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The 5 Vegetables You're Not Eating (but Should Be!)

Start a new family tradition by trying a new unfamiliar vegetable every week- here are some of our top favorites to try this week.

Whether you like them cooked, raw, fresh, frozen, canned, mashed, dehydrate, juiced or dried, vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet. With so many choices showing up at your local grocery store, no matter how you like to prepare them, vegetables can add so many vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants to your diet.

Some of the key nutrients that you get from the vegetables in your diet include vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, vitamin A, potassium, and fiber! Different vegetables provide different nutrients which is why it is important to eat a variety of colors and types. The average adult should be looking to consume 2 ½ cups a day (or more!).

Often some of the vegetables in the supermarket can be intimidating but consider starting a new family tradition of trying one new vegetable a week! The following are some of our favorites to try.

1. Kohlrabi

This vegetable looks like a bit like a bulbous green turnip with long green leafy stalks. This is a very versatile vegetable — you can eat the leaves if they are soft and tender or if it is a more adult plant you can sauté them. To prepare the bulb, you first want to peel the outside layer and then you have many preparation choices! You can use it similarly to cauliflower. Try chopping it into fresh pico de gallo, or adding it to soup. Steaming and roasting with other veggies is also a good method. Another bonus to being low in calories is that ½ cup of raw Kohlrabi has a 70% of the amount of vitamin C that you need every day!

½ cup serving of Kohlrabi, rawstart

Calories: 18

Protein: 1 gram

Fat: 0 grams

Carbohydrates: 4 gram

Fiber: 2.5 gram

2. Jicama

While its exterior might deceive you to think this root will be more like a potato, be prepared for a sweet crunch when you bite it! To eat jicama, peel the tough exterior and then slice the crisp almost pear-like internal texture into bite size pieces. In some cultures they like adding a sprinkle of lime and chili pepper for a spicy sweet combination. Twenty-two percent of your daily needs for vitamin C is found in a ½ cup of raw jicama!

½ cup serving of Jicama

Calories: 25

Protein: .5 grams

Fat: 0 grams

Carbohydrates: 5.5 grams

Fiber: 3 grams

3. Edamame

In addition to being a protein-packed food, edamame has 45 percent of your daily folate needs, 23% of daily vitamin K, and 30 percent of Manganese in just ½ cup serving. Often you can find it frozen and pre-shelled in a bag like peas and can be added like beans or peas to many recipes. It looks a bit like a lima bean but has a delicious taste. If you do buy it in its shell, avoid eating it- the outside looks like a snap pea pod but is a bit furrier and fibrous, not as easy to chew or digest. A favorite way to eat edamame is as a crunchy snack or added as a filling topping to your rice bowl.

½ cup serving of raw Edamame

Calories: 65

Protein: 6 grams

Fat: 3 grams

Carbohydrates: 6 grams

Fiber: 3 grams

4. Salad greens: watercress, chicory, fennel greens, beat greens, arugula and spinach

Salad greens are nutritionally important because of the variety of amazing phytochemicals and nutrients that are found in them, plus they are usually the tender young leaf of the plant so they make great salad filling. In larger amounts (like in a big salad!), salad greens are often considered to be very high in calcium, dietary fiber, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C. In addition to using in salads, try as a filling for tacos or added to your sauté meal.

½ cup serving of Salad Greens

Calories: 4

Protein: 0 grams

Fat: 0 grams

Carbohydrates: .5 grams

Fiber: .5 grams

5. Romanesco

This beautiful green vegetable is a relative of cauliflower and broccoli and can be substituted for cauliflower in most recipes. It has a slightly different taste but the ways to prepare it and cut it are the same as for cauliflower. In addition to being low in calories, this cruciferous vegetable also has a lot of vitamin C, and a fair amount of vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, iron, fiber, protein, and zinc.

½ cup serving of Romanesco

Calories: 10

Protein: 1 gram

Fat: 0 grams

Carbohydrates: 2 grams

Fiber: 1 gram

6. Samphire

Samphire is also commonly referred to as Sea Asparagus and looks a bit like smaller asparagus! Fresh from the ocean, this tasty green can add a great texture to your steamed veggie mix or as a fresh crunchy addition to your sushi meal. It has calcium, iron, and vitamins A, C and B. It's fresh lightly salty flavor is a great and filling addition to many recipes.

½ cup serving of Samphire

Calories: 20

Protein: 1.5 grams

Fat: 0 grams

Carbohydrates: 4 grams

Fiber: .2 grams

[Image via Getty]

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