The Varieties of Vegetable Food Group
Vegetable food refers to a group of seasonal plants and animals that humans eat as food. The original intent is still widely used today and is usually applied to all edible vegetable plant material, which includes the edible leaves, fruits, roots, stems, and even seeds. The word “vegetable” also has a broader meaning that may include not only plants but also crustaceans, fungus, and even bacteria. There are many varieties of vegetable plants; however, most are used for cooking, although there are some that have medicinal qualities.
Legumes, like black beans, are by far the most common variety of vegetable used in American cooking today. With their high fiber content, beans can make great, filling foods for a complete meal. Many recipes use beans as a base for sauces and dressings. This brief summary will examine some of the most important types of legumes:
Broccoli is probably one of the most well-known varieties of vegetable food in the United States. Not only is it commonly used in a variety of recipes, it is also a staple of many people’s diets. The color of the skin and redness of the seeds is what gives the c broccoli its name, and its firmness helps hold things together. There are many varieties of broccoli, including red, yellow, and even platinum, making it a worthwhile vegetable to attempt. There are even Chinese and Italian cuisines that refer to different styles of cooking, using different types of broccoli.
Probably the most common variety of broccoli, as well as the most used in the US, is the Urdu variety (sometimes spelled as Urdu broccoli) which is an annual plant that prefers a warm climate with high humidity levels. It is tall and somewhat oval, with rigid leaves and an insulating interior. The flesh is smooth and thick, with a strong bitter taste and the bright green color makes it one of the more colorful members of the vegetable food group. In Pakistan and India, the Urdu broccoli is often referred to as Lucky, which is why the two cultures often have very similar cuisines.
The next most popular variety of vegetable in the US is the Green Bean, and coincidently, it is native to Pakistan as well. It has a thick consistency similar to the English bean, but has more flavor and less fiber than its English counterpart. It is rarely eaten raw, as it is too bitter, but is often added to sauces or served on its own in stews or soups. The interesting thing about this vegetable group is that in both India and Pakistan, it is used as a main vegetable in meals, while in the United States it is mostly seen as a side vegetable or a vegetable to be avoided.
Vegetables play a crucial role in our diets; without them we would not be able to survive. With a combination of a varied diet and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in our tables, we are able to maintain a healthy weight and improve our health. Now let’s have a close look at some of the more common vegetable food groups –