This vegetable is loaded with fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. Being from the same plant family as broccoli and cauliflower, it’s said to help fight cancer and absorb free radicals.
How to grow it: Kale will thrive in a sunny or partly shaded veggie patch that’s been enriched with an organic fertiliser before planting (or even just a pot.) All it needs is a regular nosh on soluble plant food to help keep it healthy and flourishing.
How to eat it: Blend in smoothies, bake into chips, put in soups or add to salad greens.
Turmeric has received a fair amount of publicity over recent times for its anti-inflammatory properties, cardiovascular health benefits and cancer-fighting abilities. It also improves blood sugar levels and assists in reducing the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
How to grow it: Tumeric prefers a warm and partly shaded location with soil that’s been enriched with organic matter. Plant the turmeric rhizomes (underground stems) around 40 centimetres apart, water well and keep moist.
How to eat it: Add turmeric to scrambled eggs and frittatas, toss it with roasted vegetables, add it to rice dishes, use it in soups, blend it into your next veggie smoothie or make your own turmeric latte.
Aside from being a great source of protein, complex carbs, and fibre, beans contain a powerhouse of nutrients including antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals (such as copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc.)
How to grow it: The good news is beans are some of the easiest veggies to grow. Choose a spot with lots of sun and great drainage and simply sow the seeds into moist soil. Bonus: there’s a range of beans to choose from depending on your taste and available growing space.
How to eat it: Green beans make the perfect side dish or pair with garlic and oil, pesto or a soft-boiled egg.
Not only is spinach low in fat and cholesterol, it’s also high in zinc, protein, fibre, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron and magnesium.
How to grow it: Spinach seeds are a good size so are relatively easy to handle and sow directly into the veggie patch or a pot. If kept moist, seedlings will pop up within 3 weeks. Feed your spinach every one to two weeks with plant food to help promote lots of lush green leaves.
How to eat it: Stir-fry spinach with garlic, use it in pasta dishes, soups, salads and smoothies. Instead of using herbs in pesto, try using spinach instead.
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Why you should grow them: Sweet potatoes (especially the orange ones) are crammed with vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.
How to grow it: Sweet potatoes can be started from tubers and potted plants but it’s best to put them into the ground when you have around five months of warm, frost-free weather ahead. Apply a soil improver around the root zone every six weeks and (try to keep insects and pests at bay.)
How to eat it: Try a spiced sweet potato hummus or a sweet potato pie. You can also create healthy sweet potato chips and pizza topping, but for a more classic approach, roast it and sprinkle with cracked pepper.
Blueberries are high in vitamins, fibre and antioxidants (plus, they are delicious!)
How to grow them: Blueberries need a sunny spot with well-drained, slightly acidic soil. (They also do really well in pots.) Just make sure to keep the soil moist and regularly feed with a liquid plant food.
How to eat them: Enjoy blueberries raw by the handful or bake them into cakes, muffins, pancakes and cheesecake.
These tiny plants have a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals. In fact, they can contain as much as six times the nutrients as the full-grown variety.
How to grow them: Microgreens are perfect to grow in pots that sit on your window sill. Sprinkle seeds over a pot and cover with a thin layer of seed raising mix. Keep the soil moist using a mist spray and position on a warm, well-lit spot indoors.
How to eat it: Microgreens are the perfect addition to fish or salmon burgers, egg white omelettes, fajitas and even make the perfect topping on a strawberry chocolate tart!
For more information visit www.yates.com.au.
Angie Thomas has a Bachelor degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Sydney and an advanced certificate in horticulture. She frequently runs gardening workshops at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens and is a guest speaker at garden club meetings and shows.
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