The produce section at your local grocer is growing and the new additions are looking stranger and stranger. Don’t worry, these alien looking fruits and vegetables are actually pretty tasty and you shouldn’t be afraid. Honestly, when I first saw some of these new foods I was a little freaked out. They just look so foreign and weird to me I wasn’t sure what to think. I definitely didn’t know how to incorporate them into my meals. Luckily you have me, because I did some research and now have knowledge of the weirdest new fruits and veggies in your produce section.

 

Jackfruit

This alien pod looking fruit originates from Southeast Asia and is fast becoming popular in the vegetarian and vegan world. Jackfruit has a pretty mellow flavor and stringy consistency. They smell enticingly sweet when they are perfectly ripe, so picking he perfect one is easy.   You may have already begun seeing jackfruits served at vegan and vegetarian restaurant as meat substitutes, especially in Asian cooking.

You’ll find Jackfruits at all health food stores and an increasing number of larger chains. Asian markets often have them canned as well.

Try them in a vegetarian BBQ sandwich by replacing your meat with diced jackfruit; you’ll be amazed by the texture and how it picks up flavor.

 

Black radish

These look like radishes that have gone bad, but let me tell you, these black veggies pack some flavor. You can use them in a variety of dishes, but I prefer to pickle them and use in Asian cooking.   If they are too pungent, boil first and they will mellow in flavor and odor.

You’ll most likely have to find these guys at a farmer’s market or Asian market.

 

Kumquats

You probably have seen kumquats in your produce section before but thought they were just little oranges. They are actually their own variety of citrus fruit and have a sour taste with a sweet smelling rind.

I love using kumquat rinds in my rice to give it an original kick. They can be added to a salsa to bring out interesting flavors. Don’t be afraid to try one of these little guys out.

 

Persimmons

They look like a cross between a tomato and an orange but persimmons are a fruit of their own. They can be eaten raw or cooked; persimmons are sweet and pulpy citrus fruits. Try them in a salad or sliced and eaten raw, they really have an interesting taste.

 

Romanesco

These look like aliens for sure with their intricate geometric patterns of buds. Romanescos look like cauliflower were grown in toxic waste, as they are neon yellow green and have the most interesting looking florets. Part of the broccoli family, romanescos have the same nutrients and antioxidants as they do. Try roasting them for a sweeter flavor and to soften them up.

You can find them at farmer’s markets and specialty health food stores. They are worth purchasing just for the interesting conversation starter they are.

 

Don’t be afraid to try new healthy foods, it’s key to broadening your horizons and living a healthy balanced life.

 

Photos courtesy of Tumblr, pinterest, gardening, healthy with honey, beabeeinc