While most of us succumb to the routine of picking out delicious vegetables at the local grocery store or farmer’s market, we may not realize the plethora of “unusual” fall vegetables exist outside our locality.

Many strange, yet delicious ones exist that can add flair to any holiday recipe. Access to these vegetables is limited, but not impossible.

Most of these outrageous varieties can grow in our region and seeds are available for purchase online.

Romanesco Broccoli: Originally known as the “broccoflower,” this beautiful bright green variation has been deemed stunning due to its intense swirls of green spiky peaks. Romanesco broccoli is similar to the cauliflower and can be eaten raw, steamed or grilled.

Black Radish: Want to wow your guests at the holiday dinner party? Black radishes are an eye-catching addition to any vegetable dish or salad. The skin is crisp and black while the inside of the radish is sparkling white.

The skin can be removed, if needed, as on occasion this variety can be quite bitter for some. Black radishes require direct sunlight and take longer to grow.

Blue Potato: The striking blue-purple color of this potato will definitely make any mashed potato dish impressive and exquisite. Known as the Adirondack potato, the deep color of the potato’s skin comes from anthocyanin, similar to blueberries.

Blue potatoes can be cooked and served the same as “regular” potatoes and taste similar.

Achocha (aka “fat babies”): A native of South America, this vegetable is a bright emerald green pod with edible soft spikes. The taste of the achocha is a flavorful blend of cucumber and green bell peppers and can be used in salad, stir-fries and casseroles. These vegetables do best outside and will grow in abundance.

Kaleidoscope Carrot: This carrot can be called a “rainbow carrot” as well due to the combination of colors and unique pattern of each carrot. Most kaleidoscope carrots have yellow, purple and red which can turn the typical salad into a conversation starter at any party. These carrots taste the same as their orange counterparts and can be eaten raw or cooked.

Carey Stites is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and a Registered Dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition. Carey is currently the Registered Dietitian working with Wellstone in Harker Heights. Contact her at carey.stites@smchh.org.

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