Did you know that you can now grow many of your favourite vegetables in really weird colours?
We’ve all grown up expecting carrots to be orange but these delicious orange sticks of yumminess were originally purple!
However, they now come in red, orange, yellow, purple, black and white. A true rainbow of crunchyliciousness.
So let’s stop expecting the usual white cauliflowers, green beans and pink radishes, let’s take advantage of the wide array of exciting colours these unique vegetables can also be grown in.
What’s more, the different colours of vegetable can actually mean better flavour, as well as, a higher nutrient content!
So what’s stopping you tasting these amazing variations in taste and colour??
Well to taste these unique vegetable your going to have to buy some seeds and grow your own.
But don’t panic you don’t need a full allotment. Just a pot on the balcony or a corner in a raised bed is all you need to grow these vegetables.
Start with a seed your familiar with like carrots but choose a wacky variety and grow a few in a pot.
There’s nothing like pulling up your own wonky home grown carrots.You can even eat the leafy tops as greens in a salad, that’s a bonus you don’t get in shops often.
And you get to taste a wider variety of foods not just the tasteless, uniform ones the supermarkets sell.
Get munching those black carrots, blue potatoes and pink spring onions!!
Growing unique and unusual vegetables is great fun, the worst that can happen is you don’t grow anything, but if your successful, you can grow some weird vegetables,
I’d like to share with you some of my favourite unusual coloured vegetables I have come across.
Maybe even get the kids involved. I have found that giving kids food that they least expect can make a big change to their diet.
They see a familiar comforting shape like a pea. But it’s purple?? It’s intriguing to children who will try anything weird and wonderful.
Unique Vegetables To Grow With Your Kids
This one isn’t as unusual as it may sound, Purple Sprouting Broccoli is an allotmenteers stable although it can be expensive to buy in store.
Extremely hardy to grow and puts up with our cold Scottish weather very well. Sow in April to May and It’s ready to harvest in early Spring the following year.
It produces a succession of succulent purple spears of broccoli. As you harvest it the plant will continue to make more shoots in its attempt to flower and produce seeds so be sure to keep picking every few days.
Full sun, sheltered, Height : 90 cm, Spread : 50 cm, Harvest : February – May
Purple Brussel Sprouts
I LOVE Sprouts of any colour and these purple ones are AMAZING! These sprouts eaten fresh from the plant are completely different from the frozen buttons you buy.
If you want to really want to persuade your children to give Brussel Sprouts another try, then perhaps the answer is to offer them a sprout of a different colour to what they are used to.
Try: Sycamore Trading Brussels Sprouts Purple
Rainbow Of Carrots
Green, Orange or Purple Cauliflowers
Imagine your traditional Cauliflower cheese dinner made with a mix of purple and green cauliflowers? How much more exciting would that dish look?
Perhaps if you have a problem persuading your children to even consider eating cauliflower? maybe try growing their own cauliflowers?
Let them try to grow lots of coloured varieties and the rainbow effect may encourage them to have a go. I mean who doesn’t love ANYTHING rainbow coloured and covered in lashings of cheese sauce???
When cooking purple cauliflowers add a little lemon juice to the water to retain the colour
Green, Yellow, Purple, Spotty or even Black and White French Beans
We are all used to seeing French beans in the shops, long sticks of crunchy green goodness. My little man AJ sucks out the mini beans from inside the pod.
But there is a world of bean’ness to discover. Especially with kids. My 3 LOVE to grow Ying and Yang which is a black and white bean that looks amazing.
They are very easy to grow if you watch out for slugs and snails. Keep them watered and before long you’ll have amazing beans to pick.
Eat them as green beans or leave them to develop on the plant to turn into thick juicy pods where the beans will swell and can be dried off and stored for use later in the year..
I sow 2 different areas of beans, one for picking regularly and another for beans to store for the winter.
These potatoes look amazing but are still uncommon. They are easy to grow, exactly the same as regular potatoes and they retain their colour when cooking.
Although again a little lemon juice would help here.
I’m not sure I’m sold on these potatoes, as I can’t imagine my family staple of mince and potatoes with purple mash??
What do you think?
Try : Sycamore Trading Seed Potatoes SALAD BLUE x 20 Tubers
Red, White, Yellow And striped beetroot
This amazing but mostly un-sung hero of the vegetable plot is one of my favourites. The deep fuchsia balls of flavour we used to have pickled as kids are amazing to go with salads, but there is so much more to this humble vegetable. Beetroot are known to boost the bodies immune system, and the roots are rich in potassium and folate, plus vitamin C.
Try :Suttons – Beetroot Seeds – Rainbow Mix (Pack of 250)
Beetroot can be sown between March and July and are usually ready to harvest from July to November. Pick them when the roots are no bigger than a tennis ball.
You can eat the leafy tops too in salads, which are high in beta carotene, iron and calcium.
You can pickle your beetroot, make soup roast them, make a delicious relish (Try this recipe it’s AMAZING!! (The best beetroot relish recipe)
Remember boiling beetroot can actually increase the nutrient value whereas pickling will reduce it.
Bright Lights Chard
Leaf Beet is an easy to grow spinach like vegetable packed with vitamin A. The leaves are delicious eaten raw in salads or cooked.
Most varieties are plain green with coloured stalks including gold, pink, orange, purple, red and white. They look wonderful mixed in a flower border just as much as they do in the vegetable plot.
The stalks can be eaten too as a vegetable boiled or steamed until tender.
Sow these seeds indoors in April and plant out after all frosts. Then pick as you like, right through to the following April. It stands well over winter and provides a tasty addition to Spring when not much else is growing.
Try: Just Seed Beet Leaf Chard – Bright Lights – 50 Seeds
You have never had sweetcorn until you have had it straight after picking!! So Sweet and juicy.
A complete different vegetable to the chewy cardboard versions the shops sell. This variety is very pretty, tasty and worth the effort.
Seeds need to be sown indoor and warm in April and planted out in June. They need to be kept warm especially at night as they can sulk and go yellow if they’re cold.
I sow my seeds in good old loo roll tubes and plant the whole thing out in June. Sweetcorn like to be planted on a grid pattern so the wind can pollinate all the plants.
Try: Premier Seeds Direct Heirloom Flint Corn Fiesta Finest Seeds (Pack of 55)
Kohl Rabi in Green And Purple
Kohl Rabi is gaining in popularity these days. It’s part of the Brassica family, a small alien looking crunchy root that is king of weird vegetables for me.
Looks a bit bazaar but it is so easy to grow.
Sow yhis one directly into the soil
It’s good shredded in salads or cooked like turnips.
It likes to be planted in full sun apart from that I’ve found it to be fuss free. Start growing it in Spring through to July and you can harvest it from July right up to September in our parts.
Flying Saucers, Yellow, Stripy, Summer Squash and Courgettes
Courgettes (Zucchini) are high in vitamins A, C and E and taste delicious when either grilled, stir fried or lightly boiled. Generally varieties are a uniform dark green colour, but there are other colours available such as these yellow summer squashes.
Try: SeeKay Summer Squash F1 Sunbeam 10 seeds
Purple Spring Onions
We’ve grown spring onions before but they are the crisp white kind. This year why not try these purple ones. No shop sells these so the only way to try is to grow them yourself.
Any type of onion is incredibly good for you, proven to be anti-asthmatic, anti-bacterial, antiseptic, capable of lowering both blood pressure and cholesterol
If you’re not so keen on growing these Unique vegetables, try out my posts on
How To Grow Pumpkins With Kids
HOW TO GROW CARROTS WITH KIDS
HOW TO GROW FRUIT WITH KIDS
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