10 Scary-Looking Fruits and Vegetables You Should Cook With | Reader's Digest

10 Scary-Looking Fruits and Vegetables You Should Cook With

Not all fruits and vegetables are as beautiful as strawberries or as elegant as asparagus but these nutritious plants deserve a chance at your table.

By Meaghan Cameron
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    Celeriac
    Also known as celery root, celeriac is a knobby, frightening looking vegetable that is sometimes used by the low-carb dieter to replace mashed potatoes. But there are other wonderful uses to celery root such as in these recipes:
    Celeriac Salad With Parma Ham recipe
    Celeriac and Pear Soup With Sausage Bites

    Ugli fruit
    Ugli fruit is a cross between an orange, a grapefruit and a tangerine. It is bumpy and a tad misshapen but is just as healthy as other citrus fruits that provide 70% of the daily need for vitamin C in just half a fruit. Eat this fruit as you would other citrus fruits. You can also try these recipes:
    Saffron and Vanilla Grilled Fruit recipe
    Ugli Duckling recipe.

    Tomatillos
    These little papery-skin covered relatives of the tomato and the gooseberry are more tart than typical tomatoes. Try them in this Avocado and Tomatillo Dip recipe for a refreshing alternative to guacamole.

    Parsnips
    Parsnips resemble white carrots but are sweeter and slightly nutty. Since they are a root vegetable, they need to be well softened by roasting or boiling. Try them in this Carrot and Parsnip Puree recipe, a low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes.

    Kale
    Like many people you may see this nutritional powerhouse of vitamins and minerals as a overly crinkled green and violet garnish. Once you roast this nutritional powerhouse in the oven tossed with some oil and salt, you'll wonder why you ever pushed it to the side. Try this Kale Chips recipe and be a convert.

    Papaya
    Though its neon colored flesh and jet black seeds can be off-putting, the papaya is a very healthy fruit which also aids in digestion. Check out this description on preparing papaya, including how to use the edible black seeds. Also, try this Papaya and Avocado Salad for a great dose of vitamins and healthy monounsaturated fat.

    Endive
    Many people shy away from this bitter, missile-shaped vegetable. However, its bitterness and crunch can add a counterpoint to many salads that include fruit. Plus, one head of endive has a staggering level of vitamins and minerals. Try it in this Endive, Apple and Watercress Salad With Almonds

    Plantains
    This cousin to the banana is very starchy and never eaten raw as bananas are. They are often baked or fried in Caribbean cuisine. Try this Twice Fried Green Plantains With Garlic Dipping Sauce

    Beets
    You may shy away from these gnarled little vegetables, but you are making a mistake. Skip the can on this one. Fresh beets are slightly sweet and have a more satisfying bite. Try steamed beets in Balsamic Beets With Toasted Pecans recipe.

    Horseradish
    Another gnarly looking root, horseradish has a pungent hot flavor that when mixed with sour cream is a mouth-tingling accompaniment to many dishes. Try it in Rib Eye Tacos With Onion Jam and Horseradish Crème Fraiche. You can use the sauce with any kind of steak or even on a burger for a delicious alternative to mustard. Horseradish is a relative of the condiment.

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    Your Comments

    • Hector Villeda

      There are a lot of banana relatives, but this is NOT plantain. We have Majunche in Guatemala (also called Cuadrado in Costa Rica) We have banana Morado, enano, etc etc.

    • Aileena

      it looks very dirty, and i dare to say my appetite will wear out.

    • Nethmuena

      thank u for the group…good luck  and more power…love neth

    • Theresaaiza

      They only call it scary or weird because some of them probably are not common or native in the area where the author lives. I was glad to see the papaya and plantain because they are quite popular here in the Philippines. In fact some of us just pluck them off from the backyard.

    • Theresaaiza

      They only call it scary or weird because some of them probably are not common or native in the area where the author lives. I was glad to see the papaya and plantain because they are quite popular here in the Philippines. In fact some of us just pluck them off from the backyard.