Whether you’re an old hand at growing your own food or just starting out, it’s always fun to try something a bit different! There are so many unusual and delicious fruit and veg to grow, and here are three of our favourites.
Watercress, scientifically known as Nasturtium officinale, is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the Brassicaceae family. It is primarily grown in freshwater streams, ponds, and other aquatic environments.
Watercress is known for its small, round or oval-shaped leaves that grow in clusters. The leaves have a vibrant green color and a distinct peppery taste, adding a refreshing and slightly spicy flavor to dishes.
This aquatic plant is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium and iron. It is also packed with antioxidants and is considered a nutrient-dense vegetable, making it a valuable addition to a healthy diet.
Watercress is versatile in culinary applications. It can be enjoyed raw in salads, sandwiches, and wraps, where its crisp texture and peppery flavor provide a refreshing bite. It can also be lightly sautéed, steamed, or added to soups and stir-fries, where it imparts a delicate flavor.
Cucamelons (Melothria scabra) are in the same family as cucumbers, squash and courgettes. These small oval fruits have a refreshing taste, like cucumber with a splash of lime, and can be grown from seed in a similar way to cucumbers. Start them off in a greenhouse or propagator in spring, at a temperature of around 24C, and plant out once all risk of frost is past. Provide canes or support wires for the plants to climb up and feed fortnightly with a high potash liquid food. Pick the fruits once they reach the size of small grapes and before they start to go soft.
Don’t be fooled by its pale color — cauliflower is packed with nutrients. Like other cruciferous veggies (Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, bok choy and broccoli), it’s rich in glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are being studied for their anti-cancer properties. Plus, a number of research studies suggest that a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables may lower rates of a variety of cancers, including breast, pancreatic, bladder, lung, prostate and colon cancer.
Cauliflower can be steamed whole, sliced into thick “steaks” and then coated with any combination of toasted sesame seed oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, cumin, coriander, anise or chili pepper. This dish makes a particularly impressive presentation, and it’s on almost everyone’s diet, whether you eat gluten-free, vegan or paleo.
Our wide range of fruit and veg plants has something for everyone, so visit us today and start growing!