With warm weather coming, you may want to add a few different fruits and vegetables to your family's diet. Depending on where you live and shop, there are many options that you may not have tried that offer delicious flavors in addition to some notable health benefits.
Papaya is something that you may have seen in the grocery store, but passed by. If you haven't tried this deliciously sweet, slightly-tart fruit, than you are missing out on a healthful addition to salads, salsas, and dessert dishes. Papaya is usually green before it is ripe, and inside the rosy flesh is a pocket of seeds which can be removed, dried, and ground, to be used similarly to black pepper.
Taro is a root vegetable that has a similar texture to potatoes. This satisfying veggie is a diet staple of many cultures, and taro can be prepared by frying, boiling, and roasting. This healthy vegetable contains many minerals and antioxidants, but is primarily a good option due to its high fiber content, which is excellent when watching what you eat.
If you are only using parsley as a garnish, than you should reconsider the many uses for this fresh, floral herb. Both curly and flat-leaf parsley makes a fine addition to salad greens, giving your lettuce a bit of flavor and kick. Try adding parsley, either dried or fresh, to your favorite entrees, as it helps in digestion and can soothe a sore stomach.
Radicchio is a versatile green that is a member of the chicory family, and that has a purplish color similar to some types of cabbage. This is an excellent veggie for both cooked and raw preparations, holding up well to both sautes and steaming, while also sturdy enough to fill for wraps or appetizers. This is a high-fiber veggie that can bulk up a meal, while adding very few calories overall.
The next time that you are at the market or visiting a produce stand, take a second look at some fruits and veggies that you may not have tried before. Many of these foods are not just healthy and nutritious options, but also boast some added health benefits that you may not have thought of. Try some of these various produce options this summer and treat your family to something fresh and new! For more foods to try, take a look at the commercial refrigeration section at the grocery store.