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© 2015 Shanna Lea
The average garden grows standard veggie staples like carrots, peas and radishes. But have you tried some unique plants like amaranth or chard? With the growing trend of eating more plants in our diet, we are learning to eat more veggies that were not on the SAD (Standard American Diet). Beginner gardeners can expand their learning curve with these veggies. I’ve grown many of these in my gardens and loved them!
Amaranth—This plant can grow up to 8 feet tall, perfect for providing a privacy area away from neighbors’ eyes. Amaranth produces beautiful reddish gold flowers, enhancing the beauty of your garden. The leaves are used in salads or stir fry, adding a tangy and nutty flavor. The seeds are a powerhouse of nutrition too, and made into porridge or popped like popcorn.
Peanuts—Store bought peanut butter is expensive and has unhealthy trans fats added. Grow your own peanuts to make delicious homemade peanut butter. Peanuts can be added to several dishes or roasted for snacks. Peanuts are fun to grow!
Swiss Chard—I love growing Swiss Chard, especially the rainbow variety. The bright colors in the garden perk me up just being out there with them and picking them for my lunch. You can use chard in a salad, as a wrap for tuna or chicken salad or cook in your favorite dishes calling for greens. Easy to grow too!
Romanesco—This weird looking veggie looks like an alien form of broccoli. It’s actually the edible flower from the Brassica family of veggies that include broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. It tastes similar to cauliflower, but slightly nuttier. Cook and use it like you would cauliflower.
Each of the plants provides tons of nutrients, especially if you grow them organically in good soil and compost. The more you learn to grow for yourself, the better you can be in charge of your own health. And it’s the most affordable way to have access to organic veggies.
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