasted, steamed or baked.
MUSTARD GREENS: These leafy greens are low carb and will keep you energized and feeling great. They have a bitter, mustard-y taste that really makes them stand out.
CHERIMOYA: This incan fruit is one that you’ve probably never heard of. Common on the streets in South America, this fruit is known as the “Custard Apple” due to its fruity, sweet taste and its smooth texture.
On to the reds! Included awesome beautiful fruits that can be added to smoothies and provide tons of super yummy health benefits.
RED DRAGON FRUIT: Better known as pitaya, these fruits are often found in instagram-worthy smoothie bowls for their bright pink color and beautiful seeds. Before being cut open it also looks very unique, but it’s the color that’s my favorite part.
RHUBARB: SWEET YET TANGY AND SLIGHTLY CITRUS-Y, THIS FRUIT MAKES THE PERFECT JAM AND COMPOTE THAT CAN BE PUT ON ANYTHING FROM WARM BAGUETTE TO ICE CREAM. THESE RED AND GREEN STALKS LOOK VERY SIMILAR TO CELERY AND ARE A PERFECT FILLING FOR PIE.
RAMBUTAN (LYCHEE): WHEN YOU SEE THEM IN THE STORE, THEY LOOK LIKE SPIKY RED BALLS, HOWEVER, WHEN YOU OPEN THEM THEY ARE CLEAR AND LOOK SIMILAR TO GRAPES. THEY HAVE A VERY SWEET, FRUITY FLAVOR THAT TASTES JUST LIKE FRUIT PUNCH, 10/10 WOULD RECOMMEND.
With the yellows I threw in some of my favorite fruits that are all drastically different in flavor and nutritional benefits. From tart and tangy, to muted and calming and everything in between.
PASSION FRUIT: My favorite fruit of all time, passion fruits are very sour and citrusy tasting. they make the best juice, desserts, and are perfect cut in half and eaten plain with a little sprinkle of sugar. I really like adding passion fruit to sliced bananas for a quick and high energy breakfast.
STARFRUIT: When sliced this fruit looks like little stars, need I say more? Starfruit has a pretty neutral flavor, but is a little bit sour. It looks perfect on smoothie bowls and is fun to just eat plain. EAT THE STARS, BECOME A STAR!
BUDDHA’S HAND: Basically just a cooler looking lemon, this fruit is used for its citrusy flavor and its bright yellow, lemony zest. It looks like a hand with long curly fingers, and is a much more interesting counterpart to its cousin the regular, lame, boring lemon.
GOLDEN KIWI: Simply just a yellow kiwi with a golden colored flesh and skin. it is slightly sweeter than a regular kiwi but is a fun exchange. Looks great cut up and put in fruit salads, smoothie bowls and are great in desserts.
The purple category has both fruits and veggies – sweet n’ savory – and a bunch that no one’s ever heard of.
ACAI: A very popular fruit these days, these berries are usually sold in pureed, frozen packets that can be blended into smoothies and smoothie bowls. They’re high in antioxidants and provide lots of energy while giving a unique bluish-purple color.
DULSE (PURPLE ALGAE): A salty, savory flavor that is the perfect topping for your ramen or noodle bowl, a great addition to your salad, and can be mixed into sauteed veggies. This algae has a dark purple color that looks great and tastes better. Also- its algae. Mermaid food!
TARO: It can be eaten savory, chopped up with garlic and butter, or sweet and baked into pastries and pies. This starchy, potato-like tuber is a versatile addition to many dishes. It has a white and purple speckled inside that is quite easy on the eyes. (Just like me)
ELDERBERRY: This tart, dark purple berry is great in all desserts- similar to the lingon berry- and can be made into jam, used to fill pies and can create an alluring, rich purple compote that can be put on almost anything.
Finally finishing with the oranges, I have included some fun and zesty fruits that both look and taste amazing.
CAPE GOOSEBERRIES: Bright, orange colored berries that look like little tomatillos, these berries have a tart, citrusy flavor. They can be used as a zesty pie, cake and panna cotta filling, or can simply just decorate any dessert to bring it to the next level.
APRICOTS: Eaten both dried and fresh, these fruits are a combination of a peach, plum and orange. Both sweet and tangy at the same time, they are perfect plain but can also be incorporated into many desserts or can even be sliced and added to salads for a fruity flare.
PERSIMMONS: Very similar to apricots, this fruit is nicknamed the “food of the gods.” they are pleasantly sweet and high in vitamin A and C.