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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Veggie Facts

Ok. Day 3 of my Soup Diet has commenced. I'm a little tired and I have a headache but other than that I feel pretty good. I guess I have to drink more water. Today I only get to eat Fruits, Vegetables and of course, the Soup. So I figured I'd educate you on some vegetable facts. 

Did you know?

1. Carrots are not always orange. They can also be found in purple, white, red or yellow. Carrots were the first vegetable to be canned commercially. 

2. The wild form of celery is known as smallage. It has a bitter taste, and the stalks are more stringy than cultivated celery. Smallage was used in ancient times as a medicine, and the Romans used it as a seasoning. It was in the 17th and 18th centuries that celery was developed by breeding the bitterness out of smallage. 

3. Parsnips are sweetest after a frost. In Europe, they were used to sweeten jams and cakes before sugar became widely available. 

4. According to the USDA, each American eats 140 pounds of potatoes a year. This fact was astonishing. Just think about it. Each bag of potatoes you get at the store is generally a 5lb. bag. EACH person eats 28 of those bags a year(that's over 2 bags per month)! I guess it's no wonder. Potatoes are fat free, saturated fat free, sodium free, cholesterol free, are high in vitamin C and a good source of potassium.

5. Asparagus folklore credits these delicious green spears with everything from curing toothaches to being a reproductive tonic! 

6. The average ear of corn has 800 kernels, arranged in 16 rows.  There is one piece of silk for each kernel.

7. Green peas, also called Sweet or English peas, grow on vines which are often supported by a pole. They can be eaten raw or cooked. Gregor Mendel, the “Father of Genetics” formulated his theories while studying peas. 

8. Spinach was first cultivated over 2,000 years ago in Iran.  By 1806, it had become a popular vegetable in America and in the 1920’s the U.S. pushed spinach commercially, with the Popeye the Sailorman cartoon becoming a great advocate for spinach consumption.  

9. Eggplant is a member of the nightshade or potato family, which also includes tomatoes and hot peppers. Many useful medicines are derived from this family. Eggplants can be purple, green, white or striped, pear-shaped or cylindrical and the size of a golf ball to a football. They are often used as a meat substitute. 

10. Jalapeno Peppers are a variety of chili peppers and can be hot. If the heat is too much, dairy products like milk and yogurt can help put that fire out. 

11. The flower of a zucchini plant is also edible. 

12. Broccoli is worth 12 points when playing Scrabble. 

13. Brussel Sprouts aren’t really baby cabbages, but they are in the same plant family. 

14. Not all cauliflower is white. Try purple and orange cauliflower too. 

15. Sweet Potatoes: These edible roots are usually labeled either sweet potatoes or yams but, unlike potatoes, they are members of the morning glory family. Calling these veggies yams is a misnomer. True yams are native to Africa and are from a different botanical group. 

And now for some statistics...

For more information, visit the Fruits and Veggies More Matters website

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