Alfalfa, Medicago sativa, also called lucerne, is a perennial flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae cultivated as an important forage crop in many countries around the world. The name alfalfa is used in North America. The name lucerne is the more commonly used name in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. It superficially resembles clover, with clusters of small purple flowers followed by fruits spiralled in 2 to 3 turns containing 10-20 seeds. Alfalfa is native to warmer temperate climates. It has been cultivated as livestock fodder since at least the era of the ancient Greeks and Romans.Alfalfa is widely grown throughout the world as forage for cattle, and is most often harvested as hay, but can also be made into silage, grazed, or fed as greenchop. Alfalfa usually has the highest feeding value of all common hay crops. It is used less frequently as pasture. When grown on soils where it is well-adapted, alfalfa is often the highest-yielding forage plant, but its primary benefit is the combination of high yield per hectare and high nutritional quality.Its primary use is as feed for high-producing dairy cows, because of its high protein content and highly digestible fiber, and secondarily for beef cattle, horses, sheep, and goats.Alfalfa hay is the most widely used fibre source in rabbit diets. In poultry diets, dehydrated alfalfa and alfalfa leaf concentrates are used for pigmenting eggs and meat, due to their high content in carotenoids, which are efficient for colouring egg yolk and body lipids. Humans also eat alfalfa sprouts in salads and sandwiches. Dehydrated alfalfa leaf is commercially available as a dietary supplement in several forms, such as tablets, powders and tea. Fresh alfalfa can cause bloating in livestock, so care must be taken with livestock grazing on alfalfa because of this hazard.Like other legumes, its root nodules contain bacteria, Sinorhizobium meliloti, with the ability to fix nitrogen, producing a high-protein feed regardless of available nitrogen in the soil. Its nitrogen-fixing ability (which increases soil nitrogen) and its use as an animal feed greatly improve agricultural efficiency.Alfalfa can be sown in spring or fall, and does best on well-drained soils with a neutral pH of 6.8 – 7.5.Alfalfa requires sustained levels of potassium and phosphorus to grow well. It is moderately sensitive to salt levels in both the soil and irrigation water, although it continues to be grown in the arid southwestern United States, where salinity is an emerging issue.Soils low in fertility should be fertilized with manure or a chemical fertilizer, but correction of pH is particularly important. Usually a seeding rate of 13 – 20 kg/hectare (12 – 25 lb/acre) is recommended, with differences based upon region, soil type, and seeding method. A nurse crop is sometimes used, particularly for spring plantings, to reduce weed problems and soil erosion, but can lead to competition for light, water, and nutrients.In most climates, alfalfa is cut three to four times a year, but it can be harvested up to 12 times per year in Arizona and southern California. Total yields are typically around eight tonnes per hectare (four short tons per acre) in temperate environments, but yields have been recorded up to 20 t/ha (16 ts per acre). Yields vary with region, weather, and the crop's stage of maturity when cut. Later cuttings improve yield, but with reduced nutritional content.
- Asian Stirfry Mix
Excellent for summer stirfries. An attractive blend of greens sure to add great flavour to stir-fry, sautés and salads with its abundance of flavours, textures and colours. It includes a variety of Asian greens, mustards and kale. It will also re-grow after being harvested. 35 days to maturity for baby leaf size, 45 days to maturity for full leaf size.
The globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus) is a variety of a species of thistle cultivated as a food.The edible portion of the plant consists of the flower buds before the flowers come into bloom. The budding artichoke flower-head is a cluster of many budding small flowers (an inflorescence) together with many bracts, on an edible base. Once the buds bloom the structure changes to a coarse, barely edible form. Another variety of the species is the cardoon. It is a perennial plant native to the Mediterranean region. Both wild forms and cultivated varieties (cultivars) exist.It grows to 1.4–2 m (4.6–6.6 ft) tall, with arching, deeply lobed, silvery, glaucous-green leaves 50–82 cm (20–32 in) long. The flowers develop in a large head from an edible bud about 8–15 cm (3.1–5.9 in) diameter with numerous triangular scales; the individual florets are purple. The edible portions of the buds consist primarily of the fleshy lower portions of the involucral bracts and the base, known as the "heart"; the mass of immature florets in the center of the bud is called the "choke" or beard. These are inedible in older, larger flowers.The naturally occurring variant of the artichoke, the cardoon (Cynara cardunculus), which is native to the Mediterranean area, has records of use as a food among the ancient Greeks and Romans. In North Africa, where they are still found in the wild state, the seeds of artichokes, probably cultivated, were found during the excavation of Roman-period Mons Claudianus in Egypt. Varieties of artichokes were cultivated in Sicily since the classical period of the ancient Greeks, the Greeks calling them kaktos. In that period the Greeks ate the leaves and flower heads, which cultivation had already improved from the wild form. The Romans called the vegetable carduus (whence the name cardoon). Globe artichokes are known to have been cultivated at Naples around the middle of the 9th century.
Asparagus or garden asparagus, scientific name Asparagus officinalis, is a spring vegetable, a flowering perennial plant species in the genus Asparagus.It was once classified in the lily family, like its Allium cousins, onions and garlic, but the Liliaceae have been split and the onion-like plants are now in the family Amaryllidaceae and asparagus in the Asparagaceae. Asparagus officinalis is native to most of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia, and is widely cultivated as a vegetable crop.Asparagus is a herbaceous, perennial plant growing to 100–150 centimetres (39–59 in) tall, with stout stems with much-branched feathery foliage. The "leaves" are in fact needle-like cladodes (modified stems) in the axils of scale leaves; they are 6–32 mm (0.24–1.26 in) long and 1 mm (0.039 in) broad, and clustered 4–15 together, in a rose-like shape.The root system is adventitious and the root type is fasciculated. The flowers are bell-shaped, greenish-white to yellowish, 4.5–6.5 mm (0.18–0.26 in) long, with six tepals partially fused together at the base; they are produced singly or in clusters of two or three in the junctions of the branchlets. It is usually dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants, but sometimes hermaphrodite flowers are found. The fruit is a small red berry 6–10 mm diameter, which is poisonous to humans.Plants native to the western coasts of Europe (from northern Spain north to Ireland, Great Britain, and northwest Germany) are treated as Asparagus officinalis subsp. prostratus (Dumort.) Corb., distinguished by its low-growing, often prostrate stems growing to only 30–70 cm (12–28 in) high, and shorter cladodes 2–18 mm (0.079–0.709 in) long. It is treated as a distinct species, Asparagus prostratus Dumort, by some authors.Only young asparagus shoots are commonly eaten: once the buds start to open ("ferning out"), the shoots quickly turn woody.Water makes up 93% of asparagus's composition. Asparagus is low in calories and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fibre, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, as the asparagus plant is relatively rich in this compound.The shoots are prepared and served in a number of ways around the world, typically as an appetizer or vegetable side dish. In Asian-style cooking, asparagus is often stir-fried. Cantonese restaurants in the United States often serve asparagus stir-fried with chicken, shrimp, or beef. Asparagus may also be quickly grilled over charcoal or hardwood embers. It is also used as an ingredient in some stews and soups. In recent years asparagus eaten raw, as a component of a salad, has regained popularity.Asparagus can also be pickled and stored for several years. Some brands label shoots prepared in this way as "marinated".Stem thickness indicates the age of the plant, with the thicker stems coming from older plants. Older, thicker stalks can be woody, although peeling the skin at the base removes the tough layer. Peeled asparagus will however poach much faster. The bottom portion of asparagus often contains sand and dirt, so thorough cleaning is generally advised before cooking.Green asparagus is eaten worldwide, though the availability of imports throughout the year has made it less of a delicacy than it once was. In Europe, however, the "asparagus season is a highlight of the foodie calendar"; in the UK this traditionally begins on 23 April and ends on Midsummer Day. As in continental Europe, due to the short growing season and demand for local produce, asparagus commands a premium price.
The common or garden bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is a native of Central America. The fresh bean, the immature succulent pods of "French Beans", may be green or wax (butter) or purple-coloured. The pods may be "stringed" or "stringless" (also called "snap"). They may be sold on the market or processed to be frozen, canned or dehydrated. The stringless varieties are used for processing and for the fresh market. Most are dwarf bushes, but climbing varieties are popular among home gardeners.Beans are frost-prone warm-season plants needing from 60 to 80 days from sowing to first pick. They will not tolerate wind, heat with low humidity, or low temperatures. The results are poor growth, blossom-drop, poor pod-set and hollow, short and deformed pods.Beans are very sensitive to wind, and windbreaks placed around the crop and strategically within the crop reduces wind effects and maintains temperatures.The temperatures for germination are from 16°C to 35°C, the optimum 26°C; for growth and quality the optimum monthly average (day and night) is from 16°C to 21°C.Beans suffer from waterlogging but need adequate moisture throughout. They need mild, moist weather or irrigation, especially at flowering time. Rain just after sowing can cause poor germination, and prolonged rain after petal-fall is ideal for the development of bacterial blights and Sclerotinia white rot.Beans are sown from early October to mid-March depending on the climate. Seed of good germination, vigorous and free from seed-borne diseases must be used. The seed bed must be firm and have a crumbly surface; it must be moist but not too wet. The seed is sown from 20 to 40 mm deep, depending on the prevailing weather. If planted too deep in wet, cold soils the seed may fail to germinate or may be prone to attack by soil fungi or seed-corn maggots.Generally, the beans are sown in rows around 500 mm apart and between 50-100 mm between plants.
The beetroot is the taproot portion of the beet plant, also known in North America as the table beet, garden beet, red or golden beet, or informally simply as the beet. It is several of the cultivated varieties of Beta vulgaris grown for their edible taproots and their greens. These varieties have been classified as B. vulgaris subsp. vulgaris Conditiva Group.Other than as a food, beets have use as a food coloring and as a medicinal plant. Many beet products are made from other Beta vulgaris varieties, particularly sugar beet.The usually deep purple roots of beetroot are eaten either boiled, roasted or raw, either alone or combined with any salad vegetable. A large proportion of the commercial production is processed into boiled and sterilised beets or into pickles. In Eastern Europe, beet soup, such as borsch, is a popular dish. In Indian cuisine, chopped, cooked, spiced beet is a common side dish. Yellow-coloured beetroots are grown on a very small scale for home consumption.The green, leafy portion of the beet is also edible. It is most commonly served boiled or steamed, in which case it has a taste and texture similar to spinach. Those selected should be bulbs that are unmarked, avoiding those with overly limp leaves or wrinkled skins, both of which are signs of dehydration.Beetroot can be boiled or steamed, peeled and then eaten warm with or without butter as a delicacy; cooked, pickled, and then eaten cold as a condiment; or peeled, shredded raw, and then eaten as a salad. Pickled beets are a traditional food in many countries.A traditional Pennsylvania Dutch dish is pickled beet egg. Hard-boiled eggs are refrigerated in the liquid left over from pickling beets and allowed to marinate until the eggs turn a deep pink-red colour.In Poland and Ukraine, beet is combined with horseradish to form popular ćwikła, which is traditionally used with cold cuts and sandwiches, but often also added to a meal consisting of meat and potatoes. As an addition to horseradish it is also used to produce the "red" variety of chrain, a popular condiment in Ashkenazi Jewish, Polish, Russian and Ukrainian cuisine.When beet juice is used, it is most stable in foods with a low water content, such as frozen novelties and fruit fillings. Betanins, obtained from the roots, are used industrially as red food colourants, e.g. to intensify the colour of tomato paste, sauces, desserts, jams and jellies, ice cream, sweets, and breakfast cereals.Beetroot can also be used to make wine.Food shortages in Europe following World War I caused great hardships, including cases of mangelwurzel disease, as relief workers called it. It was a consequence of eating only beets
- Bok Choy
All parts of this “Chinese cabbage”, stalks, leaves, and young flowering shoots, are edible when young or mature. Many bok choy varieties have dark green leaves and firm white stalks that are crunchy and juicy with a cabbage-like taste. Baby bok choy is tender and delicious sautéed with garlic or added to soups.Bok choy or pak choi (Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis) is a type of Chinese cabbage. Chinensis varieties do not form heads; instead, they have smooth, dark green leaf blades forming a cluster reminiscent of mustard or celery. Chinensis varieties are popular in southern China and Southeast Asia. Being winter-hardy, they are increasingly grown in Northern Europe. This group was originally classified as its own species under the name B. chinensis by Linnaeus.Bok choy contains a high amount of vitamin A per 4 oz. of serving - about 3500 IU. Bok choy also contains approximately 50 mg of vitamin C per 4 oz. serving.Chinese cabbage was ranked second for nutrient density out of 41 "powerhouse" fruits and vegetables in a peer-reviewed US Center for Disease Control study.Bok choy contains glucosinolates. These compounds have been reported to prevent cancer in small doses, but, like many substances, can be toxic to humans in large doses, particularly to people who are already seriously ill. In 2009, an elderly diabetic woman who had been consuming 1 to 1.5 kg of raw bok choy per day, in an attempt to treat her diabetes, developed hypothyroidism, for reasons relating to her diabetes, resulting in myxedema coma.
Borage , also known as a starflower, is an annual herb. It is native to the Mediterranean region and has naturalized in many other locales. It grows satisfactorily in gardens in the UK climate, remaining in the garden from year to year by self-seeding. The leaves are edible and the plant is grown in gardens for that purpose in some parts of Europe. The plant is also commercially cultivated for borage seed oil extracted from its seeds.Borago officinalis grows to a height of 60–100 cm (2.0–3.3 ft), and is bristly or hairy all over the stems and leaves; the leaves are alternate, simple, and 5–15 cm (2.0–5.9 in) long. The flowers are complete, perfect with five narrow, triangular-pointed petals. Flowers are most often blue, although pink flowers are sometimes observed. White flowered types are also cultivated. The blue flower is genetically dominant over the white flower. The flowers arise along scorpioid cymes to form large floral displays with multiple flowers blooming simultaneously, suggesting that borage has a high degree of geitonogamy (intra-plant pollination). It has an indeterminate growth habit which may lead to prolific spreading. In temperate climate such as in the UK, its flowering season is relatively long, from June to September. In milder climates, borage will bloom continuously for most of the year.Traditionally borage was cultivated for culinary and medicinal uses, although today commercial cultivation is mainly as an oilseed. The seed oil is desired as source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), for which borage is the highest known plant-based source (17-28%). The seed oil content is between 26-38% and in addition to GLA contains the fatty acids palmitic acid (10-11%), stearic acid (3.5-4.5%), oleic acid (16-20%), linoleic acid (35-38%), eicosenoic acid (3.5-5.5%), erucic acid (1.5-3.5%), and nervonic acid (1.5%). The oil is often marketed as "starflower oil" or "borage oil" for uses as a GLA supplement, although healthy adults will typically produce ample GLA through dietary linoleic acid.Borage is used as either a fresh vegetable or a dried herb. As a fresh vegetable, borage, with a cucumber-like taste, is often used in salads or as a garnish. The flower, which contains the non-toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloid (PA) thesinine, has a sweet honey-like taste and is one of the few truly blue-colored edible substances, is often used to decorate desserts. It is notable that the leaves have been found to contain small amounts (2-10 ppm of dried herb) of the liver-toxic PAs intermedine, lycopsamine, amabiline and supinine. Leaves contain mainly the toxic lycopsamine also amabiline and the non-toxic saturated PA thesinine. PAs are also present in borage seed oil, but may be removed depending on method of processing.Vegetable use of borage is common in Germany, in the Spanish regions of Aragón and Navarra, in the Greek island of Crete and in the northern Italian region of Liguria. Although often used in soups, one of the better known German borage recipes is the Green Sauce (Grüne Soße) made in Frankfurt. In Italian Liguria, borage is commonly used as a filling of the traditional pasta ravioli and pansoti. It is used to flavour pickled gherkins in Poland.Borage is also traditionally used as a garnish in the Pimms Cup cocktail, but is nowadays often replaced by a long sliver of cucumber peel or by mint. It is also one of the key "Botanical" flavourings in Gilpin's Westmorland Extra Dry Gin.A methanol extract of borage has shown strong amoebicidal activity in vitro. The 50% inhibitory concentration (LD50) of the extract for Entamoeba histolytica was only 33 µg/mL.Traditionally Borago officinalis is used in hyperactive gastrointestinal, respiratory and cardiovascular disorders, such as gastrointestinal (colic, cramps, diarrhea), airways (asthma, bronchitis), cardiovascular, (cardiotonic, antihypertensive and blood purifier), urinary (diuretic and kidney/bladder disorders).In Iran, people make a tea to relieve colds, flu, bronchitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and kidney inflammation. It is said to be warm in nature and alleviates symptoms that are caused by using food that is cold in nature such as cucumber and fish. People with heart problems can benefit using the borage tea,[medical citation needed] since it promotes better circulation of oxygen to the heart; that’s why one should use this herb in moderate amounts.[unreliable medical source?]Naturopathic practitioners use borage for regulation of metabolism and the hormonal system, and consider it to be a good remedy for PMS and menopause symptoms such as the hot flash. The flowers can be prepared in infusion.One case of status epilepticus has been reported that was associated with borage oil ingestion.Borage is used in companion planting. It is said to protect or nurse legumes, spinach, brassicas, and even strawberries.It is also said to be a good companion plant to tomatoes because it confuses the search image of the mother moths of tomato hornworms or manduca looking for a place to lay their eggs. Claims that it improves tomato growth and makes them taste better remain unsubstantiated.
- Brussel Sprouts
The Brussels sprout is a member of the Gemmifera Group of cabbages (Brassica oleracea), grown for its edible buds.The leafy green vegetables are typically 2.5–4 cm (0.98–1.6 in) in diameter and look like miniature cabbages. The Brussels sprout has long been popular in Brussels, Belgium, and may have originated and gained its name there.Forerunners to modern Brussels sprouts were likely cultivated in Ancient Rome. Brussels sprouts as they are now known were grown possibly as early as the 13th century in what is now Belgium. The first written reference dates to 1587. During the 16th century, they enjoyed a popularity in the southern Netherlands that eventually spread throughout the cooler parts of Northern Europe.Brussels sprouts grow in temperature ranges of 7–24 °C (45–75 °F), with highest yields at 15–18 °C (59–64 °F). Fields are ready for harvest 90 to 180 days after planting. The edible sprouts grow like buds in helical patterns along the side of long, thick stalks of about 60 to 120 cm (24 to 47 in) in height, maturing over several weeks from the lower to the upper part of the stalk. Sprouts may be picked by hand into baskets, in which case several harvests are made of five to 15 sprouts at a time, or by cutting the entire stalk at once for processing, or by mechanical harvester, depending on variety. Each stalk can produce 1.1 to 1.4 kg (2.4 to 3.1 lb), although the commercial yield is about 900 g (2.0 lb) per stalk. Harvest season in temperate zones of the northern latitudes is September to March, making Brussels sprout a traditional winter stock vegetable. In the home garden, harvest can be delayed as quality does not suffer from freezing. Sprouts are considered to be sweetest after a frost.Brussels sprouts are a cultivar group of the same species as cabbage, in the same family as collard greens, broccoli, kale, and kohlrabi; they are cruciferous (they belong to the Brassicaceae family; old name Cruciferae). Many cultivars are available, some being purple in colour, such as 'Ruby Crunch' or 'Red Bull'.
Broccoli is a member of Cruciferae, the cabbage family. Its botanical name is Brassica oleracea cv.italica, the same as cauliflower. Broccoli is similar to cauliflower in its upright structure, leaf habit and head formation. Consumption and production has increased significantly over recent years and has gone from 7 700 tonnes in 1989/90 to 16 600 tonnes in 1992/93.There are three commonly grown types of broccoli. The most familiar is Calabrese broccoli, often referred to simply as "broccoli", named after Calabria in Italy. It has large (10 to 20 cm) green heads and thick stalks. It is a cool season annual crop. Sprouting broccoli has a larger number of heads with many thin stalks. Purple cauliflower is a type of broccoli sold in southern Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. It has a head shaped like cauliflower, but consisting of tiny flower buds. It sometimes, but not always, has a purple cast to the tips of the flower buds.Other cultivar groups of Brassica oleracea include cabbage (Capitata Group), cauliflower and Romanesco broccoli (Botrytis Group), kale and collard greens (Acephala Group), kohlrabi (Gongylodes Group), Brussels sprouts (Gemmifera Group), and kai-lan (Alboglabra Group). Rapini, sometimes called "broccoli raab" among other names, forms similar but smaller heads, and is actually a type of turnip (Brassica rapa). Broccolini or "Tenderstem broccoli" is a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. Beneforté is a variety of broccoli containing 2-3 times more glucoraphanin that was produced by crossing broccoli with a wild Brassica variety, Brassica oleracea var villosaBroccoli is easer to grow and can withstand a wider range of conditions than cauliflower. It is cultivated in a similar way to cabbages.Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family whose large, flowering head is eaten as a vegetable.The word broccoli comes from the Italian plural of broccolo, which means "the flowering crest of a cabbage", and is the diminutive form of brocco, meaning "small nail" or "sprout".Broccoli is often boiled or steamed but may be eaten raw.Broccoli is classified in the Italica cultivar group of the species Brassica oleracea. Broccoli has large flower heads, usually green in color, arranged in a tree-like structure branching out from a thick, edible stalk. The mass of flower heads is surrounded by leaves. Broccoli resembles cauliflower, which is a different cultivar group of the same species.Broccoli is a result of careful breeding of cultivated leafy cole crops in the northern Mediterranean starting in about the 6th century BC.Since the Roman Empire broccoli has been considered a uniquely valuable food among Italians. Broccoli was brought to England from Antwerp in the mid-18th century by Peter Scheemakers. Broccoli was first introduced to the United States by Italian immigrants, but did not become widely known there until the 1920sBroccoli is high in vitamin C and dietary fiber. It also contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties, such as diindolylmethane and small amounts of selenium. A single serving provides more than 30 mg of vitamin C and a half-cup provides 52 mg of vitamin C. The 3,3'-Diindolylmethane found in broccoli is a potent modulator of the innate immune response system with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer activity. Broccoli also contains the compound glucoraphanin, which can be processed into an anti-cancer compound sulforaphane, though the anti-cancer benefits of broccoli are greatly reduced if the vegetable is boiled. Broccoli is also an excellent source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.Boiling broccoli reduces the levels of suspected anti-carcinogenic compounds, such as sulforaphane, with losses of 20–30% after five minutes, 40–50% after ten minutes, and 77% after thirty minutes. However, other preparation methods such as steaming, microwaving, and stir frying had no significant effect on the compounds.Broccoli has the highest levels of carotenoids in the brassica family. It is particularly rich in lutein and also provides a modest amount of beta-carotene.
Burdock refers to Arctium, a genus of plants, particularly the species:Arctium lappa, or "Greater burdock", a vegetable often referred to by the Japanese name gobō.Plants of the genus Arctium have dark green leaves that can grow up to 28" (71 cm) long. They are generally large, coarse and ovate, with the lower ones being heart-shaped. They are woolly underneath. The leafstalks are generally hollow. Arctium species generally flower from July through to October. Burdock flowers provide essential pollen and nectar for honeybees around August when clover is on the wane and before the goldenrod starts to bloom.The roots of burdock, among other plants, are eaten by the larva of the Ghost Moth (Hepialus humuli). The plant is used as a food plant by other Lepidoptera including Brown-tail, Coleophora paripennella, Coleophora peribenanderi, the Gothic, Lime-speck Pug and Scalloped Hazel.The prickly heads of these plants (burrs) are noted for easily catching on to fur and clothing. In England, some birdwatchers have reported that birds have become entangled in the burrs leading to a slow death, as they are unable to free themselves. Burdock's clinging properties, in addition to thus providing an excellent mechanism for seed dispersal., led to the invention of Velcro).A large number of species have been placed in genus Arctium at one time or another, but most of them are now classified in the related genus Cousinia. The precise limits between Arctium and Cousinia are hard to define; there is an exact correlation between their molecular phylogeny. The burdocks are sometimes confused with the cockleburs (genus Xanthium) and rhubarb (genus Rheum).The taproot of young burdock plants can be harvested and eaten as a root vegetable. While generally out of favour in modern European cuisine, it remains popular in Asia. Arctium lappa is called , pronounced "gobō" in Japanese or, pronounced "niúbàng" in Chinese. In Korea burdock root is called "u-eong" and sold as "tong u-eong", or "whole burdock". Plants are cultivated for their slender roots, which can grow about one metre long and two centimetres across. Burdock root is very crisp and has a sweet, mild, and pungent flavour with a little muddy harshness that can be reduced by soaking julienned or shredded roots in water for five to ten minutes.Immature flower stalks may also be harvested in late spring, before flowers appear; their taste resembles that of artichoke, to which the burdock is related. The stalks are thoroughly peeled, and either eaten raw, or boiled in salt water. Leaves are also eaten in spring in Japan when a plant is young and leaves are soft. Some A. lappa cultivars are specialized for this purpose. A popular Japanese dish is kinpira gobō, julienned or shredded burdock root and carrot, braised with soy sauce, sugar, mirin and/or sake, and sesame oil. Another is burdock makizushi (sushi filled with pickled burdock root; the burdock root is often artificially coloured orange to resemble a carrot).In the second half of the 20th century, burdock achieved international recognition for its culinary use due to the increasing popularity of the macrobiotic diet, which advocates its consumption. It contains a fair amount of dietary fiber (GDF, 6g per 100g), calcium, potassium, amino acids, and is low in calories. It contains a polyphenol oxidase, which causes its darkened surface and muddy harshness by forming tannin-iron complexes. Burdock root's harshness harmonizes well with pork in miso soup (tonjiru) and with Japanese-style pilaf (takikomi gohan).Dandelion and burdock is today a soft drink that has long been popular in the United Kingdom, which has its origins in hedgerow mead commonly drunk in the mediæval period. Burdock is believed to be a galactagogue, a substance that increases lactation, but it is sometimes recommended to be avoided during pregnancy based on animal studies that show components of burdock to cause uterus stimulation.In Europe, burdock root was used as a bittering agent in beer before the widespread adoption of hops for this purpose.Folk herbalists considered dried burdock to be a diuretic, diaphoretic, and a blood purifying agent. The seeds of A. lappa are used in traditional Chinese medicine.Burdock is a traditional medicinal herb that is used for many ailments. Burdock root oil extract, also called Bur oil, is currently used in Europe in the belief that it is a useful scalp treatment. Modern studies indicate that burdock root oil extract is rich in phytosterols and essential fatty acids (including rare long-chain EFAs).Note that the green, above-ground portions may cause contact dermatitis in individual with allergies, due to the lactones the plant produces.
Cabbage (Brassica oleracea or variants) is a leafy green or purple biennial plant, grown as an annual vegetable crop for its dense-leaved heads. Closely related to other cole crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts, it descends from B. oleracea var. oleracea, a wild field cabbage. Cabbage heads generally range from 0.5 to 4 kilograms (1 to 9 lb), and can be green, purple and white. Smooth-leafed firm-headed green cabbages are the most common, with smooth-leafed red and crinkle-leafed savoy cabbages of both colors seen more rarely. It is a multi-layered vegetable. Under conditions of long sunlit days such as are found at high northern latitudes in summer, cabbages can grow much larger. Some records are discussed at the end of the history section.Cabbages can be divided into three main groups: ballhead (or roundhead), conical and the large drumhead types. There is a wide range of cultivars available with many suited for production at particular times of the year whereas others can nearly be grown year round. Red cabbages are also grown but the major production is of green cabbage.
Cabbage seedlings have a thin taproot and cordate (heart-shaped) cotyledons. The first leaves produced are ovate (egg-shaped) with a lobed petiole. Plants are 40–60 cm (16–24 in) tall in their first year at the mature vegetative stage, and 1.5–2.0 m (4.9–6.6 ft) tall when flowering in the second year. Heads average between 1 and 8 pounds (0.5 and 4 kg), with fast-growing, earlier-maturing varieties producing smaller heads. Most cabbages have thick, alternating leaves, with margins that range from wavy or lobed to highly dissected; some varieties have a waxy bloom on the leaves. Plants have root systems that are fibrous and shallow. About 90 percent of the root mass is in the upper 20–30 cm (8–12 in) of soil; some lateral roots can penetrate up to 2 m (6.6 ft) deep.It is difficult to trace the exact history of cabbage, but it was most likely domesticated somewhere in Europe before 1000 BC, although savoys were not developed until the 16th century. By the Middle Ages, it had become a prominent part of European cuisine. Cabbage heads are generally picked during the first year of the plant's life cycle, but plants intended for seed are allowed to grow a second year, and must be kept separated from other cole crops to prevent cross-pollination. Cabbage is prone to several nutrient deficiencies, as well as multiple pests, bacteria and fungal diseases.Many shapes, colors and leaf textures are found in various cultivated varieties of cabbage. Leaf types are generally divided between crinkled-leaf, loose-head savoys and smooth-leaf firm-head cabbages, while the color spectrum includes white and a range of greens and purples. Oblate, round and pointed shapes are found.Cabbage has been selectively bred for head weight and morphological characteristics, frost hardiness, fast growth and storage ability. The appearance of the cabbage head has been given importance in selective breeding, with varieties being chosen for shape, color, firmness and other physical characteristics. Breeding objectives are now focused on increasing resistance to various insects and diseases and improving the nutritional content of cabbage. Scientific research into the genetic modification of B. oleracea crops, including cabbage, has included European Union and United States explorations of greater insect and herbicide resistance. Genetically modified B. oleracea crops are not currently used in commercial agriculture.
Calendula (/kəˈlɛndjuːlə/),or pot marigold, is a genus of about 15–20 species of annual and perennial herbaceous plants in the daisy family Asteraceae. They are native to southwestern Asia, western Europe, Macaronesia, and the Mediterranean. Other plants are also known as marigolds, such as corn marigold, desert marigold, marsh marigold, and plants of the genus Tagetes. The name calendula is a modern Latin diminutive of calendae, meaning "little calendar", "little clock" or possibly "little weather-glass". The common name "marigold" refers to the Virgin Mary. The most commonly cultivated and used member of the genus is the pot marigold (Calendula officinalis). Popular herbal and cosmetic products named 'calendula' invariably derive from C. officinalisCalendula species have been used traditionally as culinary and medicinal herbs. The petals are edible and can be used fresh in salads or dried and used to color cheese or as a replacement for saffron. A yellow dye has been extracted from the flowers.Romans and Greeks used the golden calendula in many rituals and ceremonies, sometimes wearing crowns or garlands made from the flowers. One of its nicknames is "Mary's Gold," referring to the flowers' use in early Catholic events in some countries. Calendula flowers are sacred flowers in India and have been used to decorate the statues of Hindu deities since early times.Calendula oil is still used medicinally. The oil of C. officinalis is used as an anti-inflammatory, an antitumor agent, and a remedy for healing wounds.Plant pharmacological studies have suggested that Calendula extracts have antiviral, antigenotoxic, and anti-inflammatory properties in vitro. In herbalism, Calendula in suspension or in tincture is used topically for treating acne, reducing inflammation, controlling bleeding, and soothing irritated tissue. Limited evidence indicates Calendula cream or ointment is effective in treating radiation dermatitis. Topical application of C. officinalis ointment has helped to prevent dermatitis, pain, and missed radiation treatments in randomized trials.Calendula has been used traditionally for abdominal cramps and constipation. In experiments with rabbit jejunum, the aqueous-ethanol extract of C. officinalis flowers was shown to have both spasmolytic and spasmogenic effects, thus providing a scientific rationale for this traditional use. An aqueous extract of C. officinalis obtained by a novel extraction method has demonstrated antitumor (cytotoxic) activity and immunomodulatory properties (lymphocyte activation) in vitro, as well as antitumor activity in mice.Calendula plants are known to cause allergic reactions, and should be avoided during pregnancy.Calendula species have been used in cooking for centuries. The flowers were a common ingredient in German soups and stews, which explains the nickname "pot marigold". The lovely golden petals were also used to add color to butter and cheese. The flowers are traditional ingredients in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. Calendula tea provides health benefits, as well as being delicious.The beautiful flowers were once used as a source of dye for fabrics. By using different mordants, a variety of yellows, oranges and browns could be obtained.Ancient cultures recognized and used the healing properties of calendula. In some of the earliest medical writings, calendula was recommended for treating ailments of the digestive tract. It was used to detoxify the liver and gall bladder. The flowers were applied to cuts and wounds to stop bleeding, prevent infection and speed healing. Calendula was also used for various women's ailments, and to treat a number of skin conditions. During the American Civil War, calendula flowers were used on the battlefields in open wounds as antihemorrhagic and antiseptic, and they were used in dressing wounds to promote healing. Calendula also was used in this way during World War I. Calendula has been historically significant in medicine in many cultures, and it is still important in alternative medicine today.
- Cape Gooseberry
Physalis peruviana (physalis = bladder) is the plant and its fruit, originally from Chile and Peru, also known as uchuva (Colombia) Cape gooseberry (South Africa, UK), Inca berry, Aztec berry, golden berry, giant ground cherry, African ground cherry, Peruvian groundcherry, Peruvian cherry, amour en cage (France, French for love in a cage), and sometimes simply Physalis (United Kingdom). It is indigenous to South America, but has been cultivated in England since the late 18th century and in South Africa in the region of the Cape of Good Hope since at least the start of the 19th century.Physalis peruviana is closely related to the tomatillo and to the Chinese lantern, also members of the genus Physalis. As a member of the plant family Solanaceae, it is more distantly related to a large number of edible plants, including tomato, eggplant, potato and other members of the nightshades. Despite its name, it is not closely related to any of the cherry, Ribes gooseberry, Indian gooseberry, or Chinese gooseberry.The fruit is a smooth berry, resembling a miniature, spherical, yellow tomato. Removed from its bladder-like calyx, it is about the size of a marble, about 1–2 cm in diameter. Like a tomato, it contains numerous small seeds. It is bright yellow to orange in color, and it is sweet when ripe, with a characteristic, mildly tart flavor, making it ideal for snacks, pies, or jams. It is relished in salads and fruit salads, sometimes combined with avocado. Also, because of the fruit's decorative appearance, it is popular in restaurants as an exotic garnish for desserts.A prominent feature is the inflated, papery calyx enclosing each berry. The calyx is accrescent until the fruit is fully grown; at first it is of normal size, but after the petals fall it continues to grow until it forms a protective cover around the growing fruit. If the fruit is left inside the intact calyx husks, its shelf life at room temperature is about 30–45 days.Native to high-altitude, tropical Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, where the fruits grow wild, physalis is locally eaten and frequently sold in markets. Only recently has the plant become an important crop; it has been widely introduced into cultivation in other tropical, subtropical and even temperate areas.The plant was grown by early settlers of the Cape of Good Hope before 1807. It is not clear whether it was grown there before its introduction to England, but sources since the mid-19th century attribute the common name, "Cape gooseberry" to this fact. A popular suggestion is that the name properly refers to the calyx surrounding the fruit like a cape. This seems however, to be an example of folk etymology or false etymology, because it does not appear in publications earlier than the mid 20th century.Not long after its introduction to South Africa, Physalis peruviana was introduced into Australia, New Zealand, and various Pacific islands.In South Africa, it is commercially cultivated; canned fruits and jam are common, often exported. It is also cultivated and naturalized on a small scale in Gabon and other parts of Central Africa.Soon after its adoption in the Cape of Good Hope, it was carried to Australia, where it was one of the few fresh fruits of the early settlers in New South Wales. It is also favored in New Zealand, where it is said "the housewife is sometimes embarrassed by the quantity of berries in the garden", and government agencies promote increased culinary use. It is grown in India where it is called ras bhari.The Cape gooseberry is also grown in northeastern China, namely Heilongjiang Province, as a seasonal fruit harvested in late August through September. In Chinese pinyin, the fruit is informally referred to as gu niao, its Turkish name is altın çilek, and in Chinese pinyin mao suan jiang.It is grown in Thailand, particularly on Doi Inthanon, and in Egypt, where it is known locally as harankash or as is-sitt il-mistahiya (the shy woman), a reference to the papery sheath.According to nutrient analyses by the USDA, a 100 g serving of Cape gooseberries is low in calories (53 kcal) and contains moderate levels of vitamin C, thiamin and niacin, while other nutrients are negligible (right table). Analyses of oil from different berry components, primarily its seeds, showed that linoleic acid and oleic acid were the main fatty acids, beta-sitosterol and campesterol as principal phytosterols, and the oil contained vitamin K and beta-carotene.Basic research on Cape gooseberry and its constituents, such as polyphenols and/or carotenoids, includes studies on anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Phenolic content varies in Cape gooseberries according to type of cultivar and time of fruit ripening. One preliminary study found evidence for melatonin content.
Capsicum, (also known as peppers) is a genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family Solanaceae. Its species are native to the Americas, where they have been cultivated for thousands of years. In modern times, it is cultivated worldwide, and has become a key element in many regional cuisines. In addition to use as spices and food vegetables, Capsicum species have also found use in medicines.The fruit of Capsicum plants have a variety of names depending on place and type. The piquant (spicy) varieties are commonly called chili peppers, or simply "chillies". The large, mild form is called red pepper, green pepper, or bell pepper in North America and typically just "capsicum" in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and India. The fruit is called paprika in some other countries (although paprika can also refer to the powdered spice made from various capsicum fruit).The generic name is derived from the Greek word κάπτω (kapto), meaning "to bite" or "to swallow". The name "pepper" came into use because of their similar flavour to the condiment black pepper, Piper nigrum, although there is no botanical relationship with this plant, or with the Sichuan pepper. The original term, chilli (now chile in Mexico) came from the Nahuatl word chilli or xilli, referring to a larger Capsicum variety cultivated at least since 3000 BC, as evidenced by remains found in pottery from Puebla and Oaxaca.The fruit of most species of Capsicum contains capsaicin (methyl-n-vanillyl nonenamide), a lipophilic chemical that can produce a strong burning sensation (pungency or spiciness) in the mouth of the unaccustomed eater. Most mammals find this unpleasant, whereas birds are unaffected. The secretion of capsaicin protects the fruit from consumption by insects and mammals, while the bright colours attract birds that will disperse the seeds.Capsaicin is present in large quantities in the placental tissue (which holds the seeds), the internal membranes, and to a lesser extent, the other fleshy parts of the fruits of plants in this genus. The seeds themselves do not produce any capsaicin, although the highest concentration of capsaicin can be found in the white pith around the seeds.The amount of capsaicin in the fruit is highly variable and dependent on genetics and environment, giving almost all types of Capsicum varied amounts of perceived heat. The most recognizable Capsicum without capsaicin is the bell pepper, a cultivar of Capsicum annuum, which has a zero rating on the Scoville scale. The lack of capsaicin in bell peppers is due to a recessive gene that eliminates capsaicin and, consequently, the "hot" taste usually associated with the rest of the Capsicum family. There are also other peppers without capsaicin, mostly within the Capsicum annuum species, such as the cultivars Giant Marconi, Yummy Sweets, Jimmy Nardello, and Italian Frying peppers.Chili peppers are of great importance in Native American medicine, and capsaicin is used in modern medicine—mainly in topical medications—as a circulatory stimulant and analgesic. In more recent times, an aerosol extract of capsaicin, usually known as capsicum or pepper spray, has become used by law enforcement as a nonlethal means of incapacitating a person, and in a more widely dispersed form for riot control, or by individuals for personal defense. Pepper in vegetable oils, or as an horticultural product can be used in gardening as a natural insecticide.Although black pepper causes a similar burning sensation, it is caused by a different substance—piperine.Capsicum fruits and peppers can be eaten raw or cooked. Those used in cooking are generally varieties of the C. annuum and C. frutescens species, though a few others are used, as well. They are suitable for stuffing with fillings such as cheese, meat, or rice.They are also frequently used both chopped and raw in salads, or cooked in stir-fries or other mixed dishes. They can be sliced into strips and fried, roasted whole or in pieces, or chopped and incorporated into salsas or other sauces, of which they are often a main ingredient.They can be preserved in the form of a jam, or by drying, pickling, or freezing. Dried peppers may be reconstituted whole, or processed into flakes or powders. Pickled or marinated peppers are frequently added to sandwiches or salads. Frozen peppers are used in stews, soups, and salsas. Extracts can be made and incorporated into hot sauces.The Spanish conquistadores soon became aware of their culinary properties, and brought them back to Europe, together with cocoa, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tobacco, maize, beans, and turkeys. They also brought it to the Spanish Philippines colonies, whence it spread to Asia. The Portuguese brought them to their African and Asiatic possessions such as India.All the varieties were appreciated, but the hot ones are particularly appreciated because they can enliven otherwise monotonous diets. This was of some importance during dietary restrictions for religious reasons, such as Lent in Christian countries.According to Richard Pankhurst, C. frutescens (known as barbaré) was so important to the national cuisine of Ethiopia, at least as early as the 19th century, "that it was cultivated extensively in the warmer areas wherever the soil was suitable." Although it was grown in every province, barbaré was especially extensive in Yejju, "which supplied much of Showa, as well as other neighbouring provinces." He mentions the upper Golima River valley as being almost entirely devoted to the cultivation of this plant, where it was harvested year round.In 2005, a poll of 2,000 people revealed the pepper to be Britain's fourth-favourite culinary vegetable.In Hungary, sweet yellow peppers – along with tomatoes – are the main ingredient of lecsó.In Bulgaria, South Serbia, and Macedonia, peppers are very popular, too. They can be eaten in salads, like shopska salata; fried and then covered with a dip of tomato paste, onions, garlic, and parsley; or stuffed with a variety of products, such as minced meat and rice, beans, or cottage cheese and eggs. Peppers are also the main ingredient in the traditional tomato and pepper dip lyutenitsa and ajvar. They are in the base of different kinds of pickled vegetables dishes, turshiya.Peppers are also used widely in Italian cuisine, and the hot species are used all around the southern part of Italy as a common spice (sometimes served with olive oil). Capsicum peppers are used in many dishes; they can be cooked by themselves in a variety of ways (roasted, fried, deep-fried) and are a fundamental ingredient for some delicatessen specialities, such as nduja.Capsicums are also used extensively in Sri Lankan cuisine as side dishes.The Maya and Aztec people of Mesoamerica used Capsicum fruit in cocoa drinks as a flavouring.Capsicum consists of 20–27 species, five of which are domesticated: C. annuum, C. baccatum, C. chinense, C. frutescens, and C. pubescens. Phylogenetic relationships between species were investigated using biogeographical, morphological, chemosystematic, hybridization, and genetic data. Fruits of Capsicum can vary tremendously in color, shape, and size both between and within species, which has led to confusion over the relationships between taxa. Chemosystematic studies helped distinguish the difference between varieties and species. For example, C. baccatum var. baccatum had the same flavonoids as C. baccatum var. pendulum, which led researchers to believe the two groups belonged to the same species.Many varieties of the same species can be used in many different ways; for example, C. annuum includes the "bell pepper" variety, which is sold in both its immature green state and its red, yellow, or orange ripe state. This same species has other varieties, as well, such as the Anaheim chiles often used for stuffing, the dried ancho chile used to make chili powder, the mild-to-hot jalapeño, and the smoked, ripe jalapeño, known as chipotle.Most of the capsaicin in a pungent (hot) pepper is concentrated in blisters on the epidermis of the interior ribs (septa) that divide the chambers of the fruit to which the seeds are attached.A study on capsaicin production in fruits of C. chinense showed that capsaicinoids are produced only in the epidermal cells of the interlocular septa of pungent fruits, that blister formation only occurs as a result of capsaicinoid accumulation, and that pungency and blister formation are controlled by a single locus, Pun1, for which there exist at least two recessive alleles that result in non-pungency of C. chinense fruits.The amount of capsaicin in hot peppers varies significantly between varieties, and is measured in Scoville heat units (SHU). The world's current hottest known pepper as rated in SHU is the 'Carolina Reaper' which had been measured at over 2,200,000 SHU.The name given to the Capsicum fruits varies between English-speaking countries.In Australia, New Zealand, and India, heatless varieties are called "capsicums", while hot ones are called "chilli"/"chillies" (double L). Pepperoncini are also known as "sweet capsicum". The term "bell peppers" is almost never used, although C. annuum and other varieties which have a bell shape and are fairly hot, are often called "bell chillies".In Ireland and the United Kingdom, the heatless varieties are commonly known simply as "peppers" (or more specifically "green peppers", "red peppers", etc.), while the hot ones are "chilli"/"chillies" (double L) or "chilli peppers".In the United States and Canada, the common heatless varieties are referred to as "bell peppers", "sweet peppers", "red/green/etc. peppers", or simply "peppers", additionally in Indiana they may be referred to as "mangoes/mango peppers", while the hot varieties are collectively called "chile"/"chiles", "chili"/"chilies", or "chili"/"chile peppers" (one L only), "hot peppers", or named as a specific variety (e.g., banana pepper).In Polish and in Hungarian, the term papryka and paprika (respectively) is used for all kinds of capsicums (the sweet vegetable, and the hot spicy), as well as for dried and ground spice made from them (named paprika in both U.S. English and Commonwealth English). Also, fruit and spice can be attributed as papryka ostra (hot pepper) or papryka słodka (sweet pepper). The term pieprz (pepper) instead means only grains or ground black pepper (incl. the green, white, and red forms), but not capsicum. Sometimes, the hot capsicum spice is also called chilli.In Italy and the Italian- and German-speaking parts of Switzerland, the sweet varieties are called peperone and the hot varieties peperoncino (literally "small pepper"). In Germany, the heatless varieties are called Paprika while the the spice as well as hot types are primarily called Peperoni or Chili while in Austria, Pfefferoni is more common for these; in Dutch, this word is also used exclusively for bell peppers, whereas chilli is reserved for powders, and hot pepper variants are referred to as Spaanse pepers (Spanish peppers). In Switzerland, though, the condiment powder made from capsicum is called Paprika (German language regions) and paprica (French and Italian language region). In French, capsicum is called poivron.In Spanish-speaking countries, many different names are used for the varieties and preparations. In Mexico, the term chile is used for "hot peppers", while the heatless varieties are called pimiento (the masculine form of the word for pepper, which is pimienta). Several other countries, such as Chile, whose name is unrelated, Perú, Puerto Rico, and Argentina, use ají. In Spain, heatless varieties are called pimiento and hot varieties guindilla. Also, in Argentina and Spain, the variety C. chacoense is commonly known as "putaparió", a slang expression equivalent to "damn it", probably due to its extra-hot flavour. In Indian English, the word "capsicum" is used exclusively for Capsicum annuum. All other varieties of hot capsicum are called chilli. In northern India and Pakistan, C. annuum is also commonly called shimla mirch in the local language and as "Kodai Mozhagai" in Tamil which roughly translates to "umbrella chilli" due to its appearance. Shimla, incidentally, is a popular hill-station in India (and mirch means chilli in local languages).In Japanese, tōgarashi ("Chinese mustard") refers to hot chili peppers, and particularly a spicy powder made from them which is used as a condiment, while bell peppers are called pīman (from the French piment or the Spanish pimiento).
The carrot (Daucus carota subsp. sativus) is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, red, white, and yellow varieties exist.It has a crisp texture when fresh. The most commonly eaten part of a carrot is a taproot, although the greens are sometimes eaten as well. It is a domesticated form of the wild carrot Daucus carota, native to Europe and southwestern Asia. The domestic carrot has been selectively bred for its greatly enlarged and more palatable, less woody-textured edible taproot. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reports that world production of carrots and turnips (these plants are combined by the FAO for reporting purposes) for calendar year 2011 was almost 35.658 million tonnes. Almost half were grown in China. Carrots are widely used in many cuisines, especially in the preparation of salads, and carrot salads are a tradition in many regional cuisines.The word is first recorded in English around 1530 and was borrowed from Middle French carotte, itself from Late Latin carōta, from Greek καρωτόν karōton, originally from the Indo-European root *ker- (horn), due to its horn-like shape). In Old English, carrots (typically white at the time) were not clearly distinguished from parsnips, the two being collectively called moru or more (from Proto-Indo-European *mork- "edible root", cf. German Möhre).The wild ancestors of the carrot are likely to have come from Persia (regions of which are now Iran and Afghanistan), which remain the centre of diversity of Daucus carota, the wild carrot. A naturally occurring subspecies of the wild carrot, Daucus carota subsp. sativus, has been selectively bred over the centuries to reduce bitterness, increase sweetness and minimise the woody core. This has produced the familiar garden vegetable.When they were first cultivated, carrots were grown for their aromatic leaves and seeds rather than their roots. Carrot seeds have been found in Switzerland and Southern Germany dating to 2000–3000 BC. Some close relatives of the carrot are still grown for their leaves and seeds, for example parsley, fennel, dill and cumin. The first mention of the root in classical sources is during the 1st century. The plant appears to have been introduced into Europe via Spain by the Moors in the 8th century. and in the 10th century, in such locations in West Asia, India and Europe, the roots were purple.The modern carrot originated in Afghanistan at about this time. The 12th-century Arab Andalusian agriculturist, Ibn al-'Awwam, describes both red and yellow carrots; The Jewish scholar Simeon Seth also mentions roots of these colours in the 11th century. Cultivated carrots appeared in China in the 14th century, and in Japan in the 18th century. Orange-coloured carrots appeared in the Netherlands in the 17th century, which has been related to the fact that the Dutch flag at the time, the Prince's Flag, included orange. These, the modern carrots, were intended by the antiquary John Aubrey (1626–1697) when he noted in his memoranda "Carrots were first sown at Beckington in Somersetshire. Some very old Man there [in 1668] did remember their first bringing hither." European settlers introduced the carrot to Colonial America in the 17th century.Purple carrots, still orange on the inside, were sold in British stores starting in 2002Daucus carota is a biennial plant that grows a rosette of leaves in the spring and summer, while building up the stout taproot that stores large amounts of sugars for the plant to flower in the second year.Soon after germination, carrot seedlings show a distinct demarcation between the taproot and the hypocotyl. The latter is thicker and lacks lateral roots. At the upper end of the hypocotyl is the seed leaf. The first true leaf appears about 10–15 days after germination. Subsequent leaves, produced from the stem nodes, are alternating (with a single leaf attached to a node, and the leaves growing in alternate directions) and compound, and arranged in a spiral. The leaf blades are pinnate. As the plant grows, the bases of the cotyledon are pushed apart. The stem, located just above the ground, is compressed and the internodes are not distinct. When the seed stalk elongates, the tip of the stem narrows and becomes pointed, extends upward, and becomes a highly branched inflorescence. The stems grow to 60–200 cm (20–80 in) tall.Most of the taproot consists of parenchymatous outer cortex (phloem) and an inner core (xylem). High-quality carrots have a large proportion of cortex compared to core. Although a completely xylem-free carrot is not possible, some cultivars have small and deeply pigmented cores; the taproot can appear to lack a core when the colour of the cortex and core are similar in intensity. Taproots typically have a conical shape, although cylindrical and round cultivars are available. The root diameter can range from 1 cm (0.4 in) to as much as 10 cm (4 in) at the widest part. The root length ranges from 5 to 50 cm (2.0 to 19.7 in), although most are between 10 and 25 cm (4 and 10 in).Daucus carota umbel (inflorescence). Individual flowers are borne on undivided pedicels originating from a common node.Flower development begins when the flat apical meristem changes from producing leaves to an uplifted conical meristem capable of producing stem elongation and an inflorescence. The inflorescence is a compound umbel, and each umbel contains several umbellets. The first (primary) umbel occurs at the end of the main floral stem; smaller secondary umbels grow from the main branch, and these further branch into third, fourth, and even later-flowering umbels. A large primary umbel can contain up to 50 umbellets, each of which may have as many as 50 flowers; subsequent umbels have fewer flowers. Flowers are small and white, sometimes with a light green or yellow tint. They consist of five petals, five stamens, and an entire calyx. The anthers usually dehisce and the stamens fall off before the stigma becomes receptive to receive pollen. The anthers of the brown male sterile flowers degenerate and shrivel before anthesis. In the other type of male sterile flower, the stamens are replaced by petals, and these petals do not fall off. A nectar-containing disc is present on the upper surface of the carpels.Flower development is protandrous, so the anthers release their pollen before the stigma of the same flower is receptive. The arrangement is centripetal, meaning the oldest flowers are near the edge and the youngest flowers are in the center. Flowers usually first open at the periphery of the primary umbel, followed about a week later on the secondary umbels, and then in subsequent weeks in higher-order umbels. The usual flowering period of individual umbels is 7 to 10 days, so a plant can be in the process of flowering for 30–50 days. The distinctive umbels and floral nectaries attract pollinating insects. After fertilization and as seeds develop, the outer umbellets of an umbel bend inward causing the umbel shape to change from slightly convex or fairly flat to concave, and when cupped it resembles a bird's nest.The fruit that develops is a schizocarp consisting of two mericarps; each mericarp is an achene or true seed. The paired mericarps are easily separated when they are dry. Premature separation (shattering) before harvest is undesirable because it can result in seed loss. Mature seeds are flattened on the commissural side that faced the septum of the ovary. The flattened side has five longitudinal ribs. The bristly hairs that protrude from some ribs are usually removed by abrasion during milling and cleaning. Seeds also contain oil ducts and canals. Seeds vary somewhat in size, ranging from less than 500 to more than 1000 seeds per gram.The carrot is a diploid species, and has nine relatively short, uniform-length chromosomes (2n=9). The genome size is estimated to be 473 mega base pairs, which is four times larger than Arabidopsis thaliana, one-fifth the size of the maize genome, and about the same size as the rice genome.The carrot gets its characteristic, bright orange colour from β-carotene, and lesser amounts of α-carotene, γ-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. α and β-carotenes are partly metabolized into vitamin A, providing more than 100% of the Daily Value (DV) per 100 g serving of carrots (right table). Carrots are also a good source of vitamin K (13% DV) and vitamin B6 (11% DV), but otherwise have modest content of other essential nutrients (right table).Carrots are 88% water, 4.7% sugar, 2.6% protein, 1% ash, and 0.2% fat. Carrot dietary fiber comprises mostly cellulose, with smaller proportions of hemicellulose, lignin and starch. Free sugars in carrot include sucrose, glucose and fructose.The lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids characteristic of carrots are under study for their potential roles in vision and eye health.Carrots can be eaten in a variety of ways. Only 3 percent of the β-carotene in raw carrots is released during digestion: this can be improved to 39% by pulping, cooking and adding cooking oil. Alternatively they may be chopped and boiled, fried or steamed, and cooked in soups and stews, as well as baby and pet foods. A well-known dish is carrots julienne. Together with onion and celery, carrots are one of the primary vegetables used in a mirepoix to make various broths.The greens are edible as a leaf vegetable, but are only occasionally eaten by humans; some sources suggest that the greens contain toxic alkaloids. When used for this purpose, they are harvested young in high-density plantings, before significant root development, and typically used stir-fried, or in salads. Some people are allergic to carrots. In a 2010 study on the prevalence of food allergies in Europe, 3.6 percent of young adults showed some degree of sensitivity to carrots. Because the major carrot allergen, the protein Dauc c 1.0104, is cross-reactive with homologues in birch pollen (Bet v 1) and mugwort pollen (Art v 1), most carrot allergy sufferers are also allergic to pollen from these plants.In India carrots are used in a variety of ways, as salads or as vegetables added to spicy rice or dal dishes. A popular variation in north India is the Gajar Ka Halwa carrot dessert, which has carrots grated and cooked in milk until the whole mixture is solid, after which nuts and butter are added. Carrot salads are usually made with grated carrots with a seasoning of mustard seeds and green chillies popped in hot oil. Carrots can also be cut in thin strips and added to rice, can form part of a dish of mixed roast vegetables or can be blended with tamarind to make chutney.Since the late 1980s, baby carrots or mini-carrots (carrots that have been peeled and cut into uniform cylinders) have been a popular ready-to-eat snack food available in many supermarkets. Carrots are puréed and used as baby food, dehydrated to make chips, flakes, and powder, and thinly sliced and deep-fried, like potato chips.The sweetness of carrots allows the vegetable to be used in some fruit-like roles. Grated carrots are used in carrot cakes, as well as carrot puddings, an English dish thought to have originated in the early 19th century. Carrots can also be used alone or with fruits in jam and preserves. Carrot juice is also widely marketed, especially as a health drink, either stand-alone or blended with fruits and other vegetables.
Cauliflower is one of several vegetables in the species Brassica oleracea, in the family Brassicaceae. It is an annual plant that reproduces by seed. Typically, only the head (the white curd) is eaten. The cauliflower head is composed of a white inflorescence meristem. Cauliflower heads resemble those in broccoli, which differs in having flower buds. Brassica oleracea also includes broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, and kale, though they are of different cultivar groups.For such a highly modified plant, cauliflower has a long history. The oldest record of cauliflower dates back to the 6th century B.C. In the 2nd century, Pliny included what he called cyma among his descriptions of cultivated plants in Natural History: "Ex omnibus brassicae generibus suavissima est cyma," ("Of all the varieties of cabbage the most pleasant-tasted is cyma"). Pliny's descriptions likely refer to the flowering heads of an earlier cultivated variety of Brassica oleracea, but comes close to describing modern cauliflower. In the 12th century, three varieties were described in Spain as introductions from Syria, where it had doubtless been grown for more than a thousand years. It is found in the writings of the Arab botanists Ibn al-'Awwam and Ibn al-Baitar, in the 12th and 13th centuries when its origins were said to be Cyprus.François Pierre La Varenne employed chouxfleurs in Le cuisinier françois. They were introduced to France from Genoa in the 16th century, and are featured in Olivier de Serres' Théâtre de l'agriculture (1600), as cauli-fiori "as the Italians call it, which are still rather rare in France; they hold an honorable place in the garden because of their delicacy", but they did not commonly appear on grand tables until the time of Louis XIV.Cauliflower is low in fat, low in carbohydrates and high in dietary fiber, folate, water, and vitamin C, possessing a high nutritional density.Cauliflower contains several phytochemicals, common in the cabbage family, that may be beneficial to human health, as well as carotenoidsBoiling reduces the levels of these compounds, with losses of 20–30% after five minutes, 40–50% after ten minutes, and 75% after thirty minutes. However, other preparation methods, such as steaming, microwaving, and stir frying, have no significant effect on the compounds.Cauliflower can be roasted, boiled, fried, steamed, or eaten raw. When cooking, the outer leaves and thick stalks are removed, leaving only the florets. The leaves are also edible, but are most often discarded. The florets should be broken into similar-sized pieces so they are cooked evenly. After eight minutes of steaming, or five minutes of boiling, the florets should be soft, but not mushy (depending on size). Stirring while cooking can break the florets into smaller, uneven pieces.Low carbohydrate dieters can use cauliflower as a reasonable substitute for potatoes or rice; while they can produce a similar texture, or mouth feel, they lack the starch of the originals. Like certain legumes (including chickpeas), it can be turned into a flour from which such foods as pizza or biscuits are made.Cauliflower has been noticed by mathematicians for its distinct fractal dimension, predicted to be about 2.8. One of the fractal properties of cauliflower is that every branch, or "module", is similar to the entire cauliflower. Another quality, also present in other plant species, is that the angle between "modules," as they become more distant from the center, is 360 degrees divided by the golden ratio.
Celeriac (Apium graveolens var. rapaceum), also called turnip-rooted celery or knob celery, is a variety of celery cultivated for its edible roots, hypocotyl, and shoots. It is sometimes called celery root.It was mentioned in Homer's Odyssey as selinon.Celeriac is a root vegetable with a bulbous hypocotyl. In the Mediterranean Basin and in Northern Europe, celeriac grows wild and is widely cultivated. It is also cultivated in North Africa, Siberia, Southwest Asia, and North America. In North America, the Diamant cultivar predominates. Celeriac originated in the Mediterranean Basin.Typically, celeriac is harvested when its hypocotyl is 10–14 cm in diameter. However, a growing trend (specifically in peruvian and South American cuisine) is to use the immature vegetable, valued for its intensity of flavour and tenderness overall. It is edible raw or cooked, and tastes similar to the stalks (the upper part of the stem) of common celery cultivars. Celeriac may be roasted, stewed, blanched, or mashed. Sliced celeriac occurs as an ingredient in soups, casseroles, and other savory dishes. The leaves and stems of the vegetable are quite flavoursome, and aesthetically delicate and vibrant, which has led to their use as garnish in contemporary fine dining.The shelf life of celeriac is approximately six to eight months if stored between 0°C (32°F) and 5°C (41°F), and not allowed to dry out. Having said that, the vegetable will tend to rot through the centre if the finer stems surrounding the base are left attached. The freshness of the vegetable can be determined by viewing the hollowness of the vegetable; a fresh celeriac should not have a hollow centre. The freshness of the vegetable will also be obvious from the taste; the older the vegetable, the less potent the celery flavour.
Celery (Apium graveolens) is a cultivated plant, variety in the family Apiaceae, commonly used as a vegetable. Depending on location, either its stalks, or its hypocotyl, are eaten and used in cooking.In North America the dominant variety most commonly available in trade is "celery", Apium graveolens var. dulce, whose stalks are eaten raw, or as an ingredient in salads, or as a flavoring in soups, stews, and pot roasts.In Europe the dominant variety most commonly available in trade is celeriac (Apium graveolens var. rapaceum) whose hypocotyl forms a large bulb which is eaten cooked, or as a the major ingredient in a soup. It is commonly, but incorrectly, called "celery root". The leaves of rapaceum are used as seasoning, but the stalks find only marginal use.Celery seed is also used as a spice. The plant grows to 1 m (3.3 ft) tall.Celery leaves are pinnate to bipinnate with rhombic leaflets 3–6 cm long and 2–4 cm broad. The flowers are creamy-white, 2–3 mm in diameter, and are produced in dense compound umbels. The seeds are broad ovoid to globose, 1.5–2 mm long and wide. Modern cultivars have been selected for solid petioles, leaf stalks. A celery stalk readily separates into "strings" which are bundles of angular collenchyma cells exterior to the vascular bundles.First attested in English in 1664, the word "celery" derives from the French céleri, in turn from Italian seleri, the plural of selero, which comes from Late Latin selinon, the latinisation of the Greek σέλινον (selinon), "parsley". The earliest attested form of the word is the Mycenaean Greek se-ri-no, written in Linear B syllabic script.Celery was described by Carl Linnaeus in Volume One of his Species Plantarum in 1753.The plants are raised from seed, sown either in a hot bed or in the open garden according to the season of the year, and, after one or two thinnings and transplantings, they are, on attaining a height of 15–20 cm (5.9–7.9 in), planted out in deep trenches for convenience of blanching, which is effected by earthing up to exclude light from the stems.In the past, celery was grown as a vegetable for winter and early spring; it was perceived as a cleansing tonic, welcomed to counter the salt-sickness of a winter diet. By the 19th century, the season for celery had been extended, to last from the beginning of September to late in April.In North America, commercial production of celery is dominated by the cultivar called 'Pascal' celery. Gardeners can grow a range of cultivars, many of which differ from the wild species, mainly in having stouter leaf stems. They are ranged under two classes, white and red. The stalks grow in tight, straight, parallel bunches, and are typically marketed fresh that way, without roots and just a little green leaf remaining.In Europe the dominant variety of celery most commonly grown is Apium graveolens var. rapaceum grown because its hypocotyl forms a large bulb, correctly called celeriac, but often incorrectly called celery root. The leaves are used as seasoning, and the stalks find only marginal use.The wild form of celery is known as "smallage". It has a furrowed stalk with wedge-shaped leaves, the whole plant having a coarse, earthy taste, and a distinctive smell. The stalks are not usually eaten (except in soups or stews in French cuisine), but the leaves may be used in salads, and its seeds are those sold as a spice. With cultivation and blanching, the stalks lose their acidic qualities and assume the mild, sweetish, aromatic taste particular to celery as a salad plant.Harvesting occurs when the average size of celery in a field is marketable; due to extremely uniform crop growth, fields are harvested only once. The petioles and leaves are removed and harvested; celery is packed by size and quality (determined by colour, shape, straightness and thickness of petiole, stalk and midrib length and absence of disease, cracks, splits, insect damage and rot). Under optimal conditions, celery can be stored for up to seven weeks between 0 to 2 °C (32 to 36 °F). Inner stalks may continue growing if kept at temperatures above 0 °C (32 °F). Freshly cut petioles of celery are prone to decay, which can be prevented or reduced through the use of sharp blades during processing, gentle handling, and proper sanitation.In the past, restaurants used to store celery in a container of water with powdered vegetable preservative, but it was found that the sulfites in the preservative caused allergic reactions in some people. In 1986, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the use of sulfites on fruits and vegetables intended to be eaten raw.Celery is used around the world as a vegetable. In North America for the crisp petiole (leaf stalk). In Europe the hypocotyl is used as a root vegetable. The leaves are strongly flavoured and are used less often, either as a flavouring in soups and stews or as a dried herb.In temperate countries, celery is also grown for its seeds. Actually very small fruit, these "seeds" yield a valuable volatile oil used in the perfume and pharmaceutical industries. They also contain an organic compound called apiol. Celery seeds can be used as flavouring or spice, either as whole seeds or ground.The seeds can be ground and mixed with salt, to produce celery salt. Celery salt can also be made from an extract of the roots, or using dried leaves. Celery salt is used as a seasoning, in cocktails (notably to enhance the flavour of Bloody Mary cocktails), on the Chicago-style hot dog, and in Old Bay Seasoning.Celery, onions, and bell peppers are the "holy trinity" of Louisiana Creole and Cajun cuisine. Celery, onions, and carrots make up the French mirepoix, often used as a base for sauces and soups. Celery is a staple in many soups, such as chicken noodle soup.The use of celery seed in pills for relieving pain was described by Aulus Cornelius Celsus around AD 30. Celery seeds contain a compound, 3-n-butylphthalide, that has been demonstrated to lower blood pressure in rats.Celery juice significantly reduced hypertension in 87.5% of patients (14 of 16) tested. Another study showed the same effect on hypertension associated with pregnancy.Bergapten in the seeds can increase photosensitivity, so the use of essential oil externally in bright sunshine should be avoided. The oil and large doses of seeds should be avoided during pregnancy, as they can act as a uterine stimulant. Seeds intended for cultivation are not suitable for eating as they are often treated with fungicides.Celery is used in weight-loss diets, where it provides low-calorie dietary fibre bulk. Celery is often incorrectly thought to be a "negative-calorie food," the digestion of which burns more calories than the body can obtain. In fact, eating celery provides positive net calories, with digestion only consuming a small proportion of the calories taken in.Celery is among a small group of foods (headed by peanuts) that appear to provoke the most severe allergic reactions; for people with celery allergy, exposure can cause potentially fatal anaphylactic shock. The allergen does not appear to be destroyed at cooking temperatures. Celery root commonly eaten as celeriac, or put into drinks is known to contain more allergen than the stalk. Seeds contain the highest levels of allergen content. Exercise-induced anaphylaxis may be exacerbated. An allergic reaction also may be triggered by eating foods that have been processed with machines that have previously processed celery, making avoiding such foods difficult. In contrast with peanut allergy being most prevalent in the US, celery allergy is most prevalent in Central Europe. In the European Union, foods that contain or may contain celery, even in trace amounts, must be clearly marked as such.Daniel Zohary and Maria Hopf note that celery leaves and inflorescences were part of the garlands found in the tomb of pharaoh Tutankhamun (died 1323 BC), and celery mericarps dated to the seventh century BC were recovered in the Heraion of Samos. However, they note "since A. graveolens grows wild in these areas, it is hard to decide whether these remains represent wild or cultivated forms." Only by classical times is it certain that celery was cultivated.M. Fragiska mentions an archeological find of celery dating to the 9th century BC, at Kastanas; however, the literary evidence for ancient Greece is far more abundant. In Homer's Iliad, the horses of the Myrmidons graze on wild celery that grows in the marshes of Troy, and in Odyssey, there is mention of the meadows of violet and wild celery surrounding the cave of Calypso.Polyynes can be found in Apiaceae vegetables like celery, and their extracts show cytotoxic activities.Apiin and apigenin can be extracted from celery and parsley.Some aromatic compounds of celery leaves and stalks are reported as butylphthalide and Sedanolide.A chthonian symbol among the ancient Greeks, celery was said to have sprouted from the blood of Kadmilos, father of the Cabeiri, chthonian divinities celebrated in Samothrace, Lemnos, and Thebes. The spicy odour and dark leaf colour encouraged this association with the cult of death. In classical Greece, celery leaves were used as garlands for the dead, and the wreaths of the winners at the Isthmian Games were first made of celery before being replaced by crowns made of pine. According to Pliny the Elder in Achaea, the garland worn by the winners of the sacred Nemean Games was also made of celery. The Ancient Greek colony of Selinous (Greek: Σελινοῦς, Selinous), on Sicily, was named after wild parsley that grew abundantly there; Selinountian coins depicted a parsley leaf as the symbol of the city.The name "celery" retraces the plant's route of successive adoption in European cooking, as the English "celery" (1664) is derived from the French céleri coming from the Lombard term, seleri, from the Latin selinon, borrowed from Greek.Celery's late arrival in the English kitchen is an end-product of the long tradition of seed selection needed to reduce the sap's bitterness and increase its sugars. By 1699, John Evelyn could recommend it in his Acetaria. A Discourse of Sallets: "Sellery, apium Italicum, (and of the Petroseline Family) was formerly a stranger with us (nor very long since in Italy) is an hot and more generous sort of Macedonian Persley or Smallage...and for its high and grateful Taste is ever plac'd in the middle of the Grand Sallet, at our Great Men's tables, and Praetors feasts, as the Grace of the whole Board".Celery has made a surprising appearance in football folklore. Supporters of English Premier League team Chelsea and Football League team Gillingham regularly sing songs about the vegetable and are famed for throwing celery during matches. This has also given rise to the "Chelsea Cocktail", a pint of Guinness garnished with a stick of celery.In the television program Doctor Who, the Fifth incarnation of The Doctor (played by Peter Davison), was noted for wearing a stalk of celery on his lapel, claiming it at one point to be an excellent restorative.
Celtuce (Lactuca sativa var. asparagina, augustana, or angustata), also called stem lettuce, celery lettuce, asparagus lettuce, or Chinese lettuce, is a cultivar of lettuce grown primarily for its thick stem, used as a vegetable. It is especially popular in China, and is called wosun or woju (although the latter name may also be used to mean lettuce in general). The stem is usually harvested at a length of around 15–20 cm and a diameter of around 3–4 cm. It is crisp, moist, and mildly flavored, and typically prepared by slicing and then stir frying with more strongly flavored ingredients.
- Choy Sum
Daikon, which means “great root” in Japanese, has a crispy, crunchy texture with a sweeter, less pungent flavor than most radishes. It’s a common ingredient in many Asian dishes, including Korean kimchi and Japanese pickles. Daikon can be shredded and eaten raw, or added to stews and soups, like other root vegetables. Its young leaves and seeds, which taste slightly peppery, are also edible.
- Hon Tsai Tai
- Kang Kong
- Kiwi Fruit
- Kohl Rabi
Luffa or otherwise known as Sinqua can be found in angled and smooth varieties. Angled luffa looks like a zucchini with ridges that run lengthwise. Typically eaten when it’s young, it also tastes a bit like zucchini but sweeter. Its spongy texture soaks up the flavor of foods it’s cooked with. Smooth luffa, when grown to maturity and soaked in bleach, peeled, and dried, can be used as a household scrubber—the “loofah sponge.”
Lemongrass is a heat-loving perennial with a tall, woody stalk, grassy leaves, and a bulbous end. The white inner stem six inches above the base is the part most used in cooking. When bruised, it releases a lemony flavor, popular in Thai cuisine. Lemongrass, like bay leaf, is typically removed from a dish before eating.
- Marubah Santoh
- Miners Lettuce
Mizuna probably originated in China but has been grown in Japan since ancient times. It has feathery, frond-like bright green leaves that taste similar to arugula but are milder and sweeter. It’s often eaten raw in salads, but the leaves can also be steamed, sautéed, or pickled.
- Mustard Greens
- New Guinea Bean
- Pak Choi
- Perilla / Shiso
- Sweet Potato
Tatsoi’s round, dark green leaves grow close to the ground in tight little circles, creating pretty rosettes. The tender greens have a mustardy taste and can be eaten raw or lightly cooked in soups.
- Vitamin Greens