Ethnic Vegetable Growing: The USDA recommends eating 5 to 9 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Which can seem terrible if you or your children are among the many who think “vegetable” is a four-letter word. The fact is that most Americans stick to the same handful of vegetables, which is not only boring but, if you really hate something, it sounds like the death bell for healthier eating habits.
The good news is that there are tons of vegetables around the world that may be more to your liking. While some of them may be more difficult to find in the supermarket. Ethnic horticulture could be the key to inducing children to ingest something healthy. Especially if they are already fans of ethnic cuisines such as Indian, Mexican or Chinese.
Vegetables from all over the world: try them
Having been a chef for most of my life, I could be a little partial when it comes to trying foods. But, trust me, it can really be worth it and your taste buds will thank you. And when you try to grow some of these wonderful vegetables, you can enjoy them even more, as we all know that homemade vegetables taste better.
You can also go one step further by including some of these tasty tidbits in your child’s homeschooling lessons. A trip around the world with vegetables from different countries is an excellent history lesson. Health is another teachable area. It is also a great way to learn more about your ethnic background.
Some of the most common ethnic vegetables to consider growing are:
Lesser-known ethnic vegetables to try include loofah, bottled squash, Indian aubergines, bitter melon, and samphire (or sea bean), which is rather like a cross between asparagus and cactus. Oh, and on cacti, try sometimes nopales. Nopales is the leaf of the Opuntia cactus, which also produces prickly pear fruits.
There are many versatile root vegetables from all over the world for growing. Try growing ethnic vegetables like goose, sunchoke or cassava (also known as cassava and yuca).
Cassava is actually one of the most important food sources among people in developing countries, which feeds over half a billion people. You may know it by its name of tapioca, the dried product, and in its powder form transformed into a delicious dessert.