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For the love of Produce...

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  • DancingMoosieDancingMoosie Member Posts: 5,734 Member Member Posts: 5,734 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Might be a weird question, but...
    If you had to pick only 5 vegetables/fruits, which would you pick for best and balanced nutrition? I've been stuck on roasting cauliflower lately!

    Purplefizzy - who gave an excellent answer - reminded me that I meant to be mulling over your question, and answering.

    My mental problem (one of many!😉) is that my brain kind of rejects the premise of your question.

    Here's why: What inspires me is variety, and the stimulation of trying new things in new ways. It's great to incorporate more veggies/fruits, and not be a mono-veg eater, of course, by any means necessary. (And I'm with you on the yum factor of roasted cauliflower).

    For me, it works best to do two general things:

    1. Find a good farmers market, and follow the seasons, which inherently creates variety; and

    2. Keep my eyes open for veggies and fruit I've never had before, do a quick internet search on my phone before buying to make sure I can manage a trial in a practical way, then buy'n'try. The same farmers markets, plus ethnic groceries and big produce markets, are good sources for this.

    Beyond that, to limit/focus my list, I'm blatantly stealing purplefizzy's typology, with some twists:

    - green: Beet greens, red amaranth (it's sorta green 😉), lightly stir-steamed or sauteed. Sugar snap peas (raw).
    - purple: Cheat and say eggplant! (I do eat the skin). Roast and puree as sauce/dip ingredient, slice and roast for sandwiches, slice to layer in casseroles, large cubes in soups/stews. Or fresh brown figs, kinda purple.
    - orange: Second vote for Winter squash, but in the interests of variety, sweet potatoes. Particularly love in sweet potato/black bean tacos on soft corn tortilla, maybe some cotija cheese, certainly spices. Muskmelon/canteloupe.
    - yellow: Fresh sweet corn, not too mature. A little caloric, but so good.
    - white instead of black: Most of these raw: Jicama, Hakurei turnips, cucumbers, kohlrabi (OK, light green), fresh lychee/rambutan/logan, cousa squash (raw or lightly cooked) . . .

    From a nutrition standpoint, I have a strong bias toward variety, for varied micronutrient profiles - not just vitamins/minerals, but antioxidants and other beneficials.

    Sorry. Can't handle "just 5". I'll go away now. 😉

    No, I get it. I asked for 5 because I can handle 5 by myself. If I buy too much at once, it will go to waste. One problem is that we don't have a farmers market or ethnic store in our town. I just use HEB for produce. I probably need to go back to kale or spinach for green.
    Orange, I Iike cantaloupe, mango, and sweet potato. The fruit is very seasonal though and almost done.
    White, I do eat cucumber. Not a fan of jicama. I like mushrooms. I don't see the others you listed at my store.
    Purple, eggplant is ok, so is cabbage, but hard to eat it all on my own.
  • mtaratootmtaratoot Member Posts: 3,588 Member Member Posts: 3,588 Member
    mtaratoot wrote: »
    Might be a weird question, but...
    If you had to pick only 5 vegetables/fruits, which would you pick for best and balanced nutrition? I've been stuck on roasting cauliflower lately!

    I will just pick ONE. Potato.

    That's kind of cheating because it might encompass more than just one kind of potato. I'd like to have more than one causative, well, you know, they can get a crop destroying disease and wreck an entire culture. But potatoes are powerhouses of wonder. Even white potatoes have all essential amino acids. Some kinds (like purple potatoes) have some other nutrients. Sweet potatoes aren't really potatoes, but that might actually be a better choice....

    And maybe something robust and green. Like kale.

    If I get two more, I'll splurge and go with avocado and.... Oh, I am going to wait to decide on the last one. I think if I had a variety of potatoes, sweet potatoes, and kale, I could survive. Do I also get grains? Nuts? Seeds? the avocado is just because they are so tasty.

    I do usually have avocado too! I used to get kale almost every day, buy I've been on a cauliflower kick. I figured brassica was all similar. I had sweet potato last week.
    This week I already made a stir fry of broccoli, green cabbage, carrot, mushroom, and sugar snaps.
    I think apple season is coming. Jazz apples are on sale now and they're so good!

    I was thinking potatoes because of the nutrients. If I could just have one, it would have to be some kind of potato. I remember in grad school subsisting on lots of brown rice, black beans, and potatoes. They didn't pay us much. The down side I guess is glycemic index. The avocados were the splurge.

    I miss boiled peanuts. Do they count against my five? I need to find a supplier of green peanuts and boil up a bushel.

    I've seen the Jazz apples, but don't know if I've had them. I always am happy when the new crop of organic Honeycrisp come in.
  • mtaratootmtaratoot Member Posts: 3,588 Member Member Posts: 3,588 Member
    Mushrooms don't count against your five. Fungus is more closely related to animals than plants.
  • mtaratootmtaratoot Member Posts: 3,588 Member Member Posts: 3,588 Member
    Air quality or not, the temperature was cool enough to run the oven. I had some red potatoes and purple potatoes in the fridge from before it got hot a couple months ago. They weren't going to last much longer. So the first roasted veggies of the fall.

    Well, I also had picked some "smoked" cherry tomatoes the other day. I was planning to make another batch of quick pickle. Sadly, it looked like all, or at least most, and split as I picked them. Well, I decided to sort through them just to check. I set aside the pint that wasn't split (spoiler; many of them split when I pricked them with a toothpick before putting them in their damn jar), and sliced all the split ones in half, tossed in the already spiced and oily bowl from the potatoes, and spread them on a second baking sheet.

    I'm glad I checked them early because they were done. They look burned, but they're not. They're just a little blackened and crispy on the outside. The inside is sweet and tender. Perfect with a gin and tonic.

    Funny. I speak of these little treats in the present tense. They no longer exist except in my memory, my digestive system, and this picture.

    psa0i9if76ug.jpg
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 16,456 Member Member, Premium Posts: 16,456 Member
    The previous 13 pounds of onions and big bag of nice slicing tomatoes apparently not having been enough, Bob-next-door brought over a big bag of carrots and parsnips. I see more veggie-roasting in my future. taltwosvvfu5.jpg
  • redgirldanceredgirldance Member Posts: 86 Member Member Posts: 86 Member
    Parsnips also make an amazing cake - not too sweet, a touch of spice and lighter than you’d expect 😋
  • Safari_Gal_Safari_Gal_ Member, Premium Posts: 709 Member Member, Premium Posts: 709 Member
    mtaratoot wrote: »
    Air quality or not, the temperature was cool enough to run the oven. I had some red potatoes and purple potatoes in the fridge from before it got hot a couple months ago. They weren't going to last much longer. So the first roasted veggies of the fall.

    Well, I also had picked some "smoked" cherry tomatoes the other day. I was planning to make another batch of quick pickle. Sadly, it looked like all, or at least most, and split as I picked them. Well, I decided to sort through them just to check. I set aside the pint that wasn't split (spoiler; many of them split when I pricked them with a toothpick before putting them in their damn jar), and sliced all the split ones in half, tossed in the already spiced and oily bowl from the potatoes, and spread them on a second baking sheet.

    I'm glad I checked them early because they were done. They look burned, but they're not. They're just a little blackened and crispy on the outside. The inside is sweet and tender. Perfect with a gin and tonic.

    Funny. I speak of these little treats in the present tense. They no longer exist except in my memory, my digestive system, and this picture.

    psa0i9if76ug.jpg

    @mtaratoot - love the roasted veggies! Sorry for the smoke in the air :(
    edited September 15
  • mtaratootmtaratoot Member Posts: 3,588 Member Member Posts: 3,588 Member
    I sprouted some black beans and cooked them on Sunday. I had a simple meal of sprouted brown rice and beans. I did something we're not supposed to do; I left them in the pot on the stove instead of refrigerating. I'll tell you a story about some roommates I had one quarter who were exchange students from China. Anyway, yesterday I put the heat back on, served up a big bowl of bans and topped it with a couple fried eggs and some mung bean sprouts. Pretty tasty.

    So today I wanted to sort of repeat that, but changed it up a little. This time I made a couple hard cooked eggs that turned out perfect. I use the put in cold water, bring just to a boil, take off the heat, cover, and let sit nine or ten minutes, then rinse with cold water. The yolks were set, but just barely. Very nice. I sliced them as well as some cherry tomatoes I had picked with the intent to make another batch of cherry tomato quick pickle but that had split. I also added the last of my mung bean sprouts, and I chopped a little sprig of fresh basil I had picked the other day and didn't use it all so put in a jar of water for a day or two.

    qpjtd0yf3xa2.jpg

    Yum!

    Meanwhile I had been starting some adzuki beans sprouting. They were just about to sprout, and I cooked them this evening and had some; more are for tomorrow's lunch. It's "bean" a long time since I made adzuki. I forgot how tasty they are, even without any cumin, garlic, or any spices really. Well, I did toss a half dozen pickled cherry tomatoes in for a little "bite." Very nice. Even though I still have a bunch left in my jar, they're back on the shopping list for my grocery run in a week or two.

    And I started some more mung beans and wheat berries a-sprouting. The broccoli sprouts are SO SLOW.
  • purplefizzypurplefizzy Member Posts: 543 Member Member Posts: 543 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Afterthought for @purplefizzy:

    I've never heard the 2-week thing. They will keep that long, if unblemished. But the ones I've had that are simila are *not* long-keepers - not a variety I'd try to store whole for Winter. I roast & freeze, enough to eat until the following season, if I can. (I have a chest freezer in the basement.)

    I’ll deliver full report when sister stops holding squash randsom.
    She could be nuts with the curing. She’s adventurous but often in a good way.
    She could also just be holding out on me :)
  • purplefizzypurplefizzy Member Posts: 543 Member Member Posts: 543 Member
    acpgee wrote: »
    After corresponding about SE asian fruit based salads got the craving when I saw pomelos yesterday at an upscale fruitmonger. Alas, we were not close to home and didn't feel like lugging a pomelo around all day. Tried to find one at the green grocer near home today but they said the wouldn't be getting them for another week or two. We are in a less upscale neighbourhood and suspect our neighbourhood green grocer uses a supplier that gets imported fruits shipped instead of air lifted. Followed a Thai pomelo salad recipe tonight but substituted a grapefruit stretched with some grated carrot.

    5o3unq62kwcz.jpeg

    You nail it for me, flavor profile wise. Always leave me salivating and craving fresh shredded things.
  • acpgeeacpgee Member Posts: 5,264 Member Member Posts: 5,264 Member
    Bagna cauda is a great way to get lots of veg. Not really low calorie as the hot dip for the crudites is made of butter, olive oil anchovies and garlic.
    df82bjlwhk8l.jpeg
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 5,660 Member Member Posts: 5,660 Member
    I can't do only 5, and normally buy (during some kind of growing season) based on seasonality.

    But my most staple veg, throughout the year are:

    (1) broccoli
    (2) spinach
    (3) cauliflower
    (4) zucchini
    (5) string beans

    Carrots and brussels get an honorary mention, followed by tomatoes and cukes and celery, and of course I eat many more -- my garden is still producing beautiful chard and lettuce and cabbage, for example, and I have some spaghetti squash in my refrigerator, as well as some romaine. I love most greens -- watercress is a personal favorite I associate more with spring, and arugula is great. Kale is fine, I eat it, but am not usually that excited about it vs many other greens options (including collards, which are great, beet and turnip greens (which reminds me I have beets on hand too), endive, etc. -- so many possibilities).

    For fruit, I'm very seasonal with some (eat tons of plums, peaches, and apricots in season, and some melon too).

    Others are more staples, like apples, pears, clementines (which I prefer to oranges), strawberries (but frozen if not from my garden or green market), blueberries, etc.

    Oops, also have some peppers still growing (probably not for long) in my garden, and buy those year round too. 5 is really impossible.
    edited September 19
  • acpgeeacpgee Member Posts: 5,264 Member Member Posts: 5,264 Member
    Cambodian beef lok lak is another meal that incorporates plenty of veg.
    vs04dl1sa4km.jpeg
  • snowflake954snowflake954 Member Posts: 5,137 Member Member Posts: 5,137 Member
    Zucchine stuffed with rice and mozzarella.60owvnom3wqi.jpg
    xmpddwkeal5e.jpg
  • MithriditesMithridites Member Posts: 495 Member Member Posts: 495 Member
    Zucchine stuffed with rice and mozzarella.60owvnom3wqi.jpg
    xmpddwkeal5e.jpg

    That's the cutest zucchini ever! What kind are they?
  • snowflake954snowflake954 Member Posts: 5,137 Member Member Posts: 5,137 Member
    Zucchine stuffed with rice and mozzarella.60owvnom3wqi.jpg
    xmpddwkeal5e.jpg

    That's the cutest zucchini ever! What kind are they?

    They are round zucchini. I bought them in Rome where they're fairly common now.
  • acpgeeacpgee Member Posts: 5,264 Member Member Posts: 5,264 Member
    On the weekend of the 14th I bought two grapefruits because I was craving SE Asian pomelo salad and my local green grocer claimed they wouldn't be coming into season for another week or two.

    Ate one grapefruit as a SE asian salad stretched with grated grated carrot, with the idea of doing another similar salad at a later date with the other grapefruit. Trying to stretch that later date.

    What is the best way to keep grapefruit? Currently in the fruit bowl on the counter but wondering if I should put it in the fridge.
  • icemom011icemom011 Member Posts: 937 Member Member Posts: 937 Member
    acpgee wrote: »
    On the weekend of the 14th I bought two grapefruits because I was craving SE Asian pomelo salad and my local green grocer claimed they wouldn't be coming into season for another week or two.

    Ate one grapefruit as a SE asian salad stretched with grated grated carrot, with the idea of doing another similar salad at a later date with the other grapefruit. Trying to stretch that later date.

    What is the best way to keep grapefruit? Currently in the fruit bowl on the counter but wondering if I should put it in the fridge.

    I would keep grapefruit in the fridge. In my experience, citrus fruit is keeping longest in the fridge. Grapefruit is my favorite, enjoy!
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