5 Underappreciated Vegetables And The Best Uses For Them

by Meredith Kreisa
These days, kale has a cult following and Brussels sprouts are a part of the in-crowd.  But there are still plenty of vegetables, that metaphorically, haven't had their moments in the sun. It is a well-known fact that maintaining a diverse diet is a healthy choice, and in pursuit of that, it’s easy to fall back on your favorite produce. So incorporating a different variety of vegetables into your lifestyle doesn’t just add a wonderful boost of unique nutrients into your diet, it also gives your meals a delicious change of pace. 

Not sure which veggies we’re talking about? Don’t worry. We’ve assembled a few healthy and delicious vegetables to work into your meals:

1. Bok Choy

Bok choy is a variety of Chinese cabbage that is featured in many stir-fries. Given that it has very little flavor, you'd think it wouldn't have many nutrients, but it actually has a ton. Its vitamins and health benefits include omega-3s, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, lutein, potassium, protein, calcium, and antioxidants. 

For an easy way to enjoy bok choy, try this stir-fried bok choy with ginger and garlic from Food Network's Robin Miller. 

2. Belgian Endive

Belgians call this leafy vegetable "white gold" with good reason. The delicate flavor can be a little bitter, but it is primarily sweet and nutty. And it also packs a good dose of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, and iron. 

Enjoy it in a simple salad, or try Mark Bittman's recipe for roasted Belgian endive

3. Carrots

They’re not exactly off the radar, but they are definitely underappreciated. Everyone has had their fair share of sad, boiled carrots. But they are so much more than that one unoriginal recipe! If prepared well, carrots can be one of the most flavorful vegetables you'll find. And, they are rich in nutrients, contain biotin, vitamin A, vitamin K, several B vitamins, and lower amounts of several other nutrients all in one bright, pretty package. 

Enjoy them raw, roast them with a little butter or oil, or try Epicurious's recipe for spiced carrots.

4. Beet Greens

Beet greens are the leafy greens atop beetroots. They are mild tasting much like spinach and collard greens. While beetroots are the more popular part of the plant, beet greens are also chock full of vitamin K, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, copper, potassium, manganese, fiber, calcium, and iron. 

You can use them in salads, soups, or virtually any other recipe that calls for a leafy green. Otherwise, try Honest Cooking's Rinku Bhattacharya's recipe for beet greens with almonds.

5. Parsley 

You might know it as an herb or a familiar garnish, but parsley is also widely used as a delicious vegetable. It has a fresh, bright flavor that improves many savory dishes. It is also rich in vitamin K,  vitamin A, vitamin C, protein, iron, folates, magnesium, copper, and countless other nutrients.

Parsley is easy to add to any savory dish. Simply sprinkle a bit of chopped parsley over the top of any meal. To really highlight parsley, you can also try Epicurious's recipe for Lebanese tabbouleh

So here’s to giving these vegetables all the credit and plate space they justly deserve. Bon Appetit!
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