5 Underrated Vegetables That Pack a Punch

bowl of vegetable salads

Do you usually rely on broccoli, spinach, and carrots because your family will eat them? If that’s the case, there are some great veggies you’re missing out on. Julia Zumpano, RD, LD, a registered dietitian, recommends trying six different vegetables.

These most underrated vegetables are loaded with vitamin C, dietary fiber, fatty acids and vitamin d. These vegetables boost immune system.

5 Underrated Vegetables That Pack a Punch

1. Brussels sprouts

green and yellow leaves with water droplets

Cabbages are a large family of vegetables that includes many familiar crops (genus Brassica). Cruciferous veggies are the edible relatives of this family. Brussels sprouts, for example, are one such vegetable.

Brussels sprouts, when prepared correctly, are a fantastic vegetable option, according to Zumpano. They’re high in vitamins C and K as well as fiber.

Sulforaphane has been linked to a decreased risk of prostate and colorectal cancers in several studies. Brussels sprouts have a high content of sulforaphane. When Brussels sprouts are overcooked, they give off hydrogen sulfide fumes that may be unpleasant.

Prep tip: Overcooking Brussels sprouts ruins their flavor and nutritional benefits, both of which are unpleasant. To retain nutrients, steam Brussels sprouts for less than 5 minutes before quartering and chopping them.

2. Watercress

Watercress arrives from the same family as other well-known cruciferous veggies like broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts. However, because many people are unfamiliar with this vegetable, it may not be readily available. Watercress is a white crunchy veggie that has a mild flavor. According to numerous studies, watercress has some amazing health benefits.

The ultimate reward came in 2014, when watercress was named the greatest antioxidant-rich vegetable.

Prep tip: Watercress is a simple, throw-in-anything kind of vegetable, according to Gourmet. It goes well in Asian dishes and can be used as an attractive topping on some wild fish.

3. Artichokes

Artichokes’ leaves and hearts are edible. They’re also high in antioxidants, which means they’ll help your body fight aging. Artichokes are a great source of folate, potassium, and other vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber (5 grams per cup).

Prep tip: Artichokes are also delicious and easy to prepare when served with a dip. Use an olive oil, hummus, olive dip, or Greek yogurt dip to finish them off. You may also use defrosted frozen artichokes in place of fresh ones in any green salad, tuna salad, or pasta salad recipe.

4. Cauliflower

white and brown floral textile

Cauliflower is low in calories yet high in nutrients, making it a great food to add to your diet. It’s also rich in glucosinolates, which are found in Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, bok choy and broccoli. Glucosinolates are under investigation for their anti-cancer capabilities. Furthermore, cruciferous veggies (such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, bok choy and broccoli) appear to decrease the incidence of numerous malignancies including breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, bladder cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer.

Cauliflower can be steamed intact, sliced into thick “steaks” and then coated with any combination of toasted sesame seed oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, cumin, coriander, anise or chili pepper. This dish looks particularly attractive when served for dinner parties or family gatherings. Whether you’re gluten-free, vegan or paleo dieting down a storm, cauliflower will be your new best friend in the kitchen.

Cauliflower has also been used as a rice or potato substitute lately, making it an appealing low-carb side. Try riced cauliflower (find it pre-riced in the frozen section) or mashed cauliflower (substitute cauliflower for the potato in your favorite masher dish.) Cauliflower has also been used as a meat substitute, and ground cheddar cheese is even available commercially.

Prep tip: Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with olive oil. Arrange cauliflower florets on the prepared surface, again adding another mist of olive oil and a sprinkle of garlic, black pepper, or Parmesan cheese. Bake for 10-20 minutes, or until fork-tender.

5. Broccoli rabe

Broccoli rabe is a type of wild cabbage that’s less well-known than its popular relative, broccoli. Broccoli rabe is high in iron, calcium, zinc, vitamins A, C and K and contains anti-cancer compounds called glucosinolates. It’s just as nutritious as other cruciferous veggies.

Prep tip: Sauté the leaves, buds, and stems of broccoli rabe in extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and cashew butter lightly. The finest approach to increase the nutrients of cruciferous veggies is to cook them raw, lightly steamed or sautéed, she adds.

Endless ways to prepare veggies

It’s beneficial to keep raw veggies on hand for snacking. Cruciferous veggies have a strong flavor that can withstand the use of a variety of spices, herbs, and toppings. For example, cook chicken or salmon on a bed of bok choy, green bell peppers, celery root and cabbage with a sauce made from balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, ginger, honey, fresh tomato, salt and pepper. All you need to do now is throw all of the sauce ingredients into the blender.

Cauliflower, fennel, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and other vegetables may all be roasted in a matter of minutes. They’ll also add some flair to your dinners.

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