Sweet Sweet Corn
The old gods took corn pretty serious, so this is no time for a corny joke.
9000 years old and one of the most distributed crops in the world, corn feeds millions of people a year with double the amount produced for food going to animal feed and biofuel. Corn is truly a behemoth of the vegetable world. Only sugar cane beats it, pound for pound.
These delectable allium alumni don’t always get placed in the pecking order with onion and garlic, but they should.
I first tasted the green tops served in a soup, grisly and chewy. Others were introduced to charred leek lurking in a dish, withered to leathery confetti. Don’t let these common offenses colour your judgement.
It’s all about how you use the different parts, from bulb to the greens, leeks are a zero waste vege. Also, if there is leek in a dish, potatoes never far. The two top all-rounders, making moves!
Cherry tomatoes: The sweetest, most adorable orbs of delicious.
What to say about cherry tomatoes…? I had no to start with! That’s why I enjoy doing these vege profiles, I learn a tidbit or two about something that I have enjoyed my entire life.
For instance, did you know the cherry tomato was the first of the family to be domesticated? I’d always thought it was the other way around. Some genius with a shrink-ray making what I thought of as ‘regular tomatoes’ itsy bitsy. Cherry tomatoes are the first descendants of the wild tomato, which traces back millions of years to the coast of South America. Mesoamerican farmers cultivated the first cherry tomatoes at least a thousand miles away in Central America around 500BC.
Vege Profile - Potatoes
Vege profile: Courgette, zucchini. Zucchini? Courgette.
Zucchini is Italian, courgette is French. Both roughly translate to the same thing; small squash. Which is exactly what it is, an underdeveloped squash. We’re eating the bambino! Squash were domesticated over 7000 years ago in Mesoamerica, but the zucchini was bred in Milan in the late 19th century.
The term courgette is used in most British or French colonized countries, whereas Mediterranean territories and America use zucchini. History leans in favor of Zucchini in my eye, but the Brits got here first, so I guess either name is fine by me. Then again, the French did give us Ratatouille, so…
A zucchini by any other name, right?
Cucumbers contain a little bit of everything in small doses; Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc. That’s quite the list, but the only nutrient of high value is Vitamin k at 16% of daily intake per serve. Cucumber consists of 95% water. If you’re struggling to get your 8 glasses of water a day, crunch your way to hydration.
Everything you never knew you needed to know about carrots
Carrots, the original way to get your night vision goggles. It’s not quite as simple as the old adage goes, but there are some mighty sweet benefits to adding carrots to your daily regime.
The carrot (Daucus carota) is a root vegetable often claimed to be the perfect health food. It is a good source of beta carotene, fibre, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants while containing little to no fat. They have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health (So no, your baby blues won’t be piercing the darkness, but if you’re suffering from low levels of Vitamin A you’ll likely see an improvement in your night vision) with reduced risk of cancer and age-related macular degeneration attributed. Carrots in their original forms were consumed for their medicinal properties by the Ancient Greeks and Romans. They even considered them to be an aphrodisiac. No idea what gave them that idea... All hail the humble carrot!