List of Exotic Vegetables, Part Deux: Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato & Other Greats
Purple sweet potatoes, salty sea beans and a crazed cauliflower help complete this list of eight exotic vegetables. See pictures, watch videos and get great recipes!
Sweet Potato Snack Truck
5. Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato
The purple sweet potato was first cultivated on the island of Okinawa. Now it's enjoyed across Asia. During winters in Japan and China, street vendors sell baked sweet potatoes from their trucks -- but don't imagine cheery trucks with carnival music. The potato vendors drive rather plain vans and squawk through megaphones as they traverse the town.
Purple Potato Recipes
Here are three recipes centered on the Okinawan purple sweet potato. Learn to make bubur caca (a coconut and sweet potato dessert), sweet potato ice-cream and homemade baby food.
Bubur Caca or Bubur Cha Cha
This sweet potato dessert is especially popular in Malaysia and Singapore. While there are many variations, it basically involves dicing Okinawan sweet potatoes and steaming or boiling them until almost soft. Finish cooking the diced potatoes in a mixture of coconut milk and brown sugar.
To make the dessert even more colorful, use both purple and orange sweet potatoes. Other popular additions include chopped banana, tapioca pearls (sago) and pandan leaves.
More sweet potato recipes:
Purple Sweet Potato Ice-Cream
Homemade Baby Food: Purple Potatoes
One serving of kohlrabi provides 36 calories and 140% of the RDA for Vitamin C. It also has two grams of protein and small amounts of sodium, Vitamin A, calcium and iron.
How to Cut Kohlrabi - Make Pretty with Flowers...
6. Kohlrabi, the Cabbage-Turnip
Kohlrabi, a German cabbage, is especially popular in German and Indian dishes. In both cases it's served raw or cooked. How's the flavor? Raw kohlrabi tastes sweet and is reminiscent of broccoli stalks. When cooked, it develops a mildly nutty flavor.
Easy Kohlrabi Recipes
These three recipes complement kohlrabi's flavor with ingredients such as turnips, dill and sesame.
Crisp Kohlrabi Salad
- Combine salad greens with chopped kohlrabi, radishes and turnips.
- Toss with a dill dressing.
- Sprinkle with fennel.
- Garnish with a dollop of cottage cheese, shredded carrots and/or cherry tomatoes.
Sauté kohlrabi in a pan of olive oil, minced garlic and red chile pepper. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or drizzle with sesame oil for extra flavor. Alternatively, flavor the greens with peanut sauce.
Kohlrabi Juice for Weight Loss
If you have a juicer, make a homemade drink using celery, carrot and kohlrabi. The juice has countless health benefits and can help you drop extra pounds.
Harvesting Sea Beans in California
7. Sea Beans
Sea beans, also known as pickleweed, grow in coastal regions and brackish marshes. They're salty and citrusy at once. Yum!
Sea Bean Nutrition
Sea beans are a good source of calcium, iron, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. However, because sea beans are naturally infused with lots of sodium, certain people shouldn't eat them. You know who you are.
Sea Bean Recipes
Sea beans taste great in salads. They also make a delicious snack or stir fry addition. If you eat animals, you might enjoy sea beans with halibut and other fish.
Easy Sea Bean Bruschetta
Adapt a traditional Israeli or Turkish salad recipe by substituting salt with sea beans. Three easy steps!
1. Dice and combine tomatoes, onions, cucumber and sea beans. If you like garlic, add minced garlic too.
2. Toss with olive oil and pepper.
3. Serve on toasted French bread.
The next recipe combines sea beans with scallops, garlic, bay leaves and other flavorful ingredients.
A Seafood Sea Bean Recipe
8. Roman Cauliflower
Amazing! The Roman cauliflower grows in logarithmic spirals to create trippy fractal patterns. Each large, spiraling bud is composed of smaller spiraling buds. You can click on the photo to get a larger view.
Roman cauliflower is sometimes called Romanesco broccoli. It's an Italian cousin of the white cauliflower but is prepared like standard broccoli. This vegetable is a great source of carotenoids, fiber and Vitamin C.
In the video below, a chef at an Italian culinary school prepares spaghetti with garlic, thyme, Roman cauliflower, anchovies and other ingredients. For vegetarians, omit the anchovies and substitute dark, "meaty" mushrooms. Magnifico!
Spaghetti with Roman Cauliflower
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