6 Ways to Be More Veggie Adventurous

Purple cauliflower is one of the best veggies around this time of year. Getty Images

Bored of broccoli? Sick of spinach? Have eggplant ennui? Varying your veggie picks will not only help prevent food boredom but it also ensures you get more vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients in your diet. So think outside the box and try some of these newer, more unique produce picks. I dare you!


This low-calorie root veggie is crunchy with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Rich in potassium, which helps beat bloating, jicama (pronounced hick-ama) is high in volume but low in calories with just 50 calories per cup.

Plus, it’s versatile. You can make it sweet by adding it to a fruit salad, or savory by tossing it into a stir-fry. I often serve them as a snack; simply slice and serve as crudité, or season them up with your favorite flavors. If you slice them and spice them, you can make Jicama Fries, which are a healthier but just as satisfying an alternative to greasy French fries. 

Kale sprouts

You may be unfamiliar with this veggie but you most certainly know its parents: kale and Brussels sprouts. This veggie newcomer, which can be grilled, sautéed, roasted, or enjoyed raw, contains all the nutrients found in both of its superfood parents, including bone-strengthening vitamin K and immune-boosting vitamin C. And don’t be worried: Kale sprouts are a non-GMO food that’s a result of natural, non-GMO cross-hybridization.

Swiss Chard

This isn’t a new veggie, but it is gaining new popularity in the produce aisle.

The leafy green is a great source of magnesium and potassium, which helps manage blood pressure and protect bones. It’s also a beauty booster because it’s loaded with antioxidants and vitamins A and C. Try it sautéed with garlic and olive oil or simply add it raw to your salad or sandwich for extra crunch.


This isn’t a new veggie either but people are finding new and clever ways to use the classic pick. For instance, it has proven to be an ideal stand-in for carb-rich comfort food, like mashed potatoes and pizza. Not only is the cruciferous chameleon light in carbs (just 5 grams per cup), it also chips in some filling fiber—3 grams per cup.

To add a little more color to your dishes, try purple cauliflower. It’s loaded with the antioxidant anthocyanin (which gives red cabbage and red wine their purple hue) and chips in some vitamin C. Purple cauliflower mashed potatoes, anyone?

Tiger Nuts

Tiger nuts aren’t actually nuts at all. They are small tubers that have a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. They have been used for centuries in Africa as a fix for diarrhea, gas, and indigestion. It may be because they’re a good source of fiber, which helps keep you regular.

They are generally soaked in water to soften before eating and can be enjoyed raw, roasted, dried, baked, or as tiger nut milk or oil.

The flour of roasted tiger nuts is sometimes added to baked goods. 


This veggie, which tastes like an onion and smells like garlic, can be used in basically any recipe that calls for onions, shallots, or leeks. You can find them at farmers markets in the spring; they may be called wild leeks or spring leeks. I use them in omelets and frittatas. They also contain iron, beta carotene, and vitamin C, making them a tasty way to boost your immunity.

By Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, CDN, Health and Nutrition Expert for NBC’s Today Show and founder of Nourish Snacks.

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