Some of the typical fruits and vegetables in my weekly grocery cart are strawberries, bananas, apples, mushrooms, spinach and kale, but I find myself constantly intrigued by the appearance of the other fruits and vegetables that I’m less familiar with. For this week’s blog, I hit up my local grocery store to explore the tastes, health benefits and cultural origins of the produce I don’t usually grab in hopes to diversify my grocery list and promote healthy eating!
Also known as Orinoco, Bluggoe, Horse, Hog or Largo bananas, Burro Bananas are a shorter and stubbier shape in comparison to the standard cavendish bananas.
They are typically grown in Mexico and are available all year round
Don’t underestimate their small stature, these bananas are nutritional powerhouses that are known for their significant levels of vitamin B, C, fiber and magnesium. Moreover, they’re beneficial in cases of anemia by stimulating hemoglobin (red blood cells)
When eaten ripe, Burro Bananas offer a one-of-a-kind tangy taste that mimics that of a regular ripe banana with a slight lemony undertone! (“Specialty Produce”)
Soursop, also known as Graviola is a fruit grown on Annona Muricata trees in tropical climates. Its interesting texture is prickly on the outside and somewhat slimy on the inside (“Healthline – Soursop”).
The exact origins of the soursop fruit are unknown, however this fruit is native to the Caribbean and tropical regions of the Americas
This immune system booster is high in vitamin C with one fruit containing 215% of our recommended daily dose of vitamin C
I would describe the taste as a hybrid between strawberry and pineapple with the texture of a banana, definitely a unique burst of flavour, be prepared to get a little messy!
Quince’s vibrant colour is reflective of its punch of tart flavour that you may not enjoy eating raw (trust me, I’ve tried). A member of the rose family, it’s pungent, perfumy smell is inspiration to several fruity perfumes.
This fruit looks similar to a pear or granny-smith apple with origins tracing back to Iran, Turkey and Greece (“Brittania”)
Quince is rich in nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants. It has also been known to help ease symptoms of early pregnancy including nausea and vomiting (“Healthline – Quince”)
Quince is probably the most versatile fruit mentioned thus far, it can be used in pies, sautes, jams and beverages to add hits of apple, pear and citrus flavours
This one brings me back to my highschool days of spending all my lunch money on the refreshing Aloe beverages at the convenience store, can anyone else relate?
Aloe, closely related to Aloe Vera, is a succulent plant that originates from Arabian Peninsula and thrives in tropical climates “Healthline – Aloe”. The aloe plant is quite mesmerizing and is compact with a spiral of pluckable leafs
Unlike previous mentions, Aloe is actually more known for its medicinal properties rather than its taste. Aloe gel is amazing for skin ailments such as rashes, sores, burns, psoriasis and scar-healing, it acts as a natural skin soother and anti-inflammatory (“Prevention”)
When prepared properly, Aloe gel can be consumed raw. After rinsing, it can be a refreshing ingredient in smoothies
Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone in all aspects of life, down to the fruits and veggies you eat! Maybe you’ll come across a new favourite!