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Deliciously Offbeat: Unconventional produce worth adding to your diet

  • Produce
  • Posted by :zama Organics
Deliciously Offbeat:  Unconventional produce worth adding to your diet

It is easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to grocery shopping. Getting comfortable buying a fixed selection of products means we are missing out on a world of newly available veggies, spices and staples! Zama Organics is here to revive your sense of culinary adventure with our curated list of 7 slightly offbeat yet completely delicious and nutritious produce worth adding to your pantry. It doesn’t hurt that all of our selections are packed with nutrients and have the potential to do wonders for your overall health and well-being!

1. Fennel 

How big an impact can a humble herb have on a city? Just ask the locals of the Portuguese town of Funchal which is named in honour of the hardy aromatic herb - fennel (Funchal is derived from the word ‘funcho’ which translates to fennel) 

This flavorful herb is rather economical with every part being edible from the crunchy bulb and stalk to the feathery leaves. Popularly used in mediterranean cooking, fennel’s aromatic taste is unique, reminiscent of licorice and anise. It adds a punch of fresh flavor to any dish and is an excellent source of vitamin C, dietary fiber and potassium. 

How to use it? Use the stalks of Fennel for a delicious nutrient-packed soup or sauté the leaves and stalks with onions and other vegetables for a healthy side dish. Add a fresh and crispy element to your salad by mixing in fennel slices. Roast fennel bulbs in the oven for the perfect entrée.  

Buy organic fennel here

 

2. Butternut Squash 

Butternut squash is a delicious winter squash that grows on a vine. Though commonly thought of as a vegetable, butternut squash is technically a fruit. It has a sweet, nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin. Rich and creamy in texture, butternut squash’s versatile flavour means it can be used for both sweet and savoury recipes. Its tan yellow skin and orange fleshy pulp add a vibrant splash of colour to any meal. Low in calories yet high in vitamins and disease-fighting antioxidants. Butternut squash serves as a wonderful addition to baby’s first foods.

How to use it? Cut butternut squash into cubes and roast with olive oil, salt, and pepper for a quick, tasty side dish. Swap potatoes with butternut squash when making homemade fries. Top salads with roasted butternut squash for a boost of fiber or use butternut squash puree and coconut milk to make a creamy, dairy-free soup.

Buy organic butternut squash here

 

3. Pink Rice  

Rice fit for a king! The unique taste and playful soft colour of pink rice have been appreciated by Indian royalty since the Chola and Chera dynasties. Retaining significantly more nutrients compared to its polished white counterpart, Pink rice has been reported to contribute to boosting bone health and lowering high cholesterol. 

How to use it? Pink Rice is gluten-free and is an excellent addition to the kitchen with its unique appearance and deliciously subtle flavor. The rice can be simply boiled like any other rice. To kick it up a notch, you can use it in a delicious stir-fry, sprinkle it on soups and salads or make a traditional pilau or khichdi. 

Buy organic pink rice here

4. Cassava Flour

Gluten-free and grain-free, Cassava is gaining popularity as a replacement to regular flour. Contrary to popular belief, Cassava is different from Tapioca and is, in fact, a tuberous root vegetable. This whole root is simply peeled, dried and ground and hence retains significantly more fibre than conventionally processed flours used in the kitchen. Compared to other gluten-free flours, the flavour of Cassava flour is the closest to regular flour, making the switch all the more effortless!

How to use it? Cassava flour’s most unique quality is its ability to add fluffiness to bread, pancakes and baked goods. You can make several healthy bakery products like flatbreads, cookies, cakes and crepes using Cassava flour!

Buy organic cassava flour here

5. Hemp Seeds

Seeds of the hemp plant Cannabis Stevia, hemp seeds are loaded with minerals. Similar to ‘Super seeds’ like chia and flax seeds, 16%-18% of the calories in hemp seeds are protein. Hemp seeds can be eaten raw, cooked or roasted. The seeds can also be turned into oil, having been used traditionally in Chinese medicine for more than 3,000 years. Hemp seeds contain several healthy fats and nutrients beneficial for the skin, heart and digestive system. 

How to use it? Sprinkle a fistful of hemp seeds into your bowl of cereal, parfait, smoothie or salad for a much-needed nutrient boost. If you are feeling adventurous you can whip up a healthy portion of hemp-chia-guacamole dip served with your choice of fresh veggies.

Buy organic hemp seeds here

6. Pecan Nuts 

A healthy pecan tree can produce pecans for more than 100 years! While it is called a ‘nut’, Pecan nuts are essentially fruits with singular pits. The heart-healthy nuts are naturally sodium-free and can be consumed raw, salted or sweetened. Pecan nuts are especially popularly used in desserts, best served in America’s traditional Thanksgiving dish - pecan pie!. The earthy nut contains about 19 different minerals and vitamins, associated with reducing the risk of diabetes and hypertension.  

How to use it? Pecans can add rich flavor and crunch to a variety of recipes including appetizers, salads, and main dishes. Add crunch to traditional cobb salads, mix pecans and panko for a delicious pan-fried coating for fish use ground pecans and whole wheat flour to make a nutty-flavored crust for a healthy sweet potato tart

Buy organic pecan nuts here

Embrace the unconventional for flavorful and nutrient-packed dishes that add variety to your everyday meals. Shop these organically-grown veggies, spices and staples exclusively on our website.




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Deliciously Offbeat: Unconventional produce worth adding to your diet