Starting any veggie-based diet really opens your eyes to the possibilities out there when it comes to different foods to eat. I find it’s really easy to fall into a food rut when I eat and fix the same things week in and week out. But every once in a while I challenge myself to try something new, eat at an ethnic restaurant, or go vegetarian for a day. There’s a wonderful world of food out there past hamburgers and fries that’s totally worth exploring. The worst that happens is you eat something that you’re not too fond of, but you only have to do that once to learn. The best case scenario is that you find something new that you love and it opens you up to so many more possibilities in the future.
That’s a small part of why I am doing a juice fast. I wanted to know what it was like and I was sure I would be trying new things and growing as a person. So I thought it would be fun to introduce you to the two veggies I had to ask for help finding at the store and a couple more that are not normally hanging around my house.
First up: Fennel
The fennel bulb is a crisp, hardy vegetable and may be sauteed, stewed, braised, grilled, or eaten raw. The leaves resemble that of dill and it has a taste similar to anise or licorice. To juice, cut the bulb so it will fit in the juicer feed tube and go to town.
Watercress is an aquatic or semi-aquatic, perennial plant that is purchased with the roots still grounded in dirt to prolong their shelf-life. It is related to cabbage and radishes which explains it’s peppery, tangy flavor. This is also one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by human beings. To juice, trim the sprouts off just above the soil and juice.
Then we have: Kale
Kale is a form of green or purple cabbage where the central leaves do not form a head. Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium. Along with juicing, a new culinary trend is to make kale chips where the kale leaves are brushed with olive oil, baked until crispy, and seasoned with sea salt. (I can attest that these are delicious!) To juice, ball up the kale leaves in the juice feeding tube and use the feeder to press them down.
And last, but not least: Beet (beetroot)
There are numerous varieties of beets cultivated throughout the world, but the most well known is the purple root vegetable known as the beetroot or garden beet. Beets have a higher glycemic index which gives them a sweet flavor. The beet pictured here is a golden beet. To juice, cut to fit in the juice feed tube and juice the entire vegetable including the leaves and stems.
As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. So why not try a new food item this week? What are some of the odd-ball fruits or vegetables you’ve tried before? Let me know in the comments below.