WEIRD, WONDERFUL VEGGIES: WHAT THEY ARE AND HOW TO USE THEM

veggies_orig.png

Most of us know how to use the lettuce, tomatoes, onions and potatoes we bring home from the farmers market each week. But if you’re browsing your local market’s stands this summer, you might come across some unfamiliar, seasonal veggies. Don’t skip over these delicious finds! If you do, you’re missing out on learning about new ingredients, recipes and flavors. Plus, shopping for in-season produce can save money, as these items are often cheaper and more abundant than others at the market.

Ditch the fear and double up on adventurous, new ingredients all summer long. If you stumble across an unusual veggie at your local market, ask the grower about it. Farmers are full of ideas and recipes for most of their items. Check out the list below to learn more about some unusual, seasonal produce you’ll find at the market this month.

cucurbita-pepo-scallop-summer-squash-clagett-farm-share-sept-21-and-25-2010.jpg

Pattypan Squash, sometimes called button squash, is a type of summer squash with edible skin. They are similar to zucchini or yellow squash and have low sodium, no cholesterol, Vitamin C, A, B-6, and potassium, which makes them a perfect ingredient for people on low-sodium diets. Enjoy pattypan squash fresh with a creamy dip, steamed, fried, grilled or baked. Sound appetizing? Check out these delicious recipes and add pattypan squash to your must-try list of summer veggies!

what-is-purslane.jpg

Purslane is technically considered a weed, but it is no different from the dandelion greens you put in your salad. The juicy lemony flavor will make you forget that you’re eating a “weed,” and so will the health benefits of this plant. The soft leaves contain more omega-3 fatty acids than some fish oils. It also contains Vitamins A, C, and B-complex. You can chop it up and add it to a salad, sauté with garlic and vegetables, or add it to a soup for some extra citrus flavor. Check out these recipes for Purslane And Avocado Tacos With Pico De Gallo or Vietnamese Pork Chops With Pickled Watermelon and double up on your omega-3 acids!

625854009-637257a597-b.jpg

Fresh garlic scapes are thin, curly green stalks that spring out of the garlic bulb and are usually sold by the bunch at farmers markets during summer. They are high in fiber and contain Vitamin C and A. Chop fresh garlic scapes and add them to anything: salad, sauce, soup, pizza or grilled meat or fish. Need more ideas and recipes for garlic scapes? This website has got you covered with appetizing recipes, so show the scapes some love this summer!

bucket-of-raw-okra-pods.jpg

Okra, also known as ladies’ fingers, is popular in the south and a staple in many southern dishes. It tastes similar to eggplant and has healthy amounts of vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Visit this website to find a new family-favorite okra recipe to share at your table this summer!

So what are you waiting for? Visit your local farmers market today, double up on all of the unusual vegetables, and introduce a new twist into your summer meals!