13 Fresh Vegetables That Taste Better Than Cabbage & Kai Lan

FOOD  |  October 09, 2016
  • Fennel
    1 / 13 Fennel

    This layered bulb may not look the most inviting, but it deserves a place on your plate for containing anethole, a phytonutrient that’s been found to reduce inflammation and control the growth of cancer cells. Fennel is also a good source of heart-healthy potassium and B vitamins.
    Cost $24.90 per 1kg, Cold Storage
    Choose Clean and smooth bulbs, with no brown spots. There should be a subtle liquorice or anise fragrance.
    Serve Raw for its crispness and distinct anise flavour, or stir-fried for a mellow taste. The tender leaves can enhance flavours in salads, soups or sauces.
    Nutrition score (per 100g) 31kcal, 1.24g protein, 0.2g fat, 7.3g carbs, 3.1g fibre, 3.93g sugar

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  • Purple haze carrots
    2 / 13 Purple haze carrots

    Like orange carrots, these indigo-hued gems are rich in beta-carotene (vitamin A). Just 100g of the root veggie has 850mcg of the nutrient, more than what you need each day (750mcg)! But that’s not all – they are also brimming with anthocyanins, antioxidants known for their memory-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. 
    Also known as Purple carrots
    Cost $5.90 per 500g, Tanglin Market Place
    Choose Firm and deep-coloured ones. Avoid those with splits, cracks or little hairy roots.
    Serve Raw in salads or lightly sauteed with onions and celery.
    Nutrition score (per 100g) 41kcal, 0.93g protein, 0.24g fat, 9.58g carbs, 2.8g fibre, 4.74g sugar

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  • Artichoke
    3 / 13 Artichoke

    This flower bud looks like a challenge to prepare, but it’s a keeper for its high levels of phytonutrients, cynarin and silymarin, which aid digestion and bowel movement as well as control blood cholesterol levels.
    Also known as Green globe
    Cost $15.70 per 500g, SimplyFresh
    Choose Tightly packed leaves with no brown or soft spots. Using your thumb, press against the base of the stem – it should be firm.
    Serve Boiled or steamed, and drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil – or your favourite sauce. Before cooking, trim off the stem and sharp tips of the leaves. Then, pry the leaves away from the centre and remove the core.
    Nutrition score (per 100g) 47kcal, 3.27g protein, 0.15g fat, 10.5g carbs, 5.4g fibre, 0.99g sugar

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  • Belgian endive
    4 / 13 Belgian endive

    Dubbed as “white gold” by the Belgians, this narrow-leaf plant improves bowel movement, with its relatively high fibre content of 3g per 100g serving. The Belgian endive also packs in substantial folate (142mcg per 100g serving) to meet a third of your daily need. 
    Also known as Belgian endive, chicory, chicon, witloof
    Cost $16.50 per 1kg, Cold Storage
    Choose Tightly-packed leaves with pale yellow-green tips. Store in a cool, dark area as the veggie turns bitter when exposed to excess light.
    Serve Raw, steamed or roasted as a starter. Use the leaves as edible spoons for dips like guacamole and salsa.
    Nutrition score (per 100g) 17kcal, 1.25g protein, 0.2g fat, 3.35g carbs, 3.1g fibre, 0.25g sugar

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  • Black salsify
    5 / 13 Black salsify

    Surprise: The black salsify is actually part of the sunflower family. Unexpectedly yummy when cooked, its creamy white flesh has a savoury oyster-like flavour. Plus, it’s pretty rich in minerals like calcium, phosphorus and potassium.
    Also known as Scorzonera hispanica, Spanish salsify, black oyster plant, vegetable oyster, serpent root, viper’s herb, viper’s grass
    Cost $7.80 per 500g, SimplyFresh
    Choose Medium-sized roots that are smooth and firm.
    Serve Boiled and sauteed with a little butter. Remove the peel under running water, then rinse again before cutting into 2cm to 3cm pieces.
    Nutrition score (per 100g) 82kcal, 3.3g protein, 0.2g fat, 18.6g carbs, 3.3g fibre, 0g sugar

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  • Brussels sprouts
    6 / 13 Brussels sprouts

    Named after the Belgian capital where they are said to originate from, Brussels sprouts are rich in heart-healthy vitamin K as well as sulphur-containing compounds called glucosinolates. Numerous studies have linked the consumption of this veggie with lower rates of colon and ovarian cancers. 
    Cost $15.60 per 500g, SimplyFresh
    Choose Firm and brightly coloured sprouts. The smaller ones tend to be sweeter and less bitter.
    Serve Quartered and steamed, with your preferred dressing, or sauteed with butter and fruit (it tastes really good with golden apples).
    Nutrition score (per 100g) 43kcal, 3.38g protein, 0.3g fat, 8.95g carbs, 3.8g fibre, 2.2g sugar

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  • Kohlrabi
    7 / 13 Kohlrabi

    Translating to turnip cabbage in German, this pale green bulb is subtly sweet with a cabbage-like crunch. Kohlrabi is relatively high in vitamin C and fibre, with 62mcg and 3.6g respectively per 100g serving.
    Also known as Turnip cabbage, German turnip
    Cost $9.50 per piece, SimplyFresh
    Choose Thin and tender skin that’s free of blemishes and wrinkles.
    Serve Raw or boiled in a chunky vegetable soup or stew. To prep, remove leaf stems, trim the base and top, and peel it like an apple. The leaves can be cooked in the same way as cabbage. 
    Nutrition score (per 100g) 27kcal, 1.7g protein, 0.1g fat, 6.2g carbs, 3.6g fibre, 2.6g sugar

    (Also read: 6 Food Hacks You Can Use Right Now For a Healthier Diet)

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  • Red kale
    8 / 13 Red kale

    A popular ingredient in juices and salads, this boasts high levels of vitamins A, C and K as well as powerful antioxidants, carotenoids and flavonoids, which have been linked to a reduced cancer risk. Red kale is also rich in calcium, containing 150mg per 100g – impressive considering an equivalent serving of low-fat milk has 128mg.
    Also known as Russian red kale
    Cost $14 per bunch, Supernature
    Choose Smaller heads (more tender and milder in flavour) and crisp, brightly coloured leaves.
    Serve Boiled and lightly seasoned, or sauteed with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
    Nutrition score (per 100g) 49kcal, 4.28g protein, 0.93g fat, 8.75g carbs, 3.6g fibre, 2.26g sugar

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  • Romanesco cauliflower
    9 / 13 Romanesco cauliflower

    Can’t decide between broccoli and cauliflower? Try romanesco cauliflower: it’s believed to be the result of cross-breeding by farmers in Italy. It’s crunchy like the former, with a delicate flavour that’s more similar to the latter.
    Also known as Green cauliflower, romanesco broccoli, romanesque cauliflower, broccoflower
    Cost $8.50 per 1kg, Freshdirect
    Choose Firm and heavy heads with vivid green hues. 
    Serve Steamed and broken into florets, or roasted with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
    Nutrition score (per 100g) 31kcal, 2.95g protein, 0.3g fat, 6.09g carbs, 3.2g fibre, 3.03g sugar

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  • Small radishes
    10 / 13 Small radishes

    Crunchy and piquant, small radishes add zing to dishes. Hailing from the brassica family, small radishes contain a compound called sulforaphane, which has been found to slow down the growth of prostate, breast, colon and ovarian cancers.
    Cost $3.50 per 100g, Paragon Market Place
    Choose Small ones, as the large types are spicier.
    Serve Raw in salads (they’re very good with cheese). Slice thinly to use as a garnish for meat dishes.
    Nutrition score (per 100g) 16kcal, 0.68g protein, 0.1g fat, 3.4g carbs, 1.6g fibre, 1.86g sugar

    (Also read: 9 Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Your Cancer Risk)

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  • Blue pumpkin
    11 / 13 Blue pumpkin

    Hailing from Australia, New Zealand and the US, this squash is prized for its sweetnes as well as its smooth, creamy texture. The orange flesh is also packed with eyesight-boosting beta-carotene. 
    Also known as Queensland blue, Australian blue, Jarrahdale, blue doll and blue moon
    Cost $12.90 per 1kg, Cold Storage
    Choose Smooth skin that is evenly coloured. Hold it to your ear and give it a tap: The ripe ones are hard and give a hollow sound.
    Serve Boiled and pureed into soup, or roasted with fresh herbs and olive oil.
    Nutrition score (per 100g) 26kcal, 1g protein, 0.1g fat, 6.5g carbs, 0.5g fibre, 2.76g sugar

    (Also read: Quick & Healthy Recipe For Pumpkin Herbed Rice)

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  • Spaghetti squash
    12 / 13 Spaghetti squash

    It looks nothing like its namesake when raw, but after cooking, the tender flesh separates into fine yellow strands that resemble angel hair pasta. With just 31 calories and 7g carbs in a one-cup serving, spaghetti squash makes a healthy – and interesting – substitute for noodles.
    Also known as Noodle squash, vegetable spaghetti, vegetable marrow, spaghetti marrow, squaghetti
    Cost $48 for 2.2kg to 2.5kg, Supernature
    Choose The rind should be firm and dry with no soft spots or cracks. Opt for those with dry, rounded stems on.
    Serve Roasted with a little butter, olive oil and drizzle with your favourite pasta sauce. To prep, halve lengthwise, scoop out seeds and bake with cut sides down to preserve its juiciness.
    Nutrition score (per 100g) 31kcal, 0.64g protein, 0.57g fat, 6.91g carbs, 1.5g fibre, 2.76g sugar

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  • Red potatoes
    13 / 13 Red potatoes

    With more potassium and vitamin A than standard white-fleshed potatoes, this red-fleshed variety also tastes creamier and nuttier.
    Cost $25.60 per 1kg, SimplyFresh
    Choose Smooth and firm ones, with no cuts or bruises
    Serve Roasted with olive oil and rosemary, or steamed with skin on (the peel is packed with carotenoids).
    Nutrition score (per 100g) 70kcal, 1.89g protein, 0.14g fat, 15.9g carbs, 1.7g fibre, 1.29g sugar

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